If I close my eyes I can imagine them.
A young mother, her blonde-haired daughter. I can see her chubby-little girl body in her pink dress, her hair pulled back in a headband to stop it sweeping across her eyes. I can imagine her mum fixing it a little, tucking away the strands before the photo is taken. Keeping her little girl nice.
I imagine they’ve been shopping together, the little girl struggling to keep up with her mum, her too-small legs tired and aching to hop back in the pram. But the person taking the photo insistent she stands, so she holds onto it gazing toward the camera.
They could be any mother and daughter in Australia. Any mother and daughter out shopping, posing for a photo. Except they are not. Except that this mother and daughter now adorn the front pages of every newspaper across Australia today.
This mother and daughter have become famous for their deaths, the little girl known as the body in the suitcase.
At some stage, perhaps not after that photo was taken they were separated. Whether they were alive or already dead when that took place only one person – or a small group of people - knows and for six long years they have been 1,100km apart.
Detective Superintendent Des Bray from the South Australian police on the updates recent developments. Post continues after video...
A stretch of wide brown land, of towns and a mountain range separating this mother and daughter.
There isn't much we know about them but that one image, that one so very normal moment, having her little girl's photo taken brought a lump to my throat.
As the news broke yesterday that the little girl whose remains were found in a suitcase had been identified – and that her mother too was an unidentified murder victim, I was pushing my own daughter on a swing.
My little girl, her voice with the faintest trace of babyhood still present in each dropped “l” or mispronounced “f” was urging me, almost to the point of annoyance to push her, push her, push me now Mama. Higher.
As I pushed her one-handed I read of Khandalyce. I saw Khandalyce’s shy face juxtaposed with a photo of the suitcase her body spent years disintegrating within.
Push me higher Mama my daughter cried as I learnt of how Khandalyce went off the radar after her 18-month old immunsations and there was never another trace of her again.