A WATER polo coach was discovered dead following what seemed to be a hammer-wielding beating by her former partner.
The primary suspect, Lilie James’s twenty-one-year-old ex-boyfriend Paul Thijssen, has now been discovered dead. Lilie James was brutally murdered in Sydney.
James was a St. Andrew’s Cathedral School employee who was discovered dead after sustaining “serious head injuries” in the school’s gym.
On Wednesday, 25 just after midnight, police discovered Lillie’s body after Thijssen, her coworker, called to report her death.
He became the main suspect in the murder as a result.
A week or so prior to the tragic murder, the couple had ended their covert romance after dating for a few weeks.
Given the marks left on the young woman’s head, police characterized the murder scene as “confronting” and concluded that the violent attack was probably carried out with a hammer.
James and Thijssen had met a few hours prior to the fatal altercation at school.
According to police-discovered CCTV, Thijssen can be seen following James into the restroom before heading out on his own more than an hour later.
Four hours later, someone called the police to report that there was a body on the school property.
James hadn’t returned home and wasn’t picking up her phone, so her family had also called the police.
At a news conference the following day, Superintendent Martin Fileman said that the victim had suffered severe brain injuries.
He said that the Police Air Wing and ground personnel were searching for a suspect outside the Day Street Police Station.
He said: “We are looking for a male in his early 20s. He is employed by the school.
“The female is an employee of the school. (She had) serious head injuries.
“The scene was quite confronting.”
Thijssen’s phone was traced to “The Gap” in Vaucluse near the Sydney Harbour, a place notorious in Australia for having a chilling past.
His body was later found on Friday morning in the water at the bottom of the cliff near Diamond Bay Reserve.
It was described as being collapsed between rocks, naked, bloated, and damaged.
Unsettling security camera footage caught Thijssen’s last moments as he approached the precipice.
The Daily Telegraph claims that around 9:03 p.m., surveillance cameras capture the accused killer—dressed in black—leaving his car and strolling along the cliffside walkway.
In the brief video, he approaches a trash can that the police have cordoned off after receiving reports that the murder weapon may have been placed within.
In an effort to locate any evidence, more than 25 uniformed police searched the Sydney region, rummaging through shrubs and gutters.
Along with a forensics team, police patrols were dispatched, and plain-clothed detectives spoke with locals.
In addition, helicopters were dispatched to search for the individual.
After earning his degree from St Andrews, Thijssen, who relocated to Australia from the Netherlands in 2015, was a productive coach at the school for both hockey and cricket.
The Daily Mail says that he spent eighteen months in Australia alone due of the Covid-19 outbreak, a fact that some have suggested may have had a negative impact on his life.
“Yr12 exams will be held in BBC as normal. Yr5 camp will continue as normal.”
An update later in the morning said: “No students were involved in the incident. Police are currently conducting an investigation in the SAH building. We will keep you updated.”
In a statement, James’s heartbroken family said: “We are devastated and heartbroken by the loss of our beautiful Lilie James.
“She was vibrant, outgoing and very much loved by her friends and family.
“We are tremendously grateful for the support of the community at this difficult time.”
Lillie’s friends also gave her heartfelt messages of love after they heard of her death.
One friend said: “There was nothing you couldn’t do, beautiful girl. Fly high Lil, we will miss you forever.”
While another wrote: “Lilie was the most kind, caring, funny and supportive friend there is.
“I could never think that we would lose our friend in these circumstances.
“Our world is so cruel. Thank you for the memories and the good times Lilie.”
Flowers were laid outside the school and a service of prayers for the school’s staff, students and families has been set up.