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Police appeal year after body found in park

People who met with a woman via dating applications, social media and classified ads before her body was found wrapped in a bed sheet in a park have been questioned by investigators.

Nicole Cartwright, 32, was found dead by a council worker about 7.30am on October 3, 2018 near a playground in Hunters Hill, on Sydney’s lower north shore.

Exactly one year has passed and police are still trying to piece together her last movements, particularly the 48 hours before she was found with “head injuries” in Buffalo Creek Reserve.

“From the information we have gathered, it’s likely there are people who know what happened, even if they weren’t directly involved,” Homicide Squad Commander, Acting Superintendent Jason Dickinson, said today.

He said Ms Cartwright travelled by train to Museum train station on September 30 before meeting with people in the Paddington area about 9.45pm.

Police previously tracked her movements on buses and at train stations via her Opal card.

“We have her walking with a friend on Flinders St, Paddington, about 10pm, before she left in a rideshare service on Moore Park Rd about 12.30am on October 1,” Acting Supt Dickinson said.

“(She) travelled to the vicinity of Robson Park on Crescent St, Haberfield (in the inner west), which is her last known movement.

“Nicole had a very distinct style so we believe there are people who would have seen her.”

Robson Park and Buffalo Creek Reserve, where she was found, are about 8.3 kilometres apart.

Police said Ms Cartwright had lived with her parents at Lansvale, in Sydney’s southwest.

She had a wide circle of friends and spent time in the city, eastern suburbs and surrounds.

Acting Supt Dickinson said investigators are keen to speak to any of her associates to establish “her activities and movements” in the days preceding her death, which is being treated as a murder.

“We know that Nicole was using online dating sites, applications, classified ads, and social media and had been involved in casual meetings resulting from her use of those sites in the weeks leading up to her death,” he said.

“Investigators have spoken to several people who she met with during that period, but we are still piecing together her exact movements from October 1, 2018 and when her body was found.”

Ms Cartwright was initially thought to have been found with a pink “dog collar” around her neck but this was later ruled to be a fashion accessory which she had on when she was last seen.

A post-mortem examination was otherwise inconclusive while further tests found traces of methylamphetamine in Ms Cartwright’s system.

CCTV footage has been released of a person walking along the footpath on Pittwater Rd about 5.30am on October 3 — two hours before her body was found wrapped in a bed sheet.

Police do not believe this particular person is involved but would like to speak to them.

Further CCTV of 12 vehicles travelling on the same road in East Ryde just before 6am has been released by police.

“We believe these cars — which were travelling on a road about 800m from Buffalo Creek Reserve where Nicole’s body was found — may help us with our inquiries,” Acting Supt Dickinson said.

“We hope a member of the community may able to assist us — either by recognising the person or cars or possibly captured them on a dashcam.

“From the information we have gathered, it’s likely there are people who know what happened, even if they weren’t directly involved.”

Anyone with information for police is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

sarah.mcphee@news.com.au

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