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Campers Find Foot of Missing Fraud Suspect

Police believe Australian woman Melissa Caddick stole up to $30M from investors
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 26, 2021 3:52 AM CST
Updated Feb 26, 2021 6:48 AM CST

(Newser) – When Australian businesswoman Melissa Caddick disappeared in November, hours after police raided her Sydney home, there was widespread speculation that she had staged her disappearance after stealing millions of dollars from investors. The speculation ended when her foot was found washed up on a remote beach. Authorities said Friday that DNA testing had confirmed the decomposed foot found by campers 250 miles south of Sydney belonged to Caddick, who was reported missing by her husband and teenage son after she failed to return from an early-morning run on Nov. 12, the BBC reports. Investigators believe Caddick stole up to $30 million from investors—including friends and relatives—and used the money to fund a lavish lifestyle, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

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Earlier this month, police said they believed the 49-year-old was still alive. New South Wales police assistant commissioner Michael Willing said Friday that the foot was in a shoe, and drift modeling suggests it is possible that Caddick entered the water near her Sydney home, the Guardian reports "It remains a mystery as to when and how she came into the water," he told reporters. "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." Willing said that the exact "manner, time and cause of death is a matter for the coroner." (Read more Australia stories.)

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