Australia killers allegedly stole woman's identity

Australia killers allegedly stole woman's identity

Astonishing revelations have emerged about the murders of the Australian mother and her young daughter whose bodies were found years apart and in different states.

Someone went to incredible lengths to steal the mother's identity and cruelly convince her family she was alive for years afterwards.

"It is certain that if we follow the money and investigate the financial aspect of the case fully, we will identify those people," says Detective Superintendent Des Bray.

Police know a woman in a wheelchair pretended to be Karlie Pearce-Stevenson at an Adelaide credit union in June 2010 – 18 months after she and daughter Khandalyce are believed to have been murdered.

Police say Ms Pearce-Stevenson's phone was used until 2011 – three years after her death. After she'd originally been reported as missing, it gave "proof of life", with text message replies to her family persuading them to send money.

"It's clear without doubt that some of the people involved in the frauds knew without doubt that Karlie and Khandalyce were dead and continued with their role," says Det Supt Bray.

Ms Pearce-Stevenson's bank account was accessed more than 1200 times between late 2008 and early 2012, with almost AU$100,000 withdrawn.

Investigators already have strong suspects. The financial investigation has only strengthened their focus.

"We know that at least one offender was a male," says Det Supt Bray. "There may have been more and at least two are females."

Ms Pearce-Stevenson was only identified by her daughter's remains, found in a suitcase in remote South Australia earlier this year.

The DNA matched her daughter, with the bodies two states and 1000 kilometres apart.

Now police have established another crucial link – this time between the victims and their killers.

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