Murder at elite school horrifies Australia
As Australia awoke to the news that a body had been found in a Sydney private school’s bathroom, horror rippled throughout the country.
After a chilling triple-zero emergency call, police arrived at St Andrew’s Cathedral School just before midnight.
As they approached the scene, they found Lilie James, 21, dead, with extensive head injuries.
She is believed to have been murdered hours earlier – allegedly with a hammer – according to local media sources citing anonymous sources.
Her colleague, 24-year-old hockey coach Paul Thijssen, was captured on CCTV entering the bathroom after her. Later, Thijssen emerged alone after making the call to authorities.
Local media have reported that Ms James recently ended her relationship with Thijssen, although police have yet to comment publicly about a potential motive. It had only been five weeks since they had seen each other.
After Thijssen called in the tip-off from Vaucluse, police launched a major manhunt in the cliffside suburb.
On Friday morning, they discovered a body that was later identified as Thijssen, along with items “associated with the homicide” – allegedly the murder weapon.
In the aftermath of the death of Ms James, friends and family remembered her as a kind friend and an avid sportswoman.
Swimming and dancing were also among her passions as a teenager, and she competed in both, along with water polo. Additionally, she worked at the school while studying a sports business degree at university.
According to her family, Ms James was vibrant, outgoing, and well loved by her friends and family.
Our hearts are broken and we are devastated.”