The body pulled from waters off Sydney’s eastern suburbs on Friday morning has been confirmed as that of the man suspected of the murder of water polo coach Lilie James.
The 21-year-old was found dead inside a gym bathroom at St Andrew’s Cathedral School in Sydney’s CBD, where she worked, on Wednesday night.
Police began searching for her 24-year-old colleague Paul Thijssen in the waters off Sydney’s east when “property associated with the homicide” was located at a Vaucluse crime scene.
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Thijssen’s body was located on Friday morning about 7.40am, off the coast near Diamond Bay Reserve at Vaucluse.
It then took police until 12.15pm to retrieve the body, which has since been formally identified as Thijssen.
The confirmation comes the day before James’s water polo club the Balmain Tigers Water Polo club is due to pay their respects to their former teammate with a minute’s silence before their division 1 and 2 games on Sunday.
It also comes just hours after chilling CCTV footage emerged, showing Thijssen in the hours after he is suspected of killing James.
New CCTV footage, seen in the video above, shows what police believe to be Thijssen’s final moments.
Thijssen— who is James’ ex-boyfriend, colleague and suspected killer – is seen arriving at Diamond Bay Reserve in Vaucluse, about 11km from the city, just before 9pm on Wednesday.
The video shows Thijssen, who worked as a sports assistant at the school, walking up and down a path, and getting back into his car before it is understood he called triple-0 at about 11pm to notify police about James’ body at the school.
“From her injuries, it was apparent she was a victim of a homicide,” Sydney City Police Area Commander Superintendent Martin Fileman said, adding that she had suffered serious head injuries.
“Property associated with the homicide”, including a hammer, was found at a site in Vaucluse on Thursday.
Fileman described the crime scene as “confronting”.
CCTV footage from the school allegedly shows James and Thijssen entering the school bathroom, with Thijssen leaving well over an hour later.
7NEWS understands the pair had been dating but James broke it off a few days ago.
Thijssen is believed to have a long history with St Andrew’s.
His LinkedIn profile says he attended the school as a student from 2015 to 2017, when he was a sports captain and part of the school leadership team.
He then took on a sports assistant role the following year, before attending university in the Netherlands.
7NEWS understands Thijssen was previously a hockey coach at St Vincent’s College in Potts Point and, until Thursday morning, was listed on that school’s website as the hockey coach for it most recent season.
Police investigations continue.
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