CCTV footage showed James entering the bathrooms next to the gym with Thijssen about 7pm on Wednesday, police sources confirmed on the condition of anonymity.
Just over an hour later, he left the bathroom alone. The sources said she is likely to have been killed about 7pm.
The school was closed for two days. Police sources not authorised to speak publicly about the investigation have suggested James’ wounds were inflicted by a hammer.
Thijssen’s triple zero call alerted police to his location. The manhunt for Thijssen along the South Head cliffs ended on Friday at Vaucluse, when a body was retrieved from the water just after noon. It has not been formally identified.
On Friday morning, Thijssen’s parents were still in the Netherlands. He was their only child.
McGonigle described James as much-loved. “Lilie’s engagement across the student body was wide-ranging and, as you will know from your children, she was adored by all,” McGonigle said in a letter to parents.
She quoted James’ heartbroken colleagues, who described her as a vibrant, smart, compassionate woman whose bright, bubbly personality would be deeply missed.
“I can personally attest to what’s been said,” McGonigle said. “In all of my dealings with Lilie, she was full of vitality, energy, enthusiasm and a natural fit in our community.”
McGonigle also told parents that “the horrors of evil do not and will not define our community, that is my oath”.
NSW Police have briefed St Andrew’s staff on the incident and investigation. “Based on his extensive investigation, he assured us that this was a completely unforeseeable event,” McGonigle said.
Thijssen attended St Andrew’s from year 10 and graduated in 2017. He was sports captain and a prefect. After tertiary study in the Netherlands, he returned to his Sydney alma mater as a hockey coach while he undertook a master of education.
People who knew him at school said there was “nothing whatsoever to indicate any future trouble. We are shocked and appalled.”
So far this year, at least 40 Australian women have been killed by their partners.
Lifeline: 13 11 14
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https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/school-pays-tribute-to-adored-lilie-james-as-suspected-killer-s-body-found-20231027-p5efng.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_national_nsw School pays tribute to Lilie James as suspected killer’s body pulled from cliffs