Friends have spoken in memory of a Sydney woman killed in Tuesday’s CBD attack, saying her violent death has been overshadowed.
The body of Michaela Dunn, 24, was found in an apartment on Clarence Street after the lunch-hour stabbing rampage.
Friends have paid tribute to the sex worker who has been described as a “bright young woman” and “true delight”.
Her mother told Nine she was a “beautiful girl from a beautiful family” and “very much loved”.
Michaela was known to her friends as “Mikki” and had recently been on a months-long overseas trip with friends to Sri Lanka and the USA.
The privately-educated university student was also reportedly outspoken about violence towards women and online harassment, urging people to sign a petition, The Australian reports.
Her family and friends were reportedly unaware she was working discreetly for a sex-for-hire service at an apartment she shared with a friend.
Police believe Ney attended the Clarence Street unit for “the purposes of prostitution” before terrorising the Sydney CDB armed with a large butchers knife.
The 20-year-old alleged killer was captured on CCTV arriving at the apartment building at 1.30pm on Tuesday and leaving about 20 minutes later.
Ms Dunn was later found at the apartment with a laceration to her neck and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Ney is expected to be charged with murder, as well as serious assault for allegedly stabbing 41-year old Linda Bo at the Hotel CBD.
He remains under police guard in hospital and is yet to be charged.
Sex worker Rose Harper told the ABC Ms Dunn’s death had been overshadowed by the heroes who stopped Ney’s rampage.
“In a few articles I’ve read it’s [her death] been tacked on like a footnote almost … they don’t even necessarily use the word ‘woman’; they just use her job title,” Ms Harper said.
“It’s quite abrupt and it reminds the whole sex-worker community that it might be all we’re known as some day.”
“If something unfortunate does happen to us … I wouldn’t be ‘Rose’, I would just be ‘that sex worker’.”
Australian Sex Workers Association issued a statement saying women who worked in the field should not be portrayed in sensationalist terms according to their trade.
“Michaela Dunn was a woman, a community member, and a whole individual who will be missed and mourned.
“Emphasising the occupation of one victim … perpetuates stereotypes of sex workers that blames them when they are victims of crime, and in this case detracts from the tragic fact that a young woman was murdered by a violent man in Sydney’s CBD.”
“Sex industry workers are equally deserving of empathy and consideration when befallen by tragedy.”
Investigators are trawling through Ney’s electronic devices, social media accounts and family home as they try to determine why the 20-year-old sought to kill and injure innocent people.
Police say Ney was carrying a USB stick with information about recent mass casualties in New Zealand and the United States, and could be heard on video footage shouting “Allahu akbar”.
NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said the rampage had not yet been classed as a terrorist incident and the “lone actor” had no known links to terrorist organisations.
Mr Fuller also said Ney had recently self-admitted to a mental health facility and had been listed as missing by family.
Ney’s sister told reporters on Wednesday that Ney had been domestically violent in the lead-up to the incident and suffered several mental illnesses.
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