NEW SOUTH WALES – Australian police have identify the body of a two year old girl found discarded in 2010, near a suitcase on the side of highway and now they know who she is.
DNA analysis showed that the remains are that of two-year-old Khandalyce Kiara Pearce, South Australia Police (SAPOL) said in a press conference Wednesday.
They also revealed that a body found dumped in Belanglo State Forest in the state of New South Wales in 2010 belonged to the girl’s mother, 20-year-old Karlie Jade Pearce-Stevenson.
“You should think of this investigation as being at the start as opposed to the end,” SAPOL’s head of Major Crime, Detective Superintendent Des Bray said.
Months-long mystery solved
The investigation started in July when the child’s body was found by a passerby alongside the Karoonda highway in South Australia.
Officers issued a public call for information to identify the child, but it wasn’t until earlier this month that a phone call to a crime hotline suggested that it may be Khandalyce. DNA testing confirmed her identity.
Forensic testing also led police to identify her mother, who had also suffered a violent death, they said.
The mother and daughter weren’t formally registered as missing.
Karlie Jade Pearce-Stevenson and Khandalyce are from a loving family. Both were born in Alice Springs but we know that during 2008 they moved away from their family and started to travel,” Detective Superintendent Bray said.
Over the next year, contact between the two and their family started to become less frequent, and in September 2009 Pearce-Stevenson’s mother filed a missing person report.
However, a week later it was withdrawn.
“It is understood that report was closed on 10 September 2009 after it was believed Ms. Pearce-Stevenson was safe and well but did not want family contact,” Detective Superintendent Bray said.