3 theories about Vanishing Act fraudster Melissa Caddick’s death including ‘amputated foot’ and ‘unreliable’ husband

3 theories about Vanishing Act fraudster Melissa Caddick’s death including ‘amputated foot’ and ‘unreliable’ husband

FRAUDSTER Melissa Caddick disappeared just hours after cops raided her house as they pinned a massive £16million Ponzi scheme on her.

The Australian mum was thought to have vanished without a trace in 2020 – until a shoe with a decomposing foot inside was found in the months that followed.

ITVMelissa Caddick, pictured with husband Anthony Koletti, disappeared after a Ponzi scheme was pinned on her[/caption]

7 NewsShe was gone without a trace until a shoe with a foot matching her DNA was found months later[/caption]

The DNA matched Caddick‘s, and a coroner ruled in May 2023 that Melissa was dead.

The mum’s disappearance – which came after she scammed family and friends out of $30m AUD (£16m) between 2012 and 2019 – has been reenacted in ITVX‘s drama Vanishing Act.

A number of theories still surround her movements after she left her husband Anthony Koletti and son in the early hours of November 12, 2020.


After what was thought to be Caddick’s shoe was found washed up on a beach in Sydney, cops said they believed she’d killed herself in the hours after they raided her home.

The police said they thought the 49-year-old had jumped off the cliff at Rodney Reserve, just 500m from her home, in the hours after they stormed her home.

Husband Koletti, who claims he knew nothing of his wife’s crimes, said this was a theory he backed too.

He told The Sun in 2023: “I believe she did take her life but I don’t listen to all the theories

“You can’t dwell on that because then you’d be in that rabbit hole forever.”

However, a coroner ruled that the “evidence” didn’t point to suicide as the way Caddick died.

And, police also later confirmed there was no CCTV to suggest this either.


Rumours also swirled that Caddick may have cut off her own foot in a bid to throw cops off the scent.

In February 2021, three months after she went missing, a shoe containing a decomposed human foot had been found washed up on Bournda Beach, 500km from mum’s home.

The shoe matched her size and the description of the shoes she was wearing during the raid and DNA testing of samples from the foot and her toothbrush, as well as family members, confirmed it belonged to Melissa.

Oceanographers examined goose barnacles found on the foot and learned the limb had likely been floating for three to seven days off the coast of New South Wales.

Earlier this year the court heard amputating the foot at the point of the ankle would not be considered “lethal”.

However, for someone to stay alive they’d need professional medical care after the foot was removed.


Koletti has always claimed he knew nothing about his wife’s crimes.

But the coroner took jabs at him for “burdening” police – and giving multiple versions of what happened in the lead-up to her disappearance.

He also didn’t report Caddick missing until November 13 – around 30 hours after she vanished.

Koletti then refused to go to the Rose Bay Police Station to make the report. 

The coroner said in May, 2023: “I have formed the opinion that it is likely that on 13 November, 2020 Mr Koletti had some awareness of Ms Caddick’s movements over the previous two days, but chose not to disclose it.

“I accept that Mr Koletti’s inherent unreliability imposed upon the investigating police a significant burden.”

Koletti, however, told The Sun earlier this year he also felt left in the dark around his wife’s disappearance.

He said: “Do I feel like I’ll ever get answers? No, I don’t.

“She’s passed and that was all that mattered to me. Nothing hurts worse than the loss of a loved one, especially someone that you love 100%.

“So I think the rest of it is just sort of dealing with it and making it work for everybody involved.”

7 newsMelissa’s husband as labelled ‘unreliable’ by a coroner[/caption]

ITVRumour also swirled that the mum may have cut her own foot off[/caption]

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