Tragic twist after woman’s body washes up on a Sydney beach – following wild speculation about her identity
- Woman’s body has been found washed up on popular beach on Sydney’s east
- Shocked locals came across the horrific discovery at Bronte shortly before 6am
- Northern end of the beach closed off as police launch investigation into death
- It is understood the death is being treated as a self-harm incident
- For confidential support, contact Lifeline: 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue: 1300
- Do you know more? Email [email protected]
A young woman whose body was washed ashore on a popular Sydney beach is believed to have taken her own life.
Police were called to the northern end of Bronte Beach in the city’s east around 5.45am on Wednesday after a call from a member of the public who found the body.
Police confirmed on Wednesday the death was not being treated as suspicious.
It is now understood the tragedy is a self-harm incident.
The woman had been floating near the shoreline for hours before she was discovered, with witnesses recalling seeing what they thought was a mannequin in the water as early as 5pm on Tuesday.
Police were called to the northern end of Bronte Beach in the city’s east around 5.45am on Wednesday after a call from a member of the public who found the body
Officers quickly erected a tent on the beach and set up a crime scene
Bronte resident Jacquie said she was shocked by the grim discovery just metres away from her home, where she has lived for more than a decade.
‘It’s so awful. Just awful,’ she said.
Another bystander, Hamish, added: ‘It’s pretty shocking. [As a local] you’d like to know what happened.’
Surfers who braved dreary conditions to hit the waves at Bronte on Tuesday evening told Daily Mail Australia they spotted a body-like mass ‘surfing with them’ nearby.
A police tent was set up metres from the shore with the northern end of Bronte Beach closed to the public
Local residents said they were shocked by the grim discovery on the beach
They were convinced there was little chance it could be a human, and with no lifeguards back onshore to make a report, they did not contact the police.
‘It was pretty shocking. It wasn’t nice to see. It was face down so I could see the back. It was weird. It was naked so we thought it must be a dummy, ‘ one surfer told Daily Mail Australia.
Another said the dark and stormy conditions had prevented them from confirming exactly what the object was.
‘We saw what we thought was a body, but no one wanted to get close to it [to check],’ he said.
The one glaring problem with frenzied ‘Melissa Caddick’ speculation
Social media has erupted with speculation the body could be that of missing financial advisor Melissa Caddick, 49, who vanished 18 months ago amid a police probe into her company.
But the theories have been dispelled by a leading forensic expert.
Professor Johan Duflou, former clinical director of NSW’s Department of Forensic Medicine, said there’s little chance a body that’s been in the ocean for over a year would be intact.
‘I think it would be highly unlikely there would be anything at all remaining after nearly 18 months in the ocean,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.
‘That’s because of animal predation and the effects of water on the body, along with decomposition.’
Police have also said the body appears to be of a woman around half the age of Ms Caddick, with the victim estimated to be in her 20s to 30s.
Officers at the scene on Wednesday covered the remains before they were carried from the beach on a stretcher and taken away in a van.
The discovery fueled a wave of speculation that it could be the corpse of missing conwoman Melissa Caddick who vanished 18 months ago – which was swiftly dismissed by police and a leading forensics expert.
Police said the corpse appeared to have been in the water for a lengthy period of time. But they believe the remains are likely to be of a woman aged in her 20s or 30s, while Caddick was 49.
Professor Johan Duflou, former clinical director of NSW’s Department of Forensic Medicine, said it would be ‘highly unlikely there would be anything at all remaining after nearly 18 months in the ocean’.
Officers launched an investigation with the area cordoned off and declared a crime scene.
A police tent was set up metres from the shore with the northern part of Bronte Beach closed to the public.
Officers are scouring missing person’s records to determine the woman’s identity.
The crime scene has been dissembled and the northern section of the beach reopened to the public.
For confidential support in Australia, contact Lifeline: 13 11 14, Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636, or Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467.