Thu. Feb 22nd, 2024

A WATER polo coach was found dead after allegedly being beaten to death by her ex with a hammer.

Lilie James, 21, was brutally murdered in Sydney as the main suspect, her ex-boyfriend Paul Thijssen, 24, has now been found dead.

FacebookLillie James, 21, was brutally murdered in the school’s gym bathroom allegedly by her ex using a hammer[/caption]

LinkedinPaul Thijssen, 24, was found dead at the bottom of a cliff[/caption]

James worked at St Andrew’s Cathedral School and was found murdered after suffering “serious head injuries” in the school’s gym bathroom.

Just after midnight on Wednesday 25, cops found Lillie’s body after Thijssen, who worked with her, alerted them of the death over the phone.

This made him the prime suspect in the murder.

The pair had secretly dated for a few weeks before ultimately calling off their relationship around a week before the devastating killing.

Police described the murder scene as “confronting” and said the brutal attack was likely caused by a hammer due to the markings left on the young woman’s head.

James and Thijssen met just hours before the deadly fight at school.

CCTV footage found by officers reportedly shows Thijssen following James into the bathroom, before he is seen leaving alone over an hour later.

The phone call to police was then made four hours afterwards, telling them to investigate a body on the school’s grounds.  

James’ family had also alerted police as she hadn’t come home and wasn’t answering her phone.

Superintendent Martin Fileman spoke at a press conference the day after and said the victim had sustained serious head injuries.

He added: “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 with a lot of deaths happening there.

His body was later found on Friday morning in the water at the bottom of the cliff near Diamond Bay Reserve.

It was reported as being naked, battered and bloated – slumped between rocks. 

Haunting CCTV footage captured Thijssen’s final moments as he walked up to the cliff.

According to The Daily Telegraph, security cameras show the suspected killer, dressed in black, leaving his car and walking along the cliff side footpath at 9.03pm.

In the short clip he heads towards a bin that has been cornered off by police after sources alleged the murder weapon could’ve been dumped in there.

More than 25 uniformed officers hunted around the Sydney area – looking through gutters and bushes to try and find any evidence.

Plain-clothed detectives went round speaking to nearby residents and police patrols were sent out alongside a forensics team.

Helicopters were also sent out to look for the man.

Thijssen moved to Australia from the Netherlands in 2015 and was a successful cricket and hockey coach at the school after graduating from St Andrews.

According to reports in The Daily Mail he was alone for 18 months in Australia because of the Covid-19 pandemic, something that some have noted could’ve badly affected his life.

However an unmanned source did say he wasn’t seen as “psychotic”.

The school was left devastated by the killing and has been closed since the horror attack.

Parents were told of the “critical incident” by a text.

It read: “SACS is closed today and Friday (26-27 Oct) due to a critical incident.

“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.

9NewsPolice found the man’s body at the bottom of a cliff near Diamond Bay Reserve, naked, battered and bloated[/caption]

FacebookJames was called a vibrant, outgoing and very much loved girl[/caption]


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