A woman’s body discovered bound and gagged in a Sydney playground had the DNA of four different men on it.
Nicole Cartwright, 32, was found dumped in a park at Hunters Hill, on Sydney’s lower north shore, in the early hours of October 3 last year.
No one has been charged with her murder.
But Daily Mail Australia can reveal homicide detectives have narrowed their manhunt to a group of men who were all sexually involved with Ms Cartwright in the days leading up to her death.
While charges are yet to be laid, detectives are understood to have identified a prime suspect after obtaining evidence linking the man to moving her bruised and battered body.
When the body of Nicole Cartwright (pictured) was discovered bound and gagged in a Sydney playground, the DNA of several different men was found on it, it can be revealed
Ms Cartwright, 32, was found dumped in a park at Hunters Hill (pictured), on Sydney’s lower north shore, in the early hours of October 3, 2018. No one has been charged with her murder.
Ms Cartwright was last seen on CCTV at Museum train station in the city at 9.14pm on September 30.
Between September 27 and September 30 she travelled across the city, visiting Bondi Junction in the east and St Marys in the west.
Her body was discovered about 7.30am by a council worker who had arrived to open the park gates.
Ms Cartwright was suffering severe head injuries and had her hands tied when she was found.
Drag marks almost 30 metres in length were also located through the nearby park.
Police sources said Ms Cartwright was heavily active on sexual fetish websites in the lead up to her death.
It is understood she met the men whose DNA was found on her body through the websites.
As Strike Force Winkurra was launched to investigate her death a number of the men came forward and identified themselves to police.
From these men police have narrowed their investigations down to a single suspect.
In a statement, NSW State Crime said: Detectives from the Homicide Squad are continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of Nicole Cartwright.’
Ms Cartwright had been regularly using sexual fetish websites in the lead up to her death. It is through these sites that she met the group of men whose DNA was discovered on her body
The gruesome discovery was made by a council worker at Buffalo Creek Reserve on Sydney’s lower north shore about 7.30am on October 3, 2018
Ms Cartwright (pictured) appeared in good spirits as she walked through a city train station on September 30 last year. This CCTV footage is one of the last times she was seen before she died
‘A post mortem examination was inconclusive, and further tests are being conducted to determine how she died.
‘As the investigation is ongoing, no further information is available at this time.’
A friend of Ms Cartwright said her social media posts became ‘increasingly dark’ in the lead up to her death.
‘She was posting a lot of pictures of herself in corsets and skimpy dresses,’ the friend said.
‘Her makeup got darker, her statuses got darker… we were talking and I think she was going through a really tough time.
‘She did begin to reach out sexually, as a lot of people do when they are struggling.’
It is understood the websites used by Ms Cartwright included Fetlife – a network for ‘BDSM, fetish and kinky’ – and Vanilla Umbrella – a dating app for ‘open minded singles’.
Ms Cartwright’s devastated brother Ben shared an emotional message after his sister’s death was confirmed
A community vigil was held for Ms Cartwright at Buffalo Creek Reserve in the days after she was killed
Dozens gathered at the park where Ms Cartwright’s body was found dumped, suffering injuries to her head and with her hands bound behind her back
Ms Cartwright’s father said after her death he did not think anything was ‘off’ until he and his wife a news report.
‘She wasn’t really missing — she lived here but it wasn’t unusual for her to leave for a week or so,’ Terry Cartwright told The Australian.
‘We heard the description report (on the news) and thought something was off.’
Ms Cartwright’s parents reported her missing after seeing news reports and just 24 hours later were told the devastating news when police identified her body.