NSW Police have charged a 41-year-old man over the alleged murder of single mum Karlie Pearce-Stevenson.
Pearce-Stevenson was found in a NSW forest in 2010. Her young daughter Khandalyce was found inside a suitcase dumped by the side of the road almost 1100 kilometres away at Wynarka, in SA’s Murray Mallee, in July this year.
On Wednesday, police took a man into custody at Cessnock Police Station, at about 4.15pm AEDT.
"He was later charged with murder and has been bail refused to appear at Maitland Local Court [on Thursday]," police said.
"Inquiries into the murder of Khandalyce are continuing."
Speaking to media on Thursday, Homicide Squad Commander Detective Superintendent Mick Willing said police believed Pearce-Stevenson was murdered in late 2008.
"We will allege Karlie was murdered between the 14th and 15th of December 2008. She sustained certain injuries to her body but I can't go any further into those injuries," Willing said.
"We believe Khandalyce was murdered at some point after but we are trying to establish the exact time."
Willing said legal and operational reasons prevented him from going into any further detail on the circumstances around Pearce-Stevenson's death, or about the investigation into Khandalyce's death.
"We need time to get this right... I know you [the media] need and want answers but we need time to get this right... I cannot answer any questions, I ask you bear with me," he said.
"We don't want to jeopardise anything."
On Tuesday, Police said they believed Pearce-Stevenson's bank account was accessed hundreds of times after she was last seen alive in late 2008.
"People we believe may be the offenders and others have taken over Karlie's identity, her telephone, her bank accounts, her Centrelink and family payments," Detective Superintendant Des Bray said.
"We need to determine if the people involved in the frauds are involved in the murder and it is most likely that one or more may be involved in some way.
"It's clear that some of the people involved in the frauds knew without doubt that Karlie and Khandalyce were dead and continued with their role."
Det Supt Bray said it was believed the mobile phone was kept and used to provide "proof of life" and to mislead family, friends and law enforcement by suggesting Pearce-Stevenson was still alive.
Police say a woman posed as Pearce-Stevenson during a 2010 bank, and again at Centrelink later that same year.
It has also been reported two women and a man are thought to have been involved in the identity theft and in the use of the mobile phone.Suggest a correction