Caddick inquest hears of 'evasive' husband

·3-min read

The first officer in charge of investigating the disappearance of fraudster Melissa Caddick was told her husband had given a number of conflicting and confusing stories.

Detective Sergeant Michael Kyneur had read a police file stating that Anthony Koletti appeared flustered, sweating profusely and unsure of details regarding when he last saw his wife.

The officer on Tuesday was asked by Louise Coleman, junior counsel assisting the coroner at Ms Caddick's inquest, why he did not press Mr Koletti on his inconsistencies.

Det Sgt Kyneur said he was mindful that his wife had recently vanished.

"I didn't cross-examine what he was saying in fairness to him, I also realised his wife was missing and I took that into consideration," he said.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission raided Ms Caddick's Dover Heights mansion in Sydney's eastern suburbs on November 11, 2021. This is the last verified sighting of the conwoman.

Next morning she was purportedly heard leaving in the early hours to exercise, and some 30 hours after that Mr Koletti informed police she never returned.

Sergeant Trent Riley visited the hairdresser and part-time music producer at home on November 13 because he was "too busy" to visit the police station.

Sgt Riley told Det Sgt Kyneur that he found Mr Koletti "evasive, vague and inconsistent".

The different versions Mr Koletti gave to police included who found his wife's phone and where it was located, in one version saying he left a post-it note and a gift with it.

"Melissa we had everything taken from us. This is a gift for you," the note allegedly read, with a pair of earrings "I had lying around," Mr Koletti said, according to Det Sgt Kyneur's evidence.

Mr Koletti also told him he texted the cleaner from his wife's phone the day she disappeared to cancel the appointment, pretending to be her.

He then phoned her "best friend" and brother Adam Grimley but did not tell them Ms Caddick was missing, to elicit "an honest answer," he told Det Sgt Kyneur.

A video played before the court showed Mr Koletti telling the friend "Melissa is asleep beside me," hours after she had disappeared.

Det Sgt Kyneur gave Mr Koletti the benefit of the doubt but did find his behaviour and reports to police "unusual".

"I was also aware he attended the coastline at Raleigh Reserve (and) he had taken a photograph of a shoe print," the detective said.

"I thought that was extraordinary.

"That's a dog park. It's like saying I found a footprint on Bondi Beach."

And he found Mr Koletti's demeanour strange.

"He didn't appear to be overly concerned," he said.

"In my experience, if your spouse or loved one goes missing there is usually some genuine concern or some type of emotion."

While he did not believe Mr Koletti had murdered his wife, he did believe he may be withholding information about her location.

Ms Coleman asked why the homicide squad was not brought in early on nor a crime scene established until 19 days after she was reported missing.

Det Sgt Kyneur said Mr Koletti was always cooperative and consented to police searches.

After calling for information from the public through the media on November 20, the officer in charge visited the three-storey, five-bedroom home and conducted a 14-minute search.

Barrister Lachlan Gyles SC, on behalf of the NSW police, said the force believed she would turn up.

"Ms Caddick at this point could well have walked into her residence or walked into Rose Bay Police Station, or a Gucci retail shop and the investigation would have completed largely without controversy," he said.

Ms Caddick's Ponzi scheme victims, mostly family and friends, lost $20-$30 million she used to fund her lavish lifestyle.

In February 2021 her foot encased in a shoe washed ashore at Bournda Beach on the NSW south coast.

The inquest continues.