Michaela Dunn: Sydney stabbing victim, 24, identified

A handout picture released by the New South Wales Police of Sydney stabbing victim Michaela Dunn Image copyright AFP PHOTO / NEW SOUTH WALES POLICE
Image caption Tributes have poured in for the 24-year-old following her death

The woman killed in a knife attack in central Sydney on Tuesday has been named as 24-year-old Michaela Dunn.

Ms Dunn was found dead inside an apartment after a 20-year-old man was detained by the public and then arrested for allegedly stabbing another woman in the street.

The former student was reported to have been working as a sex worker at the time of the attack.

Her mother remembered her on Wednesday as a “beautiful, loving woman”.

Ms Dunn had “studied at university and travelled widely”, she added in an interview with local network 9News.

In a statement on Wednesday, police said Ms Dunn had suffered a “laceration to her neck” and was pronounced dead at the scene at about 15:00 local time (05:00 GMT) on Tuesday.

It said initial police inquiries suggested that a man had entered the apartment for “an appointment” at about 13:30 and was captured on CCTV leaving the building about 20 minutes later.

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Media captionDramatic video shows Sydney stabbing suspect’s arrest

A man, widely named by Australian media as Mert Ney, was arrested shortly after 14:00 after a 41-year-old woman was stabbed in the street.

Homicide squad detectives are investigating both stabbings.

A police official told the BBC that Mr Ney was expected to stay in hospital overnight on Wednesday and that official charges would be laid once he was in custody.

Police said Ms Dunn’s family appreciated the support they were receiving but “requested their privacy at this difficult time”.

Tributes poured in following her death.

“I cannot describe how sad and how broken I am at this moment. I loved this kid. She was incredible”, friend Joan Westenberg wrote on Twitter.

She described Ms Dunn as “a true delight to know.”

A joint statement by leading sex workers associations in Australia said Ms Dunn was a “whole individual who will be missed and mourned” .

“There is significant stigma and discrimination experienced by sex workers and too often our identities, lives and experiences are reduced to our occupation,” they said. “Sex industry workers are worthy of the same rights and protections as those working in other professions. They are equally deserving of empathy and consideration when befallen by tragedy.”

Ms Dunn was also remembered by Sydney’s Rosebank College, which she attended before studying at the University of Notre Dame.

“The college remembers Michaela as a highly successful and much valued student,” principal Tom Galea told The Sydney Morning Herald.

“She was seen as a mature, resilient young woman and a positive role model”, he added.


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