Ms Cartwright’s was found bound and semi-naked. Picture: AAP Image/Supplied by NSW Police
Ms Cartwright’s was found bound and semi-naked. Picture: AAP Image/Supplied by NSW Police

Cryptic clue could solve murder

DETECTIVES believe a travel card could provide key clues of the final movements of a popular Sydney woman whose bound and semi-naked body was found dumped near a playground.

Nicole Cartwright's body was found close to 30m drag marks at Buffalo Hill Creek reserve in Hunters Hill on Sydney's lower north shore last week.

Police have now discovered her Opal card and say she travelled in a huge loop around Sydney - stopping at Bondi Junction, St Marys, Strathfield, Central, Ashfield and Museum stations by train in the days before her death.

 

The last time she tapped off was at Museum station in the city's CBD at 9.30pm on September 30, three days before she was found dead.

Police are now examining the movements carefully and hope they can provide a vital clue in solving the brutal murder.

Her sister-in-law Jackie Cartwright took to Facebook to reveal the murdered 32-year-old had deleted all of her social media accounts before she disappeared.

Ms Cartwright’s body was discovered last Wednesday. Picture: Instagram
Ms Cartwright’s body was discovered last Wednesday. Picture: Instagram

The chilling message came after a colleague of Nicole's tagged a friend in a story asking whether it was really her who had been killed.

"We are trying to find people that she was friends with to invite to her funeral but are finding it hard as she deleted all her social media," the heartbroken sister-in-law responded.

"If you do know her, please contact me or her brother so we can forward on funeral details."

Police have obtained CCTV of Ms Cartwright - who lived with her parents in far western Sydney before her murder - travelling on a bus between Town Hall and Ashfield on September 28.

Police don't know how the 32-year-old died but say she suffered injuries "consistent with assault" and was bound.

Officers on Wednesday released CCTV footage of the last time Ms Cartwright was seen, at Museum station at 9.30pm on September 30.

A travel card could provide crucial details of her final movements. Picture: AAP Image/Supplied
A travel card could provide crucial details of her final movements. Picture: AAP Image/Supplied

Her remains were found three days later in the same clothes. Detective Superintendent Scott Cook says once homicide investigations go beyond a few days, they become more "baffling".

"At the time she was located she was wearing a dark jacket with a hood and a black and white dress with long black pants underneath," Supt Cook said.

"She also had a pair of black boots on and a purple collar. The clothing is consistent with the clothing she had at Museum Railway Station and the clothing she had in her possession at the time.

"She was covered in some leaves and bark. We're not sure when she was placed there.

"We don't have a cause of death at this stage but she did suffer injuries suffice to say they're consistent with assault, she was bound, with hands in front of her body."

Ms Cartwright is said to have deleted all her social media. Picture: Instagram
Ms Cartwright is said to have deleted all her social media. Picture: Instagram

Police want to hear from anyone who may have seen Ms Cartwright travelling on the trains, who has dashcam footage of Pittwater Road or who was a friend of hers.

Ms Cartwright lived with her parents at Lansvale in Sydney's southwest and had a wide circle of friends.

When she was discovered by a council worker in a secluded wooded area at the Buffalo Creek Reserve at Hunters Hill last Wednesday morning, she had been wrapped in an orange blanket, still clothed, and had both her hands bound in front of her.

A post-mortem examination on Friday found she had been beaten by her killer or killers, who had left drag marks for up to 30m before attempting to hide the body with bark and leaves.

Supt Cook said her family was "devastated" by the loss.

Her brother, Ben took to Facebook yesterday to reveal his family's devastation.

"It is with very sad and heavy hearts that we announce that our beloved daughter, sister and friend Nicole Cartwright has sadly passed away," he wrote.

"Thank you for all the love and support we have received from family and friends over the last few days."

Forensic officers at the scene. Picture: Jenny Evans.
Forensic officers at the scene. Picture: Jenny Evans.

Her father, Terry told The Australian he didn't want to believe it was Nicole when he and his wife Brenda heard the new that police had found a body last week.

"She wasn't really missing - she lived here but it wasn't unusual for her to leave for a week or so," he said. "We heard the description (on the) report and thought something was off."

 

 

Officers examine a bin at the playground. Picture: Jenny Evans.
Officers examine a bin at the playground. Picture: Jenny Evans.

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