The deceased victim of accused Sydney knife attacker Mert Ney has been revealed to be 24-year-old woman Michaela Dunn from Sydney’s inner west.
The woman’s body was located in an apartment in Sydney’s CBD yesterday. Police said that Ney had attended the unit “for the purposes of prostitution”.
Police were led to the unit around the time that Ney was apprehended in Sydney’s CBD on Tuesday afternoon following a rampage with a kitchen knife.
Just after 3pm police were conducting proactive patrols in Sydney CBD following the stabbing of a 41-year-old woman and were alerted to another injured woman in a unit on Clarence Street, NSW police said.
The 24-year-old woman had a laceration to the neck and was pronounced deceased at the scene, police said.
While she has yet to be formally identified, it is believed to be Michaela Dunn, police said in a statement.
Her family are asking for privacy at this time.
It has been reported that Ms Dunn, who went to Rosebank College in Sydney's inner west and attended the University of Notre Dame, was working as a sex worker.
Her social media accounts show that she had recently travelled to Las Vegas and Sri Lanka. Both her Facebook and Instagram accounts have now been deleted.
A ‘beautiful girl’ from an ordinary family
Speaking to 9News, her heartbroken mother said her daughter was a "beautiful, loving woman who had studied at university and travelled widely”.
She was described as a “beautiful girl from a beautiful family” and a typical Sydney woman.
The investigation into the circumstances surrounding Ms Dunn’s murder is being led by detectives from the Homicide Squad under Strike Force Lalchere.
In a touching tribute to the deceased woman, someone has left a teddy bear with a rose and a message written on a love heart outside the apartment where Ms Dunn’s body was found on Tuesday.
“Rest in peace, taken too soon,” the card reads.
Tributes flow in for incredible ‘Mikki’
Friends of the victim have shared their heartbreak online upon hearing the news.
“I’ve known this girl since she was just a kid in high school at 14,” wrote Joan Westenberg, a prominent trans woman journalist.
“Her sister and I were together for 6 years, and Mikki was like my baby sister. I cannot describe how sad and how broken I am at this moment. I loved this kid. She was incredible,” she wrote.
A number of people offered their condolences and messages of solidarity with the sex worker community.
“Thinking of the sex worker community today as they learn yesterday’s knife attack victim was a colleague. Sex workers deserve safe workplaces and better protection,” wrote Nic Holas, campaign director at Change.org.
“Stigma continues to perpetuate sex workers as vulnerable members of our society and yesterday was a cruel reminder of that,” wrote Caitlin Medcalf.
Sex workers condemn the killing, urge respect
A joint press release has been issued by the Scarlet Alliance, Australian Sex Workers Association and Sex Workers Outreach Project of New South Wales condemning the killing and extending their “sincere condolences to those affected by the murder”.
“The sex worker community is devastated by the series of random and senseless acts of violence that occurred in the Sydney CBD yesterday afternoon,” the statement said.
“We note that media coverage of the attack has placed emphasis on the occupation of one of the victims, identifying her as a sex worker.
“We urge those reporting on this story to take greater care around this issue, and to avoid or redact sensationalist coverage that fails to portray her as a whole individual and family and community member who will be deeply missed and mourned.”
The group lamented “significant stigma and discrimination” experienced by the sex worker community.
“Too often our identities, lives and experiences are reduced to our occupation.”
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