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Girl In Suitcase Finally Identified

(Photos via SA Police)

UPDATE 27/10/15 3:00PM

Joint statement from SA and NSW police:

"Police can reveal the bank account of murdered woman Karlie Pearce-Stevenson has been accessed hundreds of occasions since she was last seen in late 2008.

Detectives from SA Police’s Task Force Mallee and the NSW Police’s Strike Force Malaya, set up to investigate the murders of Khandalyce Pearce and her mother Karlie, have so far tracked transactions across South Australia, New South Wales, Northern Territory and the ACT.

Almost $100,000 was spent or withdrawn from the account since November 2008 until March 2012. The account was closed earlier this year due to inactivity.

Money was deposited through Centrelink payments, previous wages and other unknown sources.

Also, disturbingly, it appears that in June 2010 a woman in a wheelchair impersonating Ms Pearce-Stevenson attended Australian Central Credit Union at Elizabeth to update banking records.

In December 2010 a woman claiming to be Ms Pearce-Stevenson also attended a compulsory interview with Centrelink at Salisbury.

Detectives are investigating if it was the same woman on both occasions.

However, police know that a man and at least two women have been responsible for the financial transactions and have lived at, or been associated with, homes in Davoren Park, Hillbank, Holden Hill and Charnwood, Canberra.
In addition to the unlawful bank account access, Ms Pearce-Stevenson’s phone has also been used on a number of occasions since her disappearance.

Police believe those responsible for her murder retained the phone in order to dupe Ms Pearce-Stevenson’s family members into believing she was still alive.

It’s known that the phone’s message bank was accessed by the offender/s and text messages sent to the murdered woman’s mother, inducing her to send money to the bank account.

A woman impersonated Ms Pearce-Stevenson also had brief conversations with family members.

The exactly location and timing of the murders remains unclear.

We do know that a large number of the bank transactions occurred in the north and north-eastern suburbs of Adelaide, as well as in Canberra.

Police believe that at least one of those involved in the phone and bank scam was also responsible for the murders.
We will not hesitate to take action against anyone who has assisted those responsible for these horrific murders or who impede this investigation.

However, if you, or someone you know, has done the wrong thing, it is not too late to come forward and do the right thing now.

Please come forward immediately with information. Call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use Crime Stoppers online www.sa.crimestoppers.com.au


The little girl whose body was found in a suitcase near Wynarka has been identified as Khandalyce Kiara Pearce, born in Alice Springs in 2006.

Her mother Karlie Jade Pearce-Stevenson (pictured right) was also brutally murdered, and dumped in Belanglo State Forest south of Sydney.

A joint investigation into their deaths has now been launched by SAPOL’s Major Crime Branch and the NSW Homicide Squad.

The circumstances and place of the murders is yet to be determined.

SA and NSW police today revealed that the breakthrough began on October 8 when a caller to Crime Stoppers said Khandalyce was possibly the little girl in the suitcase. The caller had not seen Khandalyce or Ms Pearce-Stevenson for some time and believed they were missing.

SA Major Crime detectives obtained Khandalyce’s medical records, which showed she was immunised at 18 months. There was no further record of her having contact with health or education authorities.e dental work done but not in Australia.

Investigators then located a witness who had seen Khandalyce and her mother at Marion Shopping Centre in November 2008. She had taken photos of Khandalyce wearing a pink dress. The dress was identical to that found with the remains in the suitcase.

Police were also provided with photos of Khandalyce in a stroller with the handmade quilt that was also found in the suitcase.

Finally, a blood sample from Khandalyce’s medical records was analysed by Forensic Science SA and conclusively matched the DNA profile extracted from the skeletal remains in the suitcase.

That DNA profile was then matched by NSW police to the body found in Belanglo in 2010.

The last known sighting of the pair was on November 8, 2008, when Ms Pearce-Stevenson was driving on the Stuart Highway near Coober Pedy. At that time she was 20 and Khandalyce was aged two.

Until now, the two murder investigations had been conducted separately.

The body of a young girl was found in July in a weathered suitcase dumped beside the Karoonda Highway, near Wynarka in SA’s Murray Mallee.

The skeleton of the woman they now know was her mother was found in the Belanglo State Forest south of Sydney in 2010.

Backpacker serial killer Ivan Milat — who dumped his victims in the Belanglo forest — was ruled out as a suspect because he was already in jail at the time Ms Pearce-Stevenson died. Her bones were found near Daly’s Waterhole

Milat’s great-nephew Matthew Milat was later jailed with a 30-year non-parole period for murdering 17-year-old friend David Auchterlonie with an axe in Belanglo forest in 2010.

Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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