The baffling disappearance of conwoman Melissa Caddick is set to made into a TV drama billed as ‘a gripping crime thriller’.
Caddick was declared dead on Friday after her decomposing foot was found inside a shoe washed ashore on a NSW south coast beach hundreds of kilometres from where she was last seen alive in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.
Confirmation by police the fraudster is no longer alive has led to production based on her life being given the green light.
The production will be a joint Channel Nine and Stan effort and will explore the story behind her missing millions and the bizarre find of her foot inside an Asics trainer by campers on Bournda Beach on February 21.
A TV drama centred on the life and disappearance of conwoman Melissa Caddick (pictured) has been given the green light in a joint Nine and Stan effort
Confirmation of Caddick’s death came after her decomposed foot (pictured in the shoe) was found by campers on the NSW south coast on February 21
Toni Collette (left) and Rachel Griffiths (right) are rumoured to be among the front runners for the role of Melissa Caddick in a TV drama about her life
‘The mystery of Melissa Caddick’s disappearance and the missing millions has all the elements of a gripping crime thriller, as well as a moving personal tragedy,’ Nine’s head of drama Andy Ryan told The Australian.
According to the publication, rumoured contenders for the role of Caddick include Toni Collette and Rachel Griffiths. Asher Keddie, Danielle Cormack and Yvonne Strahovski are other names said to be in the mix.
Mr Ryan said the drama will be made in a way Caddick’s family would be treated with ‘sensitivity’.
Early planning work on the TV drama had been quietly underway before police issued their statement on Friday confirming Caddick’s death, with her story already gripping the nation before the foot was uncovered.
Caddick vanished from her home in Dover Heights a day after it was raided by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
The 49-year-old was accused of swindling at least $20million from clients, including friends and family, before disappearing on November 12. It is believed ASIC had been investigating her for three months before the raid.
Police suspect Caddick took her own life because she could have reached the Dover Heights clifftops – 300m from her $6.1million home – without being tracked by CCTV cameras.
Caddick’s disappearance sparked wild theories as to her whereabouts but detectives now believe she either committed suicide or met with foul play.
Caddick (pictured left with husband Anthony on the right) has been accused of swindling at least $20million from clients, including friends and family, before disappearing on November 12
Pictured: Map shows the distance between where Caddick’s foot was found, where she was last seen and Friday night’s latest discovery of decomposing body parts
Two bones were found on a beach near where missing conwoman Melissa Caddick’s decomposing foot was uncovered last week
Mystery further deepened when a large piece of torso flesh which included a belly button was found in the sand at Mollymook Beach on Saturday, and two bones washed up on Turra Beach on Sunday. Forensic testing is underway.
Remains resembling human intestines were also found 200km north at Cunjurong Point.
Days after Caddick was reported missing, NSW Police used modelling to determine where her body might wash up if she had died in the water near her Dover Heights home.
The modelling deemed it possible that her body could have drifted as far south as Bermagui, about one hour north of Bournda.
But detectives believe her remains are too fresh to have been in the water since when she went missing.
Caddick was believed to still be alive until the decomposing foot was found, and though she is confirmed dead, when she died is still to be determined.
Superintendent Joe McNulty, commander of NSW Marine Command, said the condition of her body made it appear she was on the run for weeks before her death.
Experts have started mapping the tidal patterns to determine whether is was possible that Caddick entered the ocean around her clifftop home but police scoured the area following her disappearance and did not see a body.
Caddick is survived by her husband Anthony, a 15-year-old son, parents Barbara and Ted Grimley and brother Adam.
Caddick (pictured centre) is survived by her husband Anthony (pictured right), a 15-year-old son, parents Barbara and Ted Grimley and brother Adam.
The route from Caddick’s $6.1million home on Wallangra Road in Dover Heights (pictured) to nearby clifftops is believed to not have any CCTV cameras facing the road or street
Mr and Ms Grimley are said to be ‘furious at ASIC’ for the death of their daughter.
The conwoman used investors funds to prop up a lavish lifestyle, including extravagant overseas trips and designer items.
Her victims were mostly wealthy friends, some of whom invested life savings in Caddick believing they were making returns.
When ASIC and the Australian Federal Police raided the clifftop home, they seized about $1million in couture gowns, designer clothes, handbags, shoes and jewellery.
Corporate watchdog ASIC said last Wednesday the investigation into Caddick and her company would continue as they try and return funds to investors.
‘ASIC’s priority is to seek the return of funds to investors in the most efficient way possible,’ an ASIC spokesperson said.