UPDATE: Police have this afternoon revealed that the bank account of murdered mother Karlie Pearce-Stevenson was accessed on a number of occasions, with more than $90,000 withdrawn from the account.
Detective Superintendent Des Bray held a news conference at police headquarters in Adelaide to reveal more about the investigation into the murders of Ms Pearce-Stevenson and her daughter Khandalyce Pearce.
“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.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
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Almost $100,000 was spent or withdrawn from the account since November 2008 until March 2012.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.”
EARLIER: POLICE have announced that they will hold a press conference this afternoon, revealing new details relating to the horrifying murders of Karlie Pearce-Stevenson and Khandalyce Pearce.
On October 21 police made a breakthrough in two suspected murder investigations in New South Wales and South Australia, identifying ‘Angel’ and the ‘child in a suitcase’ as a young mother and her daughter.
Following the revelation, joint investigation was launched by SAPOL’s Major Crime Branch and the NSW Homicide Squad, with assistance from police in the Northern Territory and ACT.
The circumstances and place of the murders is yet to be determined.
Several homes in the ACT and South Australia have been searched by police, with reports a serial killer who is already serving time behinds bars for other criminal offences in New South Wales named as a suspect.
South Australia Police will address media around 2.30pm this afternoon.