Cassie Sainsbury: '50 days until everything changes'
ACCUSED Australian drug smuggler Cassie Sainsbury posted a series of cryptic social media comments in the lead-up to her ill-fated world trip, which culminated in her arrest at Colombia's biggest airport last month.
It has already been reported that the 22-year-old Adelaide woman made a series of international trips to and from Australia in the six months preceding her journey to South America, where authorities allegedly found almost 6kg of cocaine inside her suitcase on April 11.
But early this year an opportunity apparently arose that seemed too good for the former personal trainer to pass up.
In a strangely prophetic Instagram post, Ms Sainsbury appears to have been counting down the days until a life-changing event.
The now deleted January 10 post read: "50 days until I make the biggest move I've yet to do ... 50 days until everything changes."
She added the following hashtags: #newbeginnings #newyearnewme #2k17 #dreamjob #bondiliving #life #change #love #50daysleft #goodthingsarecoming.
On January 24, she wrote another post, which has also since been deleted, which read: "Moving interstate driving me cray cray! #save me! Not long before the big move now, super excited and can't wait to leave so much baggage behind."
It is not clear when Ms Sainsbury departed from Australia or from which port but both Instagram posts contain hashtags indicating travel or relocation to Sydney, possibly around March 1 (when the 50 day count down ended).
Her social media trail places her in China later that month and in the US in early April.
On April 3, Ms Sainsbury instagrammed from Los Angeles airport, complaining about the temperature contrast between the two countries: "LAX - so busy yet, so organised. On another note. Going from China's lovely 27 degree weather to LA's 7 degree weather is killing me!"
She appears to have caught a connecting flight to Bogota from LA because authorities record her as having arrived in Colombia on the same day - April 3.
On April 8, she posted a photograph from Bogota along with the comment: "Can't complain about an all expenses paid work trip, in which (sic) is mainly holiday very little work. It's the simple things that are the true beauty in the world. Mother Nature has been putting on quite the show for me over here."
Ms Sainsbury's family has claimed she was on a working holiday to promote her personal training business - a claim which appears to be supported by Ms Sainsbury's Instagram posts which are riddled with fitness-related hashtags.
But her fiance Scotty Broadbridge has told a completely different story, claiming she hadn't done any personal training work for months and that her most recent job involved "helping to manage" a cleaning company.
"Although Cassie is a PT, she is not currently personal training and hasn't been for 6 months. I don't know why that was mentioned at all," Mr Broadbridge wrote on Ms Sainsbury's fundraising page before it was deactivated on Monday night after raising more than $4000.
"She helped manage a commercial cleaning business that had both national and international clients. Unfortunately it's very easy for tourists to get targeted, especially in Colombia."
Mr Broadbridge's sister Jasmin also defended Ms Sainsbury on social media.
"We're all supposed to unite in times like this but I've been reading the most hateful and negative comments that people have been writing about someone who is a total stranger to them," she wrote on Facebook.
"You can assume what you want, but Cassie is a beautiful and strong person and everyone who knows her, even just a little bit, knows that there is absolutely no way she is guilty."
Ms Sainsbury was moments from arriving at Gate 32 at Colombia's El Dorado International Airport when narcotics police swooped on a tip-off from the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
Her luggage tags show she had successfully checked in to board Flight AV120 from Bogota to London's Heathrow Airport, flying with Avianca Airways, Colombia's national airline since 1919.
Police allegedly found 5.8kg of cocaine wrapped in black plastic and stuffed into 15 boxes of headphones that she claimed to have bought on the cheap from a man she befriended who had been acting as her translator in the Colombian capital.
Ms Sainsbury told her mother Lisa Evans that she packed the headphones into her suitcase without checking them and had no knowledge of the hidden contraband.
"I can't believe this has happened to an innocent young woman," her grandmother Barbara Johns said.
"Anyone who knows Cassie, knows she did not do this. It can happen to anyone."
Ms Sainsbury is currently awaiting trial in Bogota's most notorious women's prison, El Buen Pastor (which means "The Good Shepherd"), on drug trafficking charges and faces up to 25 years if convicted.
However that sentence is likely to be reduced to six years if she pleads guilty and four years if she agrees to identify others involved.
The latter option puts Ms Sainsbury between a rock and a hard place, given that spilling the beans on alleged drug syndicate members could see her labelled a snitch, thereby endangering her life inside jail.