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Police investigation into Melissa Caddick’s disappearance labelled too narrow in focus

The inquiry has heard that the initial assessment by senior police was that there was a significant possibility that Caddick had been harmed or killed by “someone associated with her criminal activity”.

The other possibilities were that he had self-harmed or was running away.

Browne said it was important in the early stages of any investigation to “keep an open mind” but felt Kyneur was focusing only on the theory that Caddick had voluntarily disappeared.

The attorney assisting the coroner, Jason Downing, South Carolina, also raised questions about why the homicide squad did not immediately get involved to rule out a crime.

As a result of the Caddick case, Browne told the inquiry that the wording of the police’s Standard Operating Procedure had been redrafted to remove any ambiguity about notifying homicide detectives.

Called to the witness stand, Kyneur denied that he was focusing on a single theory. He agreed that he did not ask ASIC for any details about Caddick’s investors, and said that if any of them had threatened Caddick, he would have expected ASIC to have told them.

Anthony Koletti and Melissa Caddick.

Louise Coleman, assistant counsel to the coroner, asked Kyneur if it had ever occurred to her that Caddick’s husband, Anthony Koletti, might have aided and abetted his wife’s suicide, which is a criminal offense. “No,” Kyneur replied.

On February 21, 2021, a right shoe washed up in Bournda on the south coast of New South Wales. The decomposing remains in the shoe matched Caddick’s DNA.

The investigation previously heard that due to his 30-hour delay in reporting his wife missing, as well as his bizarre behavior and conflicting statements, police initially thought Koletti was involved in his wife’s disappearance.

Charging

After four days on the witness stand in September, Koletti, 40, a hairdresser and DJ, finally accepted that his wife was a thief “who stole millions and millions of dollars from her friends and family.”

“Were you also deceived into believing that she was a diligent and honest financial advisor?” Dean Jordan, representing ASIC, asked Koletti.

“Yes,” replied Koletti, who, along with her in-laws Barb and Ted Grimley and their son Adam, attended every day of the investigation.

The family has indicated that they will not provide a statement to the coroner.

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Jacky

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