SYDNEY, Australia — The mystery surrounding a financial fraudster who disappeared after being accused of bilking her clients out of millions took a sinister turn when her decayed foot was found washed up on a remote Australian beach.
Melissa Caddick’s rotting foot was found three months after she disappeared from her Sydney mansion, shortly after the Australian Securities and Investments Commission charged her with stealing around $10 million.
She vanished just a day after cops raided her home.
Police had found no trace of her until last week when campers spotted a running shoe containing a decomposed foot on a beach 250 miles south of Sydney.
DNA testing matched the foot to Caddick.
New South Wales Police assistant commissioner Mick Willing said: “It remains a mystery as to when and how she came into the water. At this point we can’t rule out anything.
“We have kept an open mind, however given the circumstances of her disappearance, we have always considered the possibility that she may have taken her own life.”
He said ocean drift modelling done by the police had shown it was possible that Ms Caddick could have entered the water near her Sydney home, where she lived with her husband and teenage son.
Her disappearance gripped Australia and earlier this month police reiterated their belief that Ms Caddick was still alive.
She had reportedly been living a lavish lifestyle, including taking overseas holidays and buying expensive clothes and jewellery.
Cheryl Kraft Reid entrusted around £600,000 of her pension with Caddick, whom she considered as a friend and last heard from her two months before she vanished.
“Wow, that’s a sad tragic outcome for her son but it’s also just a sad tragic outcome for us because we just don’t get closure,’ she told 2GB radio.
“Besides the news we’re unlikely to see any return of that, it’s pretty devastating.’