HUGE development in two Australian murder mysteries with the remains of the Wynarka suitcase girl and unidentified female dumped in Belanglo State Forest in NSW found to be related.
AND these remains have been identified.
For months the of the identity of a little girl’s remains found in a suitcase on a roadside in South Australia has been one of Australia’s most baffling cases. Detectives have worked tirelessly to identify the little girl whose bones were found alongside clothes and a quilt in the suitcase, dumped along Karoonda Highway near Wynarka, SA in July this year.
Today it was revealed the girl is Khandalyce Kiara Pearce, born in Alice Springs, Northern Territory in 2006.
And in a major breakthrough police have also found that remains found in Belanglo State Forest in August 2010 are those of Khandalyce’s mum Karlie Jade Pearce-Stevenson. She had been dubbed “Angel” by police and media because she was found with a t-shirt bearing an angelic motif.
In a medial release from SAPOL today the significant development began on October 8 when a call to Crime Stoppers suggested Khandalyce as possibly being the little girl in the suitcase. The caller had not seen Khandalyce or Ms Pearce-Stevenson for some time and believed they were missing.
Major Crime Detectives obtained Khandalyce’s records which showed she was immunised at 18 months. There was no further record of her after that.
Investigators then located a witness who had seen Khandalyce and her mother at Marion Shopping Centre, Adelaide in November 2008. She had taken photos of Khandalyce wearing a pink dress. That dress is 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.
The quilt became a significant part of the investigation and police sought the help of quilters from around Australia to try and identify the young child.
According the police the last known sighting of the pair was on Saturday, 8 November 2008 when Ms Pearce-Stevenson was driving on the Stuart Highway near Coober Pedyin south Australia. Khandalyce was aged just two.
Family and friends of the victims said they were from a loving family but in 2008 Karlie moved away from the family and started to travel.
Head of Major Crime, Detective Superintendent Des Bray said: “Contact with the family became less over time and on 4 September 2009 Ms Pearce-Stevenson’s mother raised a Missing Person Report with the Northern Territory Police.
“It is understood that report was closed on 10 September 2009 after it was believed Ms Pearce-Stevenson was safe and well but did not want family contact,” Det-Supt Bray said.
According to newspaper reports Karlie’s mother had since passed away.
NSW Police Homicide Commander, Detective Superintendent Mick Willing said there were now many lines of enquiry to follow.
“While we will do our best to keep the community informed, we need to first establish fact from fiction and ensure we avoid speculation, which could damage our investigations,” Det Supt Willing said.
Det Supt Bray said: “It is with community assistance that we have reached this very important breakthrough, but it is important to note the identification is only the beginning of the investigation.”
Anyone with information should contact crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.