It's been just over two weeks since Melissa Caddick, who is alleged to have misappropriated millions of dollars from friends and associates, left her Dover Heights home with nothing, not even her phone, and vanished without a trace.
On Friday her barrister told the Federal Court that the matter was "now a murder investigation". However, this was disputed by NSW Police who insist Ms Caddick's disappearance is still being treated as a missing person case.
Ms Caddick, 49, was last seen by her husband in the early hours of Thursday, November 12. Her teenage son told the police that he heard what he thought was his mother leaving the house around 5.30am.
The previous two days had been a nightmare for Ms Caddick. On Tuesday, November 10, the corporate watchdog ASIC obtained orders in the Federal Court freezing Ms Caddick's bank accounts and properties and preventing her from leaving the county.
Melissa Caddick is alleged to have misappropriated millions of dollars. Credit:NSW Police
The following day Australian Federal Police arrived at her Wallangra Road house to execute a search warrant on behalf of ASIC. Ms Caddick is alleged to have defrauded friends and associates who invested millions of dollars in an unlicensed investment scheme Ms Caddick was operating via her personal company Maliver.
ASIC has suggested that Maliver was using the financial services licence of another company without its authorisation.
Ms Caddick missed the 4pm deadline on Thursday to attend the registry to hand over her passport or any airline tickets. It wasn't until midday Friday, November 13, that her husband of seven years, Anthony Koletti, 38, reported his wife's disappearance to police.
Mr Koletti, a DJ who runs a music production company called Paws Off Productions, told police that his wife regularly went for a run and that her running gear – a black singlet, leggings and silver Nike runners – appeared to be missing.
He also said that she never left the house without her phone. "In this case, this is the only time since I have known her that she didn't have her phone with her."
Establishing exactly when she disappeared is proving difficult as the hard drive for the Wallangra Road CCTV system had been taken by police executing the search warrant.
Anthony Koletti took more than a day to report the disappearance of his wife Melissa Caddick.
Ms Caddick's older brother Adam Grimley has urged his sister to come home. "She's a loving person, a lovely mother, she's a great sister to me," he said.
Detective Inspector Gretchen Atkins said Ms Caddick's disappearance was being treated as suspicious because there was no trace of her.
"She hasn't been in touch with her family. She hasn't been in touch with her friends," she said.
"We don't have any locations that we know that she's been. She hasn't attended appointments that she had, which is why we're really concerned. She doesn't have a phone, doesn't have any access to bank accounts."
On Friday, just over a fortnight since her disappearance, the Federal Court heard that Ms Caddick's disappearance was creating headaches for her legal team. Prior to her disappearance Ms Caddick appeared to have entrusted her affairs to a small law firm in the Brisbane suburb of Graceville.
"There are two scenarios – she may return or she may not return," said her Queensland barrister Jane Muir.
Ms Muir also raised difficulties as to who would be responsible for Ms Caddick's affairs. Incomplete paperwork was causing headaches about the legitimacy of the power-of-attorney Ms Caddick had granted to her brother Adam or her husband.
Melissa Caddick hasn't been seen since November 12.
Ms Caddick was also using a suburban Brisbane accountant. Nicolas Morales, who runs his business from his Hendra home, declined to discuss how Ms Caddick had come to use his services.
It is not suggested Mr Morales, Mr Koletti or Mr Grimley have been involved in any wrongdoing.
Ms Caddick, who was formerly married to corporate lawyer Anthony Caddick, was a former Miss Australia Fundraiser. She started her career as a money market dealer at NRMA Investments and set up her own business Maliver in 2013.
Melissa Caddick with husband Anthony Koletti. Credit:Facebook
In April 2014 she purchased her Dover Heights house for $6.2 million. Title deeds show that she owns 99 per cent of the house and her brother Adam owns 1 per cent.
Two years later she splashed out $2.55 million for an apartment in Ocean Street, Edgecliff.
ASIC has moved to appoint a provisional liquidator to Maliver and has set up a special email email@example.com for concerned investors of Ms Caddick's.
The matter will return to court on December 8, 2020.
Additional reporting by Pallavi Singhal
Start your day informed
Our Morning Edition newsletter is a curated guide to the most important and interesting stories, analysis and insights. Sign up to The Sydney Morning Herald’s newsletter here, The Age’s here, Brisbane Times’ here, and WAtoday’s here.