The mystery of how Melissa Caddick’s foot became detached from her body has deepened at a coronial inquest into the notorious fraudster’s disappearance and suspected death.
The inquiry, which opened on Monday morning, is expected to hear that a forensic pathologist has been unable to determine if Ms Caddick’s foot fell off due to decomposition in the ocean, or because of a blunt force injury.
Ms Caddick’s limb washed ashore at a beach on the NSW south coast on February 21, 2021 – about four months after she disappeared from her mansion at Dover Heights, in Sydney’s east.
Her foot is all that has been found of her remains.
Meanwhile, evidence has emerged that Ms Caddick told close family and friends ‘if I’m going to end it, it’s going to be here’, referring to the cliffs just down the road from her house.
And another friend has told authorities that Ms Caddick made her write down a four-letter code that she was instructed to give her brother, Adam, if she went missing.
How fraudster Melissa Caddick’s foot became detached from her body and multiple declarations to friends and family about where she might ‘end it’ will be examined at her inquest (pictured, Caddick with partner Anthony Koletti)
Jason Downing SC, counsel assisting Deputy State Coroner Elizabeth Ryan, said in his opening address that Ms Caddick was suspected to be dead
In his opening address to the inquiry, Jason Downing SC, counsel assisting Deputy State Coroner Elizabeth Ryan, said that Ms Caddick was suspected to be dead.
But a forensics expert was expected to tell the inquiry they were unable to determine why her leg separated from the rest of her body.
Investigative journalist Kate McClymont, who has covered the disappearance of Ms Caddick with her podcast ‘Liar Liar’, tweeted her shock at the revelation.
‘Wow, forensic pathologist was unable to tell how Melissa Caddick’s foot became detached from her body and that it may well be that the Coroner returns an open finding into her presumed death,’ she wrote.
Ms Caddick’s parents Barbara and Ted Grimley and brother Adam Grimley along with her husband Anthony Koletti arrived at the NSW coroners court in Lidcombe, western Sydney, on Monday morning.
The two-week inquest will examine events leading up to her mysterious disappearance and her foot being discovered in a running shoe on Bournda Beach.
With the right medical assistance an amputation is not considered a lethal injury, but on the balance of probabilities it was suspected that Ms Caddick had already died, Mr Downing said.
The Australian Federal Police and Australian Securities and Investments Commission raided her Dover Heights home in Sydney’s eastern suburbs on November 11.
That was the last verified sighting of Ms Caddick apart from her husband Anthony Koletti and child who cannot be named for legal reasons.
Mr Koletti told police his wife left for a walk early the following morning, but did not report her missing until about 28 hours later.
Caddick’s partner Anthony Koletti arrives at the inquest held at Lidcombe Coroners Court on Monday
The inquest will run for two weeks and examine the mysterious circumstances leading up to Caddick’s disappearance (pictured, Caddick’s mother Barbara Grimley)
This delay will also be subject to scrutiny during her inquest.
Her victims, mostly family and friends, lost $20-$30 million through her Ponzi scheme used to fund her lavish lifestyle and excessive spending on expensive jewellery, designer clothing, overseas getaways and multi-million dollar homes.
Her clients believed she would invest their life savings on their behalf and she created fake documents to suggest she had done so.
In late 2012 Ms Caddick’s marriage to Tony Caddick dissolved following her affair with Mr Koletti who was her hairdresser.
She purportedly told her brother Adam about this time: ‘If it all gets too much to me you’ll find me at The Gap’.
Ms Caddick’s parents Barbara and Ted Grimley (pictured) and brother Adam Grimley along with her husband Anthony Koletti arrived on Monday morning at the NSW coroners court in Lidcombe, western Sydney
Another friend said Ms Caddick made her write down a four-letter code she was instructed to give Adam if she went missing.
By late 2020 her friends say Ms Caddick was under extreme financial pressure and on one occasion walked to the Dover Heights cliffs.
‘If I’m going to end it, it’s going to be here,’ her friend recalls Ms Caddick telling her.
The inquest continues.
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