Daniel James Holdom allegedly stamped on the victim’s throat and crushed her windpipe before leaving her body in the forest
Sydney: A man pleaded guilty on Tuesday to killing a young mother and her toddler, whose skeleton was found in a suitcase on the side of a road, ending a case that baffled police and shocked Australians.
Daniel James Holdom, 43, admitted to the double murder in 2008 of Karlie Jade Pearce-Stevenson, then aged 20, and her two-year-old daughter, Khandalyce Kiara Pearce, when he appeared in the New South Wales state Supreme Court.
Pearce-Stevenson’s bones were discovered in 2010 in Belanglo State Forest in New South Wales, notorious as the site where seven backpackers’ bodies were dumped during a serial killer spree in the 1990s.
Police were unable to identify her until 2015, when her child’s remains were found by a passerby in a suitcase near a highway close to a small South Australia town some 1,100 kilometres (684 miles) away.
The child’s discovery prompted two calls to a police hotline that eventually helped investigators identify the pair through DNA.
Holdom, who had a short relationship with Pearce-Stevenson, allegedly stamped on her throat and crushed her windpipe before leaving her body in the forest, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph reported, citing court documents.
Police also alleged he kept photos of Pearce-Stevenson’s body as a “trophy”.
A few days later, Holdom claimed he was driving her daughter to South Australia to her grandmother’s house. But he killed her, placed her body in a suitcase and dumped it alongside the highway.
He will be sentenced in late September.