HEATHER CREAMER WRITES — Melissa Caddick, age 49, vanished from her luxurious $6.1 million house in Dover Heights, a coastal suburb of Sydney, in New South Wales, Australia. Her disappearance occurred November 11, the day after company watchdog Australian Securities and Investments Fee (ASIC) executed a search warrant at her residence.
So, who’s Melissa Caddick, and why is she lacking? Caddick is an Australian businesswoman and monetary investor, now believed by authorities to be the mastermind behind an expansive Ponzi scheme. The ASIC report claims she misappropriated round $25-$40 million of over 60 buyers’ funds. Stories additionally declare that every one the whereas she flaunted a lavish way of life full with designer footwear, garments and jewellery and boasted about worldwide journeys by personal jet.
Caddick left her residence round 5:30 am on November 12. Her son and husband believed she was out on her typical brisk morning run since she left her keys and cellphone at house, however when she didn’t return and there was no hint of her, they reported her lacking. That was the place the case went chilly, as authorities couldn’t find any CCTV footage or sightings of the alleged fraudster… till February 21, when DNA testing matched a foot discovered at Bournda seashore, 250 miles away from her Dover Heights Dwelling, to Caddick. Police imagine it’s unlikely her physique might have drifted that far, and the foot itself didn’t present indicators of being within the water for the three months since Melissa Caddick went lacking.
All this may counsel that Caddick was on the run weeks earlier than her loss of life. Superintendent Joe McNulty, Commander of the NSW Marine Command, informed The Every day Telegraph, “At first examination, the shoe doesn’t seem to have been within the water for 3 months. The shoe wants intensive evaluation to see how lengthy it was within the water. It’s a significant clue the place hopefully marine biology can present some solutions.”
Oddly, the remainder of her physique has but to be found. A bit of human flesh, in addition to a number of bones, have been found even additional down the coast, however they have been decided to not be these of Caddick. The police have declared Melissa useless, however some aren’t satisfied, together with her personal victims and even consultants.
Dr. Xanthe Mallett, an Affiliate Professor of Criminology on the College of Newcastle identified, “When it was only a foot, I might warning towards the chance that any individual is deceased. You possibly can survive with out your foot.”
Melissa’s former good friend Michelle Leslie, who reportedly entrusted her along with her life financial savings, informed “60 Minutes Australia,” “She might nonetheless be alive… It’s solely a foot. The place’s the remainder of the physique? The place’s the cement proof to say she’s truly useless?… She’s able to something.”
Worst of all, a lot of Caddick’s victims have been family and friends. The allegation is that she unwittingly compelled them, those who liked and trusted her probably the most, to foot the invoice of her lavish way of life. “She’s a sociopath who was at all times smarter than anybody else and who thought she might get away with it – she did for a few years,” one in every of her offended victims, Cheryl Craft-Reid, informed 2GB Radio. Their worst concern is that she might have gotten away with it, they usually’re footing the invoice for her escape as effectively. “She would have gotten a personal flight from Sydney the night time she went lacking to Vanuatu or someplace, then she would have gotten a yacht from one place to a different,” an nameless sufferer informed The Guardian, Australia, a revered newspaper.
Maybe most tragic in all of that is the grief of her harmless teenage son, who says he’s shedding the whole lot within the aftermath of his mom’s Ponzi scheme, disappearance and doable loss of life. Cheryl Craft-Reid, admitted, “That’s a tragic, tragic consequence for her son however it’s additionally only a unhappy tragic consequence for us as a result of we simply don’t get closure.”
With Melissa’s victims left to select up the items of their hundreds of thousands misplaced, their hope of compensation is dwindling as investigators found slightly below $6000 left in Caddick’s account. Her teen son is left and not using a mom, in a home that might be offered off to repay his mom’s money owed any day. Police are nonetheless contemplating many choices, from the possibility of a very unusual accident, suicide or one thing extra sinister. For now, the destiny of Melissa Caddick and the lacking hundreds of thousands stays principally a thriller.