The 24-year-old woman who was allegedly killed inside a Sydney apartment by a man accused of rampaging through the CBD with a large knife has been identified as Michaela Dunn.
Ms Dunn was found dead in the apartment about 3.15 on Tuesday afternoon, just over an hour after Mert Ney, 21, had allegedly caused chaos on Sydney streets, stabbing Linda Bo, 41, in the back.
She attended Rosebank College, a Catholic school in the inner west, was studying at the University of Notre Dame and had one sister.
Her mother told Nine News Ms Dunn was a ‘beautiful, loving woman who had studied at university and travelled widely’. She also said the young woman was ‘very much loved’.
Pictures shared to social media showed Ms Dunn travelled through Sri Lanka and the US in the past year, as well as previously holidaying in Europe.
Police said while the body had not yet been formally identified, it was believed to be that of Ms Dunn.
‘While her family appreciate the support offered by the community, they have requested their privacy at this difficult time,’ a statement from police read.
‘The investigation into the circumstances surrounding Michaela’s murder is being led by detectives from the Homicide Squad under Strike Force Lalchere.’
Michaela Dunn, 24, was allegedly murdered at a Sydney apartment by Mert Ney on Tuesday
Police believe Ms Dunn was a sex worker and Ney had been her client earlier in the day, having made an appointment to see her at 1.30pm.
Ney was seen on CCTV footage leaving the building at 1.50pm, and police allege he killed her before fleeing the block in a blood-soaked jumper and causing chaos through the streets of Sydney.
Detectives are going through the pair’s phones to establish the nature of their relationship.
Police believe Ms Dunn was a sex worker, and had arranged to see Ney as a client at 1.30 on Tuesday. Her body was found about 3.15pm – little more than an hour after Ney allegedly stabbed a second woman in the back
The victim had a personal listing on Locanto under the section ‘men seeking women’, The Daily Telegraph reported.
Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said Ney had visited the woman for ‘business purposes’.
‘It appears he (Ney) was there for a business purpose,’ he said.
Ms Dunn has been remembered as ‘incredible’ by Joan Westenberg, who said she first met Ms Dunn when she was a 14-year-old ‘kid’ in high school. Ms Westenberg dated Ms Dunn’s sister for six years.
‘Mikki was like my baby sister. I cannot describe how sad and how broken I am at this moment,’ she wrote on social media.
‘I loved this kid. She was incredible.’
‘I am angry that male violence has taken another victim. Selfishly I am so angry that the victim is a young woman I deeply respected and cared about. Mikki was a true delight to know.’
Ms Westenberg also said Ms Dunn ‘deserved to be safe while she worked’, adding that ‘sex work is work’.
‘Her job does not make her a lurid story. She was a person and she is now gone.’
Heartbreaking post made after the Lindt Cafe siege by woman, 24, who had her ‘throat cut in Sydney knife rampage’
Ms Dunn visited the ‘field of flowers’ following the Sydney siege and shared a picture of the makeshift memorial to Instagram. ‘I pray that we will never have to see anything like this ever happen again,’ she wrote at the time
The 24-year-old alleged victim of Sydney’s knife attack shared a heartbreaking photo of the floral tributes in the wake of the 2014 Sydney siege.
Michaela Dunn was found dead in the Clarence Street apartment about 3.15pm on Tuesday, just over an hour after Mert Ney, 21, allegedly caused six minutes of chaos across the CBD.
Almost five years earlier the city faced a similar danger when gunman Man Haron Monis held 18 people hostage at Lindt Cafe in Martin Place.
The 16-hour standoff in December 2014 ended with the deaths of employee Tori Johnson and customer Katrina Dawson.
Sydney residents were united in grief after the tragedy and began to place floral bouquets at Martin Place.
Ms Dunn visited the ‘field of flowers’ following the siege and shared a picture of the makeshift memorial to Instagram.
‘Every time I see this see this sea of flowers it gives me goosebumps,’ she wrote.
Ney’s sister has apologised to the family of his alleged victim, saying: ‘Sorry a million times.. I’m just really sorry to the victim’.
One of Ney’s sisters, who declined to give her name, said her brother had a ‘steep descent into insanity’ and she wanted him to ‘suffer’ and be punished severely by the law for what he had allegedly done.
‘I want him to suffer. I want them to just put him in like the worst mental health institution where it’s like jail,’ she said.
A sister of Mert Ney, who is accused of killing a woman before stabbing another in Sydney, says she is heartbroken at the news
The woman said she felt ‘shocked, angry, disgusted – I hate my last name’ in remarkably candid comments near the family home in western Sydney.
‘Mostly I just want to say sorry to (the victims),’ the tearful sister said. ‘She (the slain 24-year-old found dead in a unit) was like, younger than me.
‘She could’ve been like going out in a few hours to go shopping with her mum, eat dinner with her boyfriend, her girlfriends and s***. She can’t do that now, can she?’
‘All the words I could say isn’t ever going to bring her back … I’m really sorry, she was like, defenceless and everything.’
Ms Ney told reporters on Wednesday she ‘hated her last name’ and was struggling to comprehend what her brother had done
Mert Ney is accused of killing a woman before running through the Sydney CBD with a large knife and stabbing another. He was restrained by civilians and firefighters using a crowbar, a chair and a crate (pictured)
She said Ney needed to face the repercussions of his alleged actions. ‘I want him to suffer, I want them to put him in the worst (most severe) mental health institution.
‘But I know the law might be lenient or oh, he’s mentally ill, we’ll let him go. Then another woman’s going to die.’
She added: ‘I don’t want to go near him. If this happened to like family members you know, you wouldn’t want to go near them, would you?’
The sister praised the actions of the heroes who brought his alleged rampage to a swift end with milk crates and chairs as ‘commendable’.
Her mother was so stressed by the incident she had to see doctors on Tuesday night and hasn’t been eating, she said.
‘I wish there was a way I could make it better for her,’ the sister said.
Ney’s distraught mother broke down in tears when she was told her son had been arrested and even told police they ‘got the wrong man’.
Another of the sisters, Yazel, has also revealed she reported her brother to police just six days before the alleged rampage, claiming he punched her in the face and choked her, The Daily Telegraph reported.
Police confirmed they were searching for Ney last week in relation to the domestic violence allegation. Ney was also known to police over a series of minor crimes and faced court in June after he was caught with weapons, including knuckledusters.
The sister, who declined to be named, said she wanted her brother to suffer for what he had done, and to be put in the worst (most severe) mental health institution to stop him from hurting anybody else
Police discovered a knuckle duster and toy gun at the family home of the Sydney CBD knife rampage accused just months ago, after they were called to his house to deal with an incident.
Court documents said NSW police were called to Ney’s home for an ‘unrelated matter’ on April 5 that resulted in him being ‘taken to Westmead Hospital for treatment’.
While at the home, officers noticed ‘one black metal knuckle duster’ on a book shelf in his room as well as parts of a green and black toy Glock ‘scattered’ on another shelf, a facts sheet said.
Ney later admitted owning the knuckleduster, saying he ‘purchased it a number of years ago from the internet’ and ‘never took it out of the premises.’
He was charged with possessing a prohibited weapon and pleaded guilty to the charge after appearing at Blacktown Local Court unrepresented.
Ney was sentenced to a nine month conditional release order which banned him from committing any offences.
The sister said extremist material allegedly found on a USB stick on Ney’s person was ‘news to me’.
She said it seemed he was ‘using religion as an excuse’ and that her family were not Islamic.
‘I saw a lot of news about terrorism and stuff,’ she said. ‘My family don’t practise Islam.
‘I know I’m dark skinned and look like I’m from the Middle East, that’s going to be a obvious thing.
‘But obviously, how I’m dressed, I’m not Islamic. My mum’s not Islamic, my sister’s not Islamic, my dad’s probably straight up atheist’.
‘We’ve got like nothing to do with Islam at all.’
She said her brother may have screamed ‘Allahu Akbar’ to scare people, that she was estranged from him.
‘It’s a scary thing to hear… It could be a tactic I guess, that’s it.’
The family had feared he was a ‘threat to himself’ last week, and confirmed he had absconded from a hospital mental health ward last week. Police have confirmed he was then reported missing.
The heartbroken sister (pictured) of the accused Sydney knife rampager has apologised to the family of his alleged victim, saying: ‘Sorry a million times.. I’m just really sorry to the victim’
The sister said she was ‘so shocked’ when she found out what happened.
‘I was coming back from the city. I didn’t hear anything about it until people said hey, look at the news.
‘I still can’t believe it’s him.’
She said the family never thought he was violent but he was known to be mentally ill.
She broke down in tears after speaking to reporters, saying she never would have thought he was capable of what he allegedly did.
‘We didn’t know he would do this … he’s never been violent in the past’.
The dead woman’s neighbours said they were shocked by the gruesome killing, and said they had not heard a thing.
Sindy Tang (pictured), who lives on level three of the building where the dead woman was found, had been at work during the ordeal and returned home on Tuesday night to find police surrounding the building
Accused Sydney CBD knifeman Mert Ney was filmed in the back of a police van after his arrest in Sydney on Tuesday afternoon
A sex worker was later found with her throat slashed inside her central city apartment (Pictured, her neighbour’s apartment)
Sindy Tang, who lives on level three of the Clarence Street building, had been at work during the ordeal and returned home on Tuesday night to find police surrounding the building.
She told Daily Mail Australia she was worried at first when she saw the news, but does not feel unsafe living in the building.
‘It’s a bit scary because you move into the city thinking you’re going to be nice and safe and close to work … I guess anything can happen anywhere.’
She said she did not know the woman who was killed and was unaware of any sort of sex trade happening in the apartment next door.
The distressed family of accused Sydney CBD knifeman Mert Ney have arrived home in dramatic scenes after the family home was raided by police at midnight last night
Relatives (pictured) appeared distressed as they made their way inside their home following Tuesday’s incident, where one woman was stabbed and another was killed
Neighbours of the 24-year-old sex worker were shocked when they heard of the gruesome killing, many claimed they did not hear a peep on the day she died
A teddy holding a rose and a small bunch of flowers were placed outside of the apartment where a woman’s body was found on Tuesday afternoon. The note read: ‘Rest in Peace, Taken too soon’
She said it was mainly office workers and families coming in and out of the building.
Another neighbour, Ketki Gupta, said she was still struggling to comprehend what had happened.
‘I’m absolutely shocked,’ she said.
‘I’ve lived here for like three years, and there’s never been anything like this.’
Ketki said the apartments were nice inside, and most of her neighbours were quiet. She said she hadn’t met the woman living next door, and didn’t know her name.
The woman said she had come home for lunch on Tuesday afternoon at about 1.30pm.
One woman lashed out at reporters saying: ‘I’ll say things after … you guys are going to have to wait’ before she returned inside
During this time, she said she heard nothing coming from next door, and had no idea of the chaos that was about to unfold.
Pedestrians were seen running in terror as the bloodied knifeman charged through the street yelling ‘Allahu Akbar’.
Ney was eventually detained at about 2pm as heroic workers from nearby offices made a citizens’ arrest, and police were soon on the scene.
He was taken to hospital under police guard and was yet to be charged.
He has been described as a ‘quiet loner’ who ‘spent all day on the computer’, with western Sydney locals confessing they never would have expected such violence from him.
SISTER OF CRAZED SYDNEY KNIFEMAN WAS ‘CHOKED AND PUNCHED DAYS BEFORE RAMPAGE’:
A sister of the man accused of going on a violent rampage through central Sydney claims she was choked and punched by her brother just days before the alleged attack.
The city was thrown into chaos on Tuesday afternoon when Mert Ney, 21, stormed through the centre of the city brandishing a large kitchen knife.
A woman was found with her throat slashed inside a nearby unit and another was found in the back of a pub with a stab wound to her back.
Ney, 21, grew up in a brick home (pictured) in Marayong, near Blacktown, the middle sibling of two siblings and the son of Turkish-Cypriot parents
Ney was detained at about 2pm as heroic bystanders made a citizens’ arrest, and police were soon on the scene.
His sister Yazel told The Daily Telegraph she notified police about her brother just six days earlier after she was allegedly punched in the face and choked.
‘He ran at me, punched and choked me, I couldn’t breathe.’
Police earlier confirmed they were on the search for Ney last week in relation to a domestic violence issue.
Yazel said she felt disgusted at her brother’s alleged behavior and called him a ‘monster’.
She claimed her brother had battled depression and schizophrenia for a number of years but she could not pinpoint where the trouble began.
Ney lived with his Turkish-Cypriot mother and his two sisters and was ‘not much of a talker.’
A school photo taken of him in Year 8 showed the teenager smiling in his Blacktown Boys High School uniform.
Ney grew up in a brick home in Marayong, near Blacktown in Sydney’s west, the middle of three siblings and the son of Turkish-Cypriot parents.
‘He was not much of a talker,’ said Reen Elomari, who went to primary school with Ney at Marayong Public.
Another man who went to high school with Ney told Daily Mail Australia his former classmate recently converted to Islam, and had been posting about his newfound religion on social media.
‘He always used to walk fast, not many friends, never used to say anything.
‘I always used to see him roam around the streets alone. I would see him around my house. I’d see him maybe a couple of times [at the shops at Westpoint], just alone’.
One of his sisters would play hot potato in the front yard of one of Ms Elomari’s relatives, but the shy boy refused to participate and would stand there with his arms crossed.
Police are seen taking evidence from Ney’s home in western Sydney on Monday night after spending hours inside
Ney stands accused of shutting down Sydney’s CBD during a terrifying rampage that left a 24-year-old sex worker dead. The woman’s body is seen being taken from her home
‘He’d say, ”time to go home”,’ she recalled.
She and family members said they never would have anticipated the violence and were stunned when Facebook began lighting up with reports of the identity of the accused knifeman.
A school photo taken of Mert Ney in Year 8 shows the otherwise ‘lonely and weird’ teenager smiling in his Blacktown Boys High School uniform
Another neighbour, Jenny Threadgold, said he was believed to have mental health problems and reports have claimed he had absconded from a treatment facility in recent days.
Friends who went to school with Ney claim he had recently converted to Islam and was an ‘odd person’.
A man who was in the same class as Ney in high school said he was shocked at reports he was behind the attacks.
‘I always thought he was a bit weird and he was always posting [on Facebook] about converting [to Islam] and stuff like that,’ the man, who wished to remain anonymous, said.
‘[But] I didn’t expect him to go this far.’
Ney’s Facebook page has since been deleted.
Another school friend claims to have spoken to him just last week, saying he planned to attend a music festival.
Police Commissioner Mick Fuller today revealed that he had been reported missing before Tuesday’s dramatic rampage on Clarence Street.
Stunned onlookers were frozen in the street as the man with a knife (pictured) began his rampage through the streets
It was later revealed he had been staying at a halfway house in Blacktown, in western Sydney, on the night before the alleged attack.
Courtney Ridgeway, 19, and Nathan Tgiy, 16, told Nine News they met Ney on Monday night and described him as ‘agitated’ and ‘scary’.
The pair said they were in the room next to his and heard him discussing terrorism.
Ney is currently under police guard at hospital but is expected to be charged with attempted murder and assault when he is deemed medically fit to speak with police.
Police said Ney was carrying a USB stick ‘suggesting he had some ideologies related to terrorism’ and referencing the Christchurch mosque attacks and mass shooting in the U.S.
Commissioner Fuller said investigators would be looking at his Facebook history and searching chatrooms to see if there is some evidence link to terrorism.
Police have not ruled out possible terrorism charges, he said.
He said there was nothing globally to link him to terrorism but they haven’t interviewed him yet.
‘I mean, just having some footage saved on a USB drive is not a leap far enough for me to say that this is a terrorist incident.
‘But obviously, it’s extremely concerning and it is the starting point of a long-term investigation.’
HOW THE SYDNEY STABBING UNFOLDED:
* 2pm: Police receive calls about a man armed with a knife and wearing a balaclava wandering York Street in Sydney’s CBD.
* Officers arrive to find a 41-year-old woman suffering a stab wound at the Hotel CBD on the corner of King and York Streets.
* A short time later, three members of the public detain Mert Ney, 21, before he’s arrested by police.
* 3.15pm: The body of a 24-year-old woman is found in a Clarence Street unit.
* Police investigate whether the body is linked to the earlier stabbing.
* 5.30pm: NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller confirms the two crimes are linked and reveals Ney has a history of mental health issues.
* Police say the Marayong man has no links to terrorist organisations but does have some ‘ideologies in relation to terrorism’.
* Ney was allegedly carrying material ‘about other crimes of mass casualties and mass deaths around the world’, the commissioner says.
* Detectives conduct a thorough search of Ney’s western Sydney home
*Police reveal Ney had arranged to meet with the sex worker at 1.30pm on Tuesday. CCTV footage shows Ney leaving the apartment building at 1.50pm
Alleged attacker Mert Ney is believed to have acted at random, and is expected to be charged. He is seen being restrained by witnesses and police
A man with a knife (left) can be seen walking towards a bystander (right) who was forced to use a chair to protect himself
WHAT THEY SAID ABOUT THE SYDNEY CBD STABBING:
SUPERINTENDENT GAVIN WOOD: ‘A number of members of the public physically restrained the offender. They were significantly brave people. To approach a person with a mindset (that) this person did, with clear evidence of a stabbing previously, these people are heroes.’
WITNESS PAUL O’SHAUGHNESSY: ‘My brother, he was the hero. He got a grip of him, along with another guy we don’t know, and put a crate on his head. He was just mumbling religious things.’
@JACKHUDDO ON TWITTER: ‘So insane! A random dude just started stabbing people in the city right outside where we were having lunch.’
WITNESS DAVID VAUX ON THE ABC: ‘I was walking towards Wynyard Park and this man came running around the corner … and then came about five or six other men chasing him.’
‘They were armed with crowbars and one man had an axe and another man who was fireman, I think, had some firefighting implement and also then a man with a news camera on his shoulder.’
PRIME MINISTER SCOTT MORRISON ON TWITTER: ‘The violent attack that took place in Sydney this afternoon is deeply concerning. The attacker is now in police custody following the brave actions of those who were present at the scene and were able to able to restrain him.’
FEDERAL LABOR LEADER ANTHONY ALBANESE: ‘The details aren’t fully known yet but we congratulate the NSW Police on the work that they’ve done and amazingly brave bystanders who took action to apprehend this man.’
‘Very scary visuals, the fact that people were putting their own lives on the line by taking action was an act of incredible bravery and I certainly pay tribute to them.’
NSW POLICE COMMISSIONER MICK FULLER: ‘All the evidence we have at hand would link these two crimes (the killing and stabbing).’
‘There was certainly information found on him about other crimes of mass casualties and mass deaths around the world.’
NSW POLICE MINISTER DAVID ELLIOTT: ‘If you want to behave in this sort of manner … be aware, it’s not just the police that’ll respond, it’s the citizens, it’s the firies, it’s the ambos, it’s anybody else who thinks their city is going to be given that sort of disrespect.’
Police said Ney had previously been involved in a series of minor crimes, but nothing that compares to these allegations.
According to The Daily Telegraph, Ney had a weapons charge dismissed by a magistrate in June.
He was caught with knuckledusters, but was let off under a Section 10 without conviction in Blacktown Local Court.
Police went to Ney’s home in Marayong following a ‘concern for welfare’ report and found the knuckledusters.
He pleaded guilty to having the weapon and was sentenced to a conditional release order, while no conviction was recorded.
Linda Bo was stabbed in the back and was taken by ambulance from Hotel CBD at the corner of King and York Street in Sydney
Ney, wearing a grey hoodie covered in blood wielding a large knife could be seen yelling in the street as hundreds of people fled for their lives
The conditions included that he seek help for his mental health.
Weeks later, on August 7, Ney arrived at Blacktown Hospital’s emergency department after suffering a drug overdose.
He was last seen bursting out of an ambulance at 6.40am the following day and police were informed.
Medication was also found close to the spot he was apprehended – and was identified as a drug used to combat anti-anxiety called antinex, Channel Seven reported.
‘I was just acting on instinct’: Hero bystander recounts the moment he pinned crazed knifeman to the ground using a MILK CRATE after stabbing a woman and attacking others in Sydney’s CBD
Heroic bystanders managed to stop a blood-soaked man who allegedly went on a stabbing rampage at Sydney’s Wynyard train station on Tuesday just after 2pm.
Covered in blood and wielding a large knife, Mert Ney, 21, could be seen yelling in the street as hundreds of people fled for their lives.
Luke O’Shaughnessy, 30, a champion Muay Thai boxer from Manchester, who watched as the incident unfolded, managed to subdue the crazed attacker by putting a milk crate over his head.
‘It was terrifying mate, it was really bad,’ his brother Paul, 37, a former professional soccer player, told Daily Mail Australia.
A heroic bystander has managed to stop a blood-soaked man who allegedly went on a stabbing rampage at Sydney’s Wynyard train station on Tuesday just after 2pm
‘I was just acting on instinct really. We all just kind of followed suit and just did what we could’.
‘Obviously there’s something clearly wrong with him, he didn’t look normal or anything like that’.
‘It was an intense moment. I’ve got a lot of emotion running high as well. It was pretty scary stuff’.
Paul, who owns a recruitment company on nearby King Street, said they heard ‘a big kerfuffle and shouting’ and thought they were witnessing a terror attack.
‘Luke, my brother, popped his head out and said ‘what’s going on? There’s a guy holding a knife’,’ he said.
Luke O’Shaughnessy chased the attacker and managed to pin him to the ground