Police have revealed a gruesome detail after the remains of missing millionaire and alleged con woman Melissa Caddick were discovered on the NSW South Coast, months after she vanished for her Sydney home.
The 49-year-old was last seen leaving her $7m Dover Heights home to go for a run on the morning of November 12.
Her disappearance came two days after Australian Federal Police and Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) raided her home over allegations she was misappropriating investor funds.
On Friday, police announced her remains had been discovered on February 21 on Bournda Beach, south of Tathra.
The grisly discovery was made by a group of campers who found the remains of a foot inside a shoe that had washed up on the beach.
The DNA from the foot matched samples taken from Ms Caddick’s toothbrush and family members.
“That foot and the shoe, which matched the size and description of a shoe that Melissa Caddick was seen wearing during the execution or the ASIC search warrant, were conveyed to the NSW Health forensic section in Sydney,” NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Mick Willing told reporters.
He said the foot was in a state of decomposition when it was discovered.
“It had been in the water for some time. Luckily, scientists were able to extract DNA from the foot and match it to a sample of DNA that we had already obtained from a toothbrush belonging to Melissa and from her relatives,” Assistant Commissioner Willing said.
He said Ms Caddick’s family were informed last night, leaving them “distressed” over the news.
Police still don’t know how Ms Caddick’s remains came to be in the water or how long she died after her disappearance.
“At this point we can’t rule out anything. We have kept an open mind, however given the circumstances of her disappearance, the fact she left personal belongings behind, we have always considered the possibility that she may have taken her own life but that is a matter for the coroner,” Assistant Commissioner Willing said.
Police are now conducting further searchers around the area to try and locate any more of Ms Caddick’s remains.
Before her death, Ms Caddick was being investigated over allegations she had spent years running a Ponzi-style scheme through her finance business Maliver Pty Ltd.
The majority of her alleged victims were family members and longstanding friends, none of whom had any idea up until recently that they were being fleeced of millions of dollars.
Leaked documents, obtained by news.com.au earlier this month, showed each of the investors happily handed over their money following a “strong personal recommendation from people they trusted”.
Over the years, no red flags with Ms Caddick or her business were ever raised.
Any investor who wanted to withdraw their funds had done so with ease, and on repeated occasions.
However, on Monday the Federal Court heard liquidators had found just $5600 in the 49-year-old’s bank accounts, described as a “significant shortfall” between the millions investigators allege Ms Caddick owes her investors.
Assistant Commissioner Willing said investigations into the allegations against Ms Caddick’s business are ongoing, despite her death.
“There will be extensive investigations that will be ongoing. ASIC have their proceedings which are currently underway and they are a matter for ASIC,” he said.
“We have been working with ASIC all along in relation to this. This matter will form a coronial brief of evidence and the coroner will ultimately determine what has happened.”