Here's What Really Happened To Melissa Caddick

You may have never heard of Australian conwoman Melissa Caddick but that doesn't mean her crimes are unimpressive. If you're not tuned into news from Down Under, you may have missed the staggering amount of money she is believed to have stolen under the guise of running an investment fraud, when it was really just a good, old-fashioned Ponzi scheme.

According to The Daily Mail, Caddick, the subject of the series "Vanishing Act," roped in 60 friends and family members, ultimately taking in a total of $30 million (she did repay $7 million, for what it's worth). Long known by associates for her chic appearance, pricey handbags, and other trappings of success, the carefully crafted image came crashing down on November 11 of 2020. That's when Australian Securities and Investments Commission raided her $6.1 million pad looking for key evidence.

That November date is also significant because it was the last time anyone saw Melissa Caddick alive. After the raid, she vanished, seemingly into thin air.

Melissa Caddick's deceit began long ago

As The Daily Mail reports, Caddick's trail of deceit started long ago — at least according to former acquaintances. As a former friend explained, "We'd be at dinner and she would say "that's a beautiful butter knife" and she'd steal it." OK, maybe not such a big deal but it would appear that getting away with the little things emboldened Caddick to move on to bigger targets — like forging her boss's signature at a job she worked when she was 28. That was comparatively small potatoes though, as she allegedly stole only $2,000.

Though the two cases have very different circumstances, her compulsive lying — about even small things — is eerily similar to others who've dominated the headlines for less-than-terrific reasons, like Casey Anthony. And it appears, those closest to her are still angry. As Now My News reports, Caddick's former personal trainer (who entrusted Caddick with her finances and you can probably guess how that turned out) told Australia's "60 Minutes," that "[Caddick's] a narcissist. Evil woman. I hope you're watching this Melissa. I can't wait to see you in a jail cell."

As the world would soon learn, however, Caddick likely never heard her former friend speak those words.

Melissa Caddick's story comes to an end

After that November raid on her home, Caddick's whereabouts were unknown — at least until February, 2021. According to Yahoo! News, that's when a decaying human foot found inside a sneaker washed up some 400 km away from where she was last seen in Sydney. The remains were later found to be hers, according to ABC Australia, leading to theories Caddick most likely died by suicide.

But, much like other facets of Caddick's life, the explanation may not be so simple. As reported by ABC Australia, authorities are now considering the theory that Caddick was alive much later than initially suspected, given the condition of the remains, which suggested a much more recent death.

Or — there's the possibility Caddick isn't dead at all. Though the foot has conclusively been proven to be hers, some speculate she could just be running a new (and extremely alarming) scam: faking her own death. New South Wales Police Commissioner Mick Fuller told The Sun that when it comes to serial scammers, it's best to keep all options open. "There's always a chance she cut her foot off and is still alive," said Fuller, "but that's pretty fanciful but nevertheless we haven't closed this case."

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.