News National Man, 41, charged with Khandalyce murder

Man, 41, charged with Khandalyce murder

Karlie and Khandalyce
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A 41-year-old man charged with the murder of Karlie Pearce-Stevenson in October has been charged with the death of her daughter.

Daniel James Holdom, 41, was charged last month with murdering Ms Pearce-Stevenson, five years after trail-bikers stumbled upon her remains in the Belanglo State Forest south of Sydney.

NSW Homicide Squad Detective Superintendent Mick Willing told reporters that Holdom had been charged with the murder of Khandalyce, who was aged just two.

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The pair suffered “violent deaths”, he said.

“This investigation has been intense, we have followed a lot of lines of enquiry and we believe we have sufficient evidence to lay the charges we have today,” he said.

“We will be alleging Khandalyce was murdered here in NSW a short time after Karlie’s death, we are talking about a couple of days.”

Holdom did not emerge from the cells during a brief mention at Parramatta Local Court on Tuesday afternoon and did not apply for bail, which was formally refused by Magistrate Joan Baptie.

Det Supt Willing would not confirm if other people would be charged in relation to the deaths, and only said the investigation was ongoing.

The remains of Khandalyce Kiara Pearce were found in a suitcase beside the highway near the South Australian town of Wynarka, in July.

Hikers discovered her mothers skeletal remains in New South Wales’ Belanglo State Forest in 2010, more than 1000km from Wynarka.

But it was not until DNA tests identified Khandalyce late in 2015 that the two were connected.

Both Khandalyce and Karlie, who was 20 at the time of her disappearance, were reported missing in the Northern Territory on September 4, 2009, by Karlie’s mother, but police said the report was later withdrawn.

Ms Pearce-Stevenson was a single mother and had moved away from her family with Khandalyce between 2006 and 2008, intending to travel and work.

She was last seen driving a car with Khandalyce on the Stuart Highway near Coober Pedy on November 8, 2008.

Police have also said Ms Pearce-Stevenson’s bank account was used to access almost $100,000 and her phone used to contact family to make it look like she was still alive long after she was dead.

In a statement delivered by South Australian Victims’ Rights Commissioner Michael O’Connell, the family of the young mother and daughter welcomed the latest development in the case.

“It is welcome because those who loved Khandalyce want her killer called to account for such a despicable crime,” the statement said.

“It is also welcome because, until now, Khandalyce’s grandfather has worried that somewhere there was a child killer or child killers at large, so other children might not be safe.”

The case against Holdom, whose address is listed in court papers as Sydney’s Silverwater jail, is due to return to court next month.

– with ABC/AAP

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