Accused Sydney Stabber Listed As Missing Person Before Attack
The man accused of fatally stabbing one woman and seriously injuring another during an alleged rampage in Sydney's CBD was listed as a missing person by police.
NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller revealed on Wednesday that 20-year-old Mert Ney was reported missing by his family.
According to police, Ney's family held grave concerns for his welfare and police had taken a report based on a domestic violence situation. Ney was listed in the police system as someone to "keep a lookout for" as both a missing person and someone who was involved in domestic violence.
But Fuller said it's unusual for those circumstances to lead to alleged killing.
"... that is not a common theme for someone to then take the next step of coming into the streets of Sydney with a knife and [allgedly] killing people and threatening to kill people," Fuller said on Wednesday.
Ney's mental illness background adds additional complications to the case. Police said Ney took himself to hospital for a medical issue and that there could have been some mental health complications as a result of that. Fuller said police do not have full details about Ney's recent stay in hospital.
A key part of the police investigation is determining if Ney's alleged attack was motived by terrorism. Police raided Ney's family home in Marayong in Sydney's west as well as a property in Blacktown where it's believed he was living recently. It's believed Ney was also couch-surfing and homeless for a period of time, so it's possible additional homes of interest to police to arise in the future.
Police seized a number of electronic devices from the homes that are now undergoing forensic testing.
Ney's social media pages are also being investigated to determine if he had any terror links, but Fuller said it could take weeks or months to find conclusive evidence either way.
"Why that is important is because if I declare this a terrorist incident, there are significant additional charges that will be laid around terrorism," Fuller said.
"This is something that we need to get right and it may take weeks or months, and obviously one of the key investigative strategies will be interviewing this individual when he's released from hospital."
Ney is expected to be released from the hospital on Wednesday afternoon. He's expected to be questioned and charged for allegedly killing a 24-year-old woman -- with whom he had contact prior to Tuesday -- and for allegedly seriously injuring a 41-year-old woman during his alleged stabbing rampage.
Police are also expected to lay a number of other charges.
Members of the public in Sydney have been assured by authorities that there is no longer a threat to their safety and a number of additional police patrols remain in place in the CBD on Wednesday.
Contact Siobhan at firstname.lastname@example.org