Missing Melissa Caddick’s exit was ‘well planned’
A calculated and highly-intelligent alleged fraudster like Melissa Caddick would likely have planned for the day she got caught, a forensic psychologist says.
It has been 11 weeks since 49-year-old Ms Caddick disappeared after the federal police raided her home over allegations of widespread embezzlement.
Police are treating the financial adviser's vanishing act as if she is still alive after exhaustive searches around her Dover Heights neighbourhood and cliff tops came up with nothing.
Sarah Yule worked as a senior forensic psychologist with the NSW Police for 17 years and consulted on multiple missing person cases.
Dr Yule said if a missing person had a criminal history, the way they went about their offending could provide an insight into why and how they disappeared.
"The criminal activity is relevant as it goes to an understanding of that person, what they are capable of and how far they might go to pursue their own goals even to the detriment of someone else," she said.
"It also goes to the planning aspect. Someone who commits impulsive crimes may not be as forensically careful as someone who commits sustained, calculated, thought out offences.
"When they are planning that sort of criminal behaviour it is probably more likely they are also planning what they will say and do when they get caught."
She would not comment on the specifics of the case to avoid jeopardising the police investigation.
After Ms Caddick vanished, it emerged she had allegedly issued fraudulent trading statements to her clients, many of whom were long-time friends, and $20 million had passed through her bank accounts.
But she always appeared professional and diligent, former clients have said, and there was no reason to doubt her.
"She was meticulous and had a plan for everything," one former client from Sydney's south said.
Speaking generally, people who engaged in "considerable planning and sustained deception" over a long time, and used sophisticated methods to rip off people, would be expected to have an exit plan.
Despite reviewing hours of CCTV from cameras around Dover Heights, police have not found any sign of Ms Caddick.
Originally published as Missing Melissa Caddick's exit was 'well planned'