'Vital clue': New police theory about Melissa Caddick before her death
Accused conwoman Melissa Caddick may have been alive for weeks after she disappeared from her Sydney mansion, police say.
The skeletal remains of Ms Caddick's foot were found more than 400 kilometres from her home at Bournda Beach on the NSW South Coast by campers last week.
Yet investigators are questioning the theory the 49-year-old died immediately after her disappearance, The Daily Telegraph reported.
Ms Caddick vanished the day after corporate watchdog ASIC executed a search warrant at her luxury Dover Heights home on November 11.
Police say it is unlikely her body could have drifted to the NSW South Coast, while the foot itself had not shown signs of being in water for an extended period of time.
“Something in the water for that long, say a bit of flotsam or jetsam that washes onto the shore, has got green growth on it,” Superintendent Joe McNulty, Commander of the NSW Marine Command, told The Daily Telegraph.
“At first examination the shoe doesn’t appear to have been in the water for three months. The shoe needs extensive analysis to see how long it was in the water. It’s a vital clue where hopefully marine biology can provide some answers.
"[A body drifting that far has] never happened in my time in the water police."
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Assistant Commissioner Michael Willing said it was a "distinct possibility" Ms Caddick was on the run before her death.
He told reporters on Friday foul play against Ms Caddick was possible, but suicide was more likely.
"Given the circumstances of the disappearance (and) the fact that she left personal belongings behind, we've always considered the possibility that she might have taken her own life," he said.
The rest of her body has yet to be found. On Friday, a chunk of stomach flesh was found 150 kilometres north of Bournda Beach at Mollymook and will be forensically examined, but police believe it belongs to a missing snorkeler.
On Saturday two bones were found on Tura Beach, seven kilometres south from where the foot was found on Friday.
Liquidators allege the self-styled financial adviser "meticulously and systematically" deceived those who entrusted millions of investment dollars to her over seven years, then used the money to fund her lavish lifestyle.
Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636, Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.
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