The young woman allegedly killed by a man on a deadly stabbing rampage in Sydney's CBD yesterday afternoon has been identified as Michaela Dunn from the city's inner west.

Police allege Mert Ney spent just 20 minutes in Ms Dunn's apartment building for a meeting with the 24-year-old, who was believed to be working as an escort when she died.

The two had met in the Clarence St apartment at 1.30pm but less than 20 minutes later police allege Mr Ney had killed the 24-year-old and fled outside before he ran to Hotel CBD and stabbed Linda Bo, a 41-year-old Costco worker, in the back.

Michaela was found dead in her Clarence St apartment. Photos / NSW police, Instagram
Michaela was found dead in her Clarence St apartment. Photos / NSW police, Instagram

Police issued a statement this afternoon releasing Ms Dunn's name and said her family "appreciate the support offered by the community" and request privacy.

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The heartbroken mother of Ms Dunn told Nine her daughter, a former Notre Dame University and Rosebank College student, was "very much loved".

The mother described her as a "beautiful girl from a beautiful family" who had travelled the world and was loved by her sister.

The mum, who did not appear on camera, told the program she was struggling to deal with the loss of her daughter and stressed the 24-year-old had come from "an ordinary family from suburban Sydney".

Ms Dunn's social media shows she had travelled the world, attending the world-famous Coachella Festival earlier this year and celebrating her New Year's in Sri Lanka. She also backpacked around Europe with a tour group in 2017.

After graduating from Rosebank College in 2012, Ms Dunn studied at the University of Notre Dame, posting pictures of her time on campus.

Friends and family have started to pay tribute to the beloved 24-year-old.

Joan Westenberg, who had known Ms Dunn for 10 years, said she was "like my baby sister".

"I cannot describe how sad and how broken I am at this moment. I loved this kid. She was incredible," Ms Westenberg tweeted later saying "I just want to scream right now".

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"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. The violence in this country cannot continue. It cannot."

The 24-year-old is being remembered as a
The 24-year-old is being remembered as a "beautiful girl". Photos / Facebook

Ms Westenberg also lashed out at people victim-blaming.

"I will not stand for her to be attacked as a sex worker," she said.

"Sex work is work. She was working. She deserved to be safe while she worked. Her job does not make her a lurid story. She was a person and she is now gone. And she is gone because male violence has taken her from us."

In a statement this afternoon, NSW Police said officers were working with the heartbroken Dunn family.

"The investigation into the circumstances surrounding Michaela's murder is being led by detectives from the Homicide Squad under Strike Force Lalchere," police said.

After the death of Ms Dunn, police allege Mr Ney ran down to a city pub where he stabbed a 41-year-old woman in the shoulder.

Heroic bystanders spotted Mr Ney running around the city's streets with a butcher's knife about 2pm before they managed to detain him with chairs and a milk crate.

"Initial inquiries indicate the man had attended the unit for an appointment about 1.30pm and was captured on CCTV leaving the building about 1.50pm," NSW Police said in a statement today.

The woman's body wasn't found until 3pm, in the midst of the extensive police operation.

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller yesterday said Ney was believed to be visiting the young woman for "a business purpose" and today asked if he could confirm whether she was a sex worker.

"I can't confirm. The sort of information that's out there that would glean to the fact that he was there for the purposes of prostitution," Mr Fuller said.

"But in fairness again, we need to canvass and get statements from neighbours. We need to look at her history, look at her social media, before we confirm that."

Mr Fuller said footage has been obtained of Ney in the city, "predominantly" CCTV from the City of Sydney council, in addition to the 20-year-old's phone and past records.


Officers have established Ney made phone contact ahead of an appointment with the 24-year-old victim, who was found dead in an apartment on Clarence St with her throat slit.

"We're rebuilding his movements," Mr Fuller told reporters today.

Mert Ney allegedly went on a stabbing rampage in Sydney CBD. Photo / Seven News
Mert Ney allegedly went on a stabbing rampage in Sydney CBD. Photo / Seven News

He said potentially the past two years of Ney's life will come under the microscope to aid what will be a long-term investigation.

When asked about Ney's whereabouts in the past week, the commissioner said the 20-year-old's family had listed him as a missing person due to concerns for his welfare.

"Police had taken a report for that, and a report around a domestic violence situation," he said.

"He was on the system as 'keep a look out for him' for both of those things … so from our perspective, again, that is not unusual in terms of what we see day in and day out in some houses across NSW.

"And that is not a common theme for someone to then take the next step of coming into the streets of Sydney with a knife and killing people and threatening to kill people."

Mr Fuller said it appears Ney recently self-admitted to hospital "following a medical issue" and there were subsequent mental health assessments.

Ney reportedly presented to the Blacktown Hospital emergency department on August 7 due to a drug overdose and was later discharged, according toThe Daily Telegraph, but then absconded from an ambulance on August 8 while in the care of paramedics.

Ney is also believed to have been living in places other than his family's home in Marayong, in Sydney's west, in the days preceding his dramatic arrest.

The dramatic end of the rampage. Photo / Seven News
The dramatic end of the rampage. Photo / Seven News

"There's a property in Blacktown where we believe he was staying, so we're looking at that premises," Mr Fuller said, noting it was subject to a search warrant overnight.

"If he's been couch-surfing and homeless for some time, then we need to find every location that he's stayed in.

"We need to backtrack his history, not just the last 48 hours, but the last, potentially, two years."

Nine News reported Ney was "agitated" and "rambling" the night before the stabbings, telling other youths in a "safe house" that he'd been kicked out of home and had left a mental hospital.

The police commissioner said they are looking for additional crime scenes.

Mert Ney's family, who live in Marayong in Sydney's west, had reported him as a missing person. Photo / News Corp Australia
Mert Ney's family, who live in Marayong in Sydney's west, had reported him as a missing person. Photo / News Corp Australia

"I ask if anyone saw something suspicious, if there's a neighbour or a person who saw changes in him (Ney), or saw him go to any place of worship, please come forward," he said.

"Any piece of information will be so important in terms of piecing this together quickly and making the necessary links, if we need to, to terrorism or to other potential crimes."

Mr Fuller said Ney had some "low-level issues" around theft and malicious damage, and some domestic violence issues linked back to his family, but described his criminal history as unremarkable.

Ney remains under police guard at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and is yet to be charged.