Lawyer says missing Melissa may have been killed
Melissa Caddick's lawyer has claimed NSW Police are now treating her disappearance as a murder investigation.
But police have formally denied this outside of court and said the matter is still being treated as a missing person investigation.
Ms Caddick, 49, was last seen by her husband just after midnight on November 12 inside their Dover Heights mansion and there is a belief the finance worker may have left her home at 5.30am the next day to go for a run.
It has since emerged that Ms Caddick was being pursued in the Federal Court of Australia by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, which moved to seize the 49-year-old's assets and bank accounts prior to her disappearance.
In the Federal Court on Friday, barrister Jane Muir told the court police were treating the disappearance as a murder investigation. She said given the demands on their time in assisting police in their investigation it was making it difficult to take legal instructions from other members of the family, Ms Caddick's brother, Adam Grimley and husband, Anthony Koletti.
No family members are suspected of any involvement in the disappearance of Ms Caddick.
"It's very difficult for them to provide us with timely instructions given the other claims on their time that are referable to the first defendant being missing," Ms Muir told the court.
"Family matters and, in Mr Grimley's case, I understand he is also spending time assisting the police with what is now a murder investigation," the barrister told the court.
However, a NSW Police spokesman later said this was not the case.
"It is a missing person investigation until we have evidence to the contrary," a NSW Police spokesman said. "If people have information about the missing woman they should call Crimestoppers 1800 333 000."
The court was also told the nature of ASIC's case against Ms Muir related to investor money that was either with Ms Caddick, her company, or in some other corporate entity.
In responding to ASIC's claims for a need to get the court case heard before Christmas, Ms Muir told the court there was no danger to investor funds.
"Bank accounts have been frozen," Ms Muir told the court. "I don't know where the money is that investors paid … If it's in frozen bank accounts, for example, then…it would seem no danger to investors if that's where their funds are.
"If there's some other danger to investors then there needs to be an explanation of why it is that provisional liquidation and an appointment of a receiver is going to protect them and currently that's missing.
"That's really important because if ASIC is trying to force on a party before the Christmas break when it is experiencing the difficulties that I have explained there needs to be a very good rationale and our position is that there simply isn't," Ms Muir told the court.
The case was put over for a week to allow the parties to sort out who can appear for Ms Caddick and her company in circumstances where she has disappeared without giving proper legal instructions.
Originally published as Lawyer says Melissa may have been killed