WARNING: This article contains details some may find distressing
Police have confirmed a decomposed foot found by campers near Tathra belongs to Sydney businesswoman Melissa Caddick who has been missing since November 11.
Police said a group of walkers at Bournda Beach, about 25km south-east of Bega on the NSW Far South Coast, located a running shoe containing human remains on Sunday, February 21
Officers from South Coast Police District attended just after 1pm and seized the shoe and remains, which were sent for forensic examinations.
Assistance was sought from specialist police attached to the State Crime Command's Missing Persons Registry and Homicide Squad.
Following the examination and analysis by NSW Health Pathology, the remains have been confirmed as belonging to missing woman Melissa Caddick.
The 49-year-old wife and mother was last seen at her Dover Heights home during the evening of November 11, 2020.
She was reported missing on November 13, and detectives from Eastern Suburbs Police Area Command established Strike Force Cordillera to investigate the circumstances surrounding her disappearance.
Strike force detectives will continue to conduct inquiries - with the assistance of Missing Persons Registry - into the circumstances surrounding Ms Caddick's death.
This will include further searches around the Bournda Beach area and along the NSW coastline.
In a media briefing on Friday morning, February 26, police said despite the foot being significantly decomposed, DNA was able to be extracted and then matched to DNA samples from Ms Caddick's toothbrush and family members.
"All we were left with was a decomposed foot, so obviously it had been in the water for some time, but luckily forensic investigator were able to extract DNA," Assistant Commissioner Michael Willing, Central Metropolitan Region Commander, said.
The manner of how, where and when she entered the water is still unknown and the subject of ongoing investigations, including the possibility she may have taken her own life, he added.
"The family was informed last night and are obviously distressed.
"Clearly these circumstances are distressing for many people - for Ms Caddick's alleged victims and for her family and friends."
Court-appointed liquidators have been piecing together Ms Caddick's business dealings and yesterday said she "meticulously and systematically" deceived investors out of millions of dollars.
Ms Caddick disappeared the day after ASIC executed a search warrant at her Sydney home on November 11.
"We have conducted extensive investigations right from the day she disappeared, but there's been not one confirmed sighting," Assistant Commissioner Willing said.
The police also said modelling of ocean currents indicated there was a real possibility something entering the water at Dover Heights on November 11 could have made it as far as Bermagui and Tathra by now.
However the police said they would not be ruling anything out, even foul play, and that the manner and timing of Ms Caddick's death would be a matter for the coroner.
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