The sister of the young woman murdered allegedly by a man who then went on a stabbing rampage through Sydney has said her family is struggling to cope with her death.
Michaela Dunn, 24, was found with her throat slit inside the Hotel CBD in central Sydney on Tuesday, with her accused killer then sparking chaos on the city’s streets.
Holding back emotion, Emily Dunn told The Daily Telegraph the family were still processing the death of their loved one.
The sister of the young woman allegedly murdered by a man who then went on a stabbing rampage through Sydney has said her family is struggling to process her death
Holding back emotion, Emily Dunn (left, with Michaela) said the family were still processing the death of their loved one
‘We didn’t know, anything, we’re trying to grieve, we’re all in shock and trying to come to terms with all that’s happened,’ she said.
The 24-year-old is believed to be a sex worker with whom the unemployed Mert Ney, 20, had booked an appointment.
After allegedly slitting her throat, Ney is then accused of fleeing on foot and stabbing Linda Bo, 41, in the back during a six-minute knife spree through the city’s CBD.
A family friend of the Dunn family said Joanne, who works as a cleaner and ‘lives for her children’, was ‘inconsolable’ with grief and not eating.
The sister’s tearful words come after it emerged on Thursday the accused Mert Ney, 20, was a repeat customer of the young woman.
The chief executive of Scarlet Alliance, one of Australia’s leading sex worker advocacy groups, told ABC News what had happened was not ‘at all expected’, and said the pair had met for at least one previous appointment.
The sister’s tearful words come after it emerged on Thursday the accused Mert Ney, 20, was a repeat customer of the young woman
‘There haven’t been incidents, certainly not with Michaela in the past as well,’ she said.
‘It was not something that was at all planned, from what I understand.’
Police have said they are looking through the phone records of Ney and Ms Dunn to determine the nature of their relationship.
Ms Dunn’s mother posted on social media in 2014 heaping praise on her daughter as she graduated from Sydney’s University of Notre Dame.
Police have said they are looking through the phone records of Ney (pictured) and Ms Dunn to determine the nature of their relationship
‘Today is the end of 20 years of Emily’s education, we are the proudest parents. Congratulations as you are admitted to the Supreme Court as a solicitor,’ she wrote.
Her friend Ashleigh meanwhile has shared her grief online with friends, telling them: ‘My world has been taken away from me.’
‘My other half, my best friend and the love of my life. No words are able to describe the light you were, not just to me – but everyone.
‘You were the most beautiful person, inside and out. You would brighten up anywhere you went just by your presence; and now the world is truly a much darker place.’
The best friend of Michaela Dunn has shared a moving tribute to the 24-year-old who bwas murdered in a Sydney apartment on Tuesday
Police believe Ms Dunn and Ney made an appointment to meet at 1.30pm at her Cleveland Street apartment building.
Many tributes had been paid to Ms Dunn since her death, and Ashleigh testified to how much she will be missed.
‘I love you Miks, so much. Thank you for forever being by my side, and just always for being you. I can’t believe you’re not here,’ Ashleigh said.
‘This is something I will never be able to recover from. I don’t know how to breathe without you.’
Ashleigh (left) told friends she didn’t know how she would go on without her best friend, who she said was a ‘light to everyone’
Ms Dunn attended Rosebank College, a Catholic school in Sydney’s inner west, and was studying marketing and public relations at the University of Notre Dame. She had one sister.
Before she began sex work, she was a duty manager at Tenpin City – a job she picked up while at high school.
Her mother Joanne 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’.
She said the pair would see each other every week, when Ms Dunn would visit her mother and leave with packed lunches.
‘I’m never going to be able to hold my baby girl again, I don’t know what I’m going to do,’ she said.
‘I waited until I was 40 to have her, and I loved her so much.’
Ney was seen on CCTV footage leaving Ms Dunn’s building at 1.50pm, and police allege he killed her before fleeing the block in a blood-soaked jumper and then running through the streets of Sydney wielding a kitchen knife.
Ms Dunn was found dead in an apartment on Clarence Street in Sydney about 3.15 on Tuesday. Police believe she was murdered by alleged Sydney knifeman Mert Ney, 20
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)
Pedestrians were seen running in terror as the bloodied man strode along the streets 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.
A spokeswoman for NSW police told Daily Mail Australia on Thursday Ney remained in hospital under police guard, and had not yet been charged.
Ney, 20, remains in hospital under police guard, and is yet to be charged
Ms Dunn is pictured having dinner with best friend Ashleigh just a week before her tragic death
Joan Westenberg dated Ms Dunn’s sister for six years and described the younger sister – who was a 14-year-old in high school at the time the relationship began – as ‘incredible’.
‘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.
‘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.’
Another friend, Holly Witt, told Facebook friends Ms Dunn was ‘my world, my soulmate, my everything’.
Ms Witt said her friendship with Ms Dunn ‘changed her life’ and there would not be another day where she wasn’t desperately missing the 24-year-old.
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
‘You are the love of my life, my hero, my sister, my other half,’ she wrote. ‘I am nothing but honoured to have had you by my side for so long.
‘Honoured, proud, blessed. And completely in love with you, forever and always.’
In recent years, Ms Dunn used her social media profile to comment on those same issues, sharing a petition in 2016 and stating ‘sexual violence and harassment is never acceptable’.
Her high school principal remembered her as a ‘highly successful’ student who was a role model to others.
Tom Galea, principal of Rosebank College in Five Dock, said Ms Dunn – who graduated in 2012 – was one of four Social Justice Captains ‘an accomplished student with a passionate commitment to excellence’.
Ms Dunn was 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
‘She was seen as a mature, resilient young woman and a positive role model … The loss of someone so young, particularly as a result of such senseless violence, will, undoubtedly, have a huge impact on everyone.’
Teacher Fiona Ford said Ms Dunn’s profession was ‘irrelevant’, and the young woman would be remembered as ‘kind, intelligent and compassionate’.
‘She would roll her eyes at the antics of her friends, but was always the first to stand and quietly defend and support them,’ Ms Ford wrote in a moving tribute.
‘Congratulations to her parents and family for raising such a beautiful human being.
‘Vale Michaela. You deserved so much more.’
Ms Dunn was a social justice captain at her high school, which she graduated from in 2012, and is remembered by the principal as a successful student who was a positive role model for others