She attempted suicide three times, she watched her long-term partner die of a
terminal illness and her new partner allegedly beat her severely.
Then she disappeared in 2012.
Six years later, police have identified bones, found in Laycock Street in
Cranebrook in Sydney's north-west, as having belonged to Ms Ardler.
Forensic tests reveal the bones belong to Ms Ardler, definitively proving what
her family have long believed - she was murdered.
"The finding of her remains is a major breakthrough," Detective
Superintendent Scott Cook told Fairfax Media on Wednesday.
"It makes it clear she's not a missing person, and she was murdered," he
Investigators from Strike Force Barsley are hoping that an announcement on
Thursday of an increased reward of $750,000 sparked by the discovery will be
enough to catch her killer.
The investigation has involved forensic examination of a number of items
found at the site where her remains were located.
It is not known how Ms Ardler died, but the scene where her remains were
found make it clear she died at someone else's hands.
Police are particularly keen to speak to any of Ms Ardler's friends or
associates about any information they may have, as her sisters Margaret and
Tracey and mother Irene prepare to make an emotional appeal for the public's
help on Thursday.
The investigation of Ms Ardler's murder was handed to the Unsolved Homicide
Squad following a coronial inquest into her disappearance in 2016.
Deputy State Coroner Teresa O'Sullivan found that Ms Ardler was killed by
person or persons unknown in the three weeks between her 41st birthday and
The inquest's findings characterised her as coming from a "close and loving
family", and someone who moved around a lot "but always kept in contact"
with her immediate family, stepson and step grandchildren.
The 2016 inquest heard "chilling" accounts from a number of witnesses that
her relationship with partner Dennis French was "extremely violent".
One neighbour, Kellie Nixon, told the inquest that she saw Mr French punch
his partner in the face, hit her with a stick and had heard she was stabbed
in the mouth with a fork.
Ms Nixon spotted Ms Ardler and Mr French waiting at a bus stop together
three days after Ms Ardler had told her neighbour about being stabbed with
She had a black eye and a "busted lip" that day - the last time she was
Mr French remains the only person of interest identified by the 2016
coronial findings, but has not been charged with his partner's death.
A $100,000 reward was announced for information regarding her disappearance
"Find it in your heart and give her back," said Tracey Ardler through tears
at the announcement of the initial reward.