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    This Young Mother's Killers Allegedly Texted Her Family Asking For Money

    SA Police believe the murderers texted their victim's friends and family pretending to be her for years after her death.

    Police investigating the murders of a Northern Territory woman and her two-year-old daughter believe the offenders used her phone to provide proof of life and swindle up to $90,000 after she was killed.

    Sa Police / PR IMAGE

    20-year-old Karlie Jade Pearce-Stevenson and her daughter Khandalyce Kiara Pearce were last seen alive on the Stuart Highway near Coober Pedy in 2008.

    Ms Pearce-Stevenson's remains were found in Belanglo State Forest in NSW in 2010. Five years later, her daughter's remains were found in a suitcase by the side of a South Australian highway in July this year. It took an extensive investigation and a call to Crimestoppers before police were able to identify the young girl and match it to her mother's DNA.

    The mother of Karlie Jade Pearce-Stevenson, Colleen Povey, had reported them missing in September 2009, but then withdrew it after she was reassured that they were alive and well.

    Police say Ms Pearce-Stevenson's bank account was accessed hundreds of times by several different people after her death in 2008. They also pretended to be her in interviews with Centrelink and sent texts from her phone until mid-2011.

    Dean Lewins / AAPIMAGE

    "We know from time to time that the message bank on Karlie's phone was accessed. And in response to that, offenders sent some replies to those text messages, confirming that Carlie was alive and well and elsewhere," said Detective Superintendent Des Bray from SA Police.

    "We know tragically that some of those SMSs were sent to family members to suggest that Carlie was still alive."

    Police say a female pretended to be Karlie in communication with her friends and family in order to get them to send her money and access family benefits payments.

    In 2010, they said a woman in a wheelchair went to a bank with identity documents and managed to convince them that she was Karlie.

    “All up we believe over $90,000 was transacted through her account,” Det Supt Bray said.

    Police revealed that they believe the mother and daughter were murdered at different times and in different places, but would not go into details of cause of death, except to describe it as "violent and deliberate".

    Police will be door-knocking 25km radius zone around #Wynarka as part of #MajorCrime investigation into child's death

    In response to media reports that it could be the work of a serial killer, Det Supt Bray said there was no evidence to suggest that it was the case.

    Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or at

    Alexandra Lee is a politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney, Australia.

    Contact Alex Lee at

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