Murdered mother’s identity stolen

Police have confirmed today they believe those involved in the murder of a young mother from Alice Springs, whose body was found in a NSW forest, stole her identity and used it for years after her death.

Authorities have confirmed Karlie Jade Pearce-Stevenson, whose body was found in Belanglo State forest in NSW 5 years ago, is the mother of 2-year-old Khandalyce Kiara Pearce, whose body was found in a suitcase in South Australia in July.

Khandalyce Pearce. Source: South Australia Police

Khandalyce Pearce. Source: South Australia Police

Their identities were confirmed earlier this month, after two tip offs to police investigating the deaths.

South Australian police have confirmed today they believe Karlie and her daughter were killed in late 2008, at separate locations, but her phone was retained and used up until 2011.

Superintendent Des Bray has told a press conference police believe this was to continue a ruse for Karlie’s family, in order to pretend she remained 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,” police said in a statement.

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

Police also say Karlie’s bank accounts were used up until 2011, across four different states, with the offender or offenders involved, withdrawing money they had requested from her family and funds from Centrelink.

Police have so far tracked transactions across South Australia, New South Wales, Northern Territory and the ACT.

Karlie Pearce-Stevenson. Source: SA Police

Karlie Pearce-Stevenson. Source: SA Police

Almost $100,000 was spent or withdrawn from the account since November 2008 until March 2012.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.

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.

“In relation to these Centrelink and families benefits payments we can say that a female attended, on the 15th of December, 2010, at Centrelink at Salisbury,”  Supt. Bray said.

He said the woman presented identity documents falsely representing Karlie and Khandalyce.

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

They have also confirmed 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.

It remains unknown who is responsible for their deaths, but police believe that at least one of those involved in the phone and bank scam was also responsible for the murders.

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Amy Whittaker
Amy Whittaker 1402 posts

Amy joined the NRN team in August 2011, before graduating from a B of Arts (Communication-Journalism)/B of Sports Studies from Charles Sturt University in December 2011.

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