“Our hearts have a thousand cuts and we will remain your strength.”
Ms Pearce-Stevenson’s father and her stepbrother, Luke Povey, left a touching tribute in the NT News yesterday.
“No more looking to see if that gir (sic) is you, as we saw someone else in a crowd.
No more waiting to hear.
No more waiting to see you show up smiling again as usual. No more laughter, giggles and pranks.
No more late nights just talking with the music playing.
You are the only one that knows, and you can tell your Mum, Nanna and Grandma when you see them again.
Our hearts have a thousand cuts and we will remain your strength…
Give Khandals a hug for me and Luke sweetie.
Love forever Dad & Luke.”
The family learned only in recent weeks that bones discovered in NSW’s Belanglo State Forest in 2010 and in a dumped suitcase by a South Australian highway just months ago belonged to Ms Pearce-Stevenson and Khandalyce respectively.
The duo were last seen in late 2008 and police yesterday revealed that several suspects assumed the identity of Ms Pearce-Stevenson and accessed her bank accounts, mobile phone and welfare payments.
At least three people are suspected of being involved in the fraud — and potentially the murder — of the mother-daughter duo and misleading family members and authorities so they believed Ms Pearce-Stevenson was alive and well.
They used the single mother’s bank account on hundreds of occasions in four different states since she was last seen alive in late 2008, accessing $90,000 before the account was closed earlier this year, the ABC reports.
Detective Superintendent Des Bray revealed yesterday the offenders used Ms Pearce Stevenson’s mobile phone to text family members as “some proof of life”.
“People we believe may be the offenders and others have taken over Karlie’s identity, her telephone, her bank accounts, her Centrelink and family payments,” he said.
“We need to determine if the people involved in the frauds are involved in the murder and it is most likely that one or more may be involved in some way.”
He said at least one of the suspects involved in the frauds was a male and there were at least two females involved – all of whom lived at, or were connected to, properties in Canberra.
One of the women posed as Ms Pearce-Stevenson, even produced identity papers, when she attended an Adelaide Centrelink office on December 15, 2010.
He said the suspects occasionally used Ms Pearce-Stevenson’s mobile phone to access the message bank and contact her family members, with one woman who pretended to be the victim persuading a family member into transferring money into the victim’s account.
“We know tragically that some of those SMSs were sent to family members to suggest that Karlie was still alive,” Superintendent Bray said.
Police believe the mother and daughter, last seen in Canberra, were killed at different times and in different locations.
The motive behind the shocking double murder is unknown.