Police in Australia have made a double murder breakthrough after detectives formally linked two bodies found five years – and more than 1,200 kilometres (750 miles) – apart.

Australian Police Make Double Murder Link

In July this year, the decomposed body of a two-year-old girl was found beside a road in a remote area of South Australia.

She has now been identified as Khandalyce Pearce – the daughter of Karlie Jade Pearce-Stevenson, whose skeletal remains were found in a New South Wales state forest in 2010.

The discovery of the two bodies had baffled police in two states, until a tip-off on a crime prevention hotline a fortnight ago.

“This is one of the most shocking crimes imaginable and has torn apart and devastated a loving family,” said Detective Superintendent Des Bray from South Australia Police.

“Those responsible for this crime are truly evil and remain amongst us in the community and must be held accountable for what they have done.”

Police have now renewed an appeal for public help to solve the murder mystery.

Khandalyce’s body was discovered after a driver spotted the suitcase dumped on the side of a highway near the small South Australian town of Wynarka.