A woman whose naked body was found in Sydney’s Parramatta River may have been killed over a drug dispute in a neighbouring suburb before being driven to the water’s edge.
A 35-year-old man has been charged with her murder after he was allegedly found standing naked over the woman’s body near Cabarita Wharf just after 11.30pm on Thursday.
The 27-year-old woman, who is yet to be formally identified, was found to have cuts to her face and other injuries when her body was pulled from the water.
Nearby residents said they suspected the death was drug related because Cabarita Park is known for drug activity.
“It’s probably drugs. It’s pretty sad though. It’s someone’s daughter,” one woman told AAP.
Police divers spent Friday morning near where the body was found, while officers canvassed Cabarita Park and at a cordoned-off area at nearby Breakfast Point, around a house in Vineyard Way.
Bloodstains were washed from the footpath and a car in the street before police reopened it to residents.
Police say there are multiple crime scenes and are considering whether the woman died in the river or was killed elsewhere.
The Vineyard Way house is less than 2km from the wharf car park where an Audi was seized on Friday morning.
“What I understand is (when police arrived) the male was actually standing over the female just at the water’s edge, in sort of about a foot deep of water,” Detective Superintendent Mark Jones told reporters at the scene.
“We do not believe it’s a random attack. We believe this pair may well have been known to each other.”
Det Supt Jones confirmed the man was known to police but wouldn’t respond to reports he had previously served a lengthy prison sentence.
Carmen Munos, who lives in the home where police focused their attention on Friday morning, said she didn’t know the victim or the alleged attacker or why they were in front of her home.
“I think they want money or something (from the victim),” she told AAP.
“The bank cards, Visa or whatever, were on the floor with blood on them.”
Detectives are also believed to be investigating whether someone was waiting for the victim.
Leonato Tattoli said he saw a man sitting in a parked car in the street when he arrived home at around 10.30pm and while he is unsure if it was related to the woman’s death, police had wanted to question him further about what he saw.
Another resident, Bill Langton, said he heard screams just after 11pm.
“Rather disturbing, last night heard what I thought were three screams, on the news this morning a woman found murdered in the river next to Breakfast Point,” he wrote on Facebook.
The man is expected to face Parramatta Local Court on Saturday.