A transgender sex worker’s suspected killer remains on the run – as pictures show the neat and tidy beachside unit where her body was found.
Kimberley McRae, 69, was found dead at her Coogee apartment, about 10am on Tuesday last week.
Homicide detectives are yet to confirm Ms McRae’s cause of death, pending further testing, but sources said she may have died by strangulation.
Pictures of the Mount St unit showed fingerprint dust plastered over the kitchen cupboards and walls, pots and pans stacked on the stove and medication atop a small fridge.
A portable air conditioning unit sat in the middle of the lounge room.
The unit has since been cleared out by police, neighbours said this week.
Kim McRae was found dead inside her Coogee unit (above). Pots and pans sat on the kitchen bench, medication atop the fridge and a portable aircon unit had been set up
Ms McRae was a well-known identity in the beachside suburb, and recently wrote a book about her struggles with gender identity
Crime scene fingerprint dust on the front door to Ms McRae’s apartment where she had lived for the past six months before she was found dead
Ms McRae’s worried sister contacted the real estate agent when she couldn’t raise her. The agent and police then made the horrific discovery of her murdered body inside the Coogee unit
New South Wales Police said the last known sighting of Ms McRae – a well-known identity in the area – was on Tuesday, January 7.
But unit block residents claimed they had seen her more recently than that.
‘I’m positive I saw her on Friday, just before we went away to the Central Coast for the weekend,’ one resident said.
‘We returned on Monday and then on Tuesday the real estate agent found her body.
‘Her sister apparently tried to call her but she wasn’t answering so she contacted the real estate agent, but they couldn’t get onto her either.
‘It’s so sad, she was always really lovely and would say hello to me and my kids each time we saw her.’
Ms McRae had lived at the current apartment block for the past six months, and prior to that in another building on the same street for almost 12 years.
Police said she lived alone and did not own a vehicle, but was known to walk and exercise in the area and had ‘distinct personal style with recognisable features’.
New South Wales Homicide Squad boss Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty said the seven days following her last official sighting on Tuesday remain a mystery.
‘Investigators are aware Kim worked in the sex industry and may be known to some of her associates as Isabella, Samantha and Sabrina,’ Det Supt Doherty said.
‘Of course, we’d be keen to speak to anyone who has information or knowledge of Kim’s social activities.’
Ms McRae, who also uses the first name Sabrina, was a well-known transgender identity in Coogee, in Sydney’s east
A friend Presley Hunter (right) described Ms McRae (left) as ‘an icon of Coogee for over a decade’
Under the name Isabella Lawson, Ms McRae wrote a book last year titled ‘Hey Boys, She’s Got a Gash and other Tales of Gods – A Memoir’ – which detailed the struggles of being transgender.
‘Isabella Lawson lays her soul bare in this intense and beautiful memoir. Lawson’s life is rich in experience, she’s pretty much tried everything and built an anthology that she articulates with bold poetic prose,’ a description of the book read.
‘Maintaining a hopeful outlook without blame or regret she shines a spotlight on conservative Australia in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, the harsh values and gender repression and expectation.’
A resident who lived near Ms McRae said police had canvassed several apartment blocks on Mount Street in the early part of this week.
‘They knocked on our door and told my wife of a suspicious death in a neighbouring apartment building,’ the man said.
‘I wasn’t home at the time but they asked my wife if she’d heard any shouting of screaming on the Friday before.’
Ms McRae wrote a book last year under the name Isabella Lawson, which detailed the struggles of a transgender person living in Sydney’s east
Another man said he regularly saw Ms McRae out walking, describing her as ‘the best known person in Coogee’.
‘She was always out walking around town and with big hair and glasses, it was very hard to miss,’ he said.
A friend Presley Hunter paid tribute to Ms McRae and described her as one of the kindest people.
‘She was certainly an icon of Coogee for over a decade. She was ‘out there’ but she’s the kindest person I’ve known,’ she said.
Daily Mail Australia understands Ms McRae’s body had been inside her apartment on Mount Street (pictured), Coogee, for several days before neighbours raised the alarm
Police said a post mortem examination had been conducted, but further tests are required to determine exactly how Ms McRae died.
An autopsy is currently being performed by the state coroner which detectives hope will provide a clearer idea of how she died.
Anyone with information about Ms McRae’s death is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.