Cecilia Haddad was found dead in suspicious circumstances over the weekend.
Cecilia Haddad was found dead in suspicious circumstances over the weekend.

Murder victim’s missing 48 hours

A MYSTERIOUS 48-hour window is believed to hold the key to what happened to suspected murder victim Cecilia Haddad before she was found dead in a Sydney river over the weekend.

Police are working to piece together the final movements of the popular 38-year-old Brazilian businesswoman whose fully clothed body was located by kayakers around 10.15am on Sunday.

Although the woman has yet to be formally identified, she is believed to be Ms Haddad, who lived in Ryde.

Ms Haddad's body was found floating in the Lane Cove River in Woolwich, on Sydney's lower north shore, about 6km from her home.

She was wearing a navy/green long sleeve jumper and khaki cargo pants, police said. Ms Haddad had been at a barbecue on Friday night and chatted with friends at 8.30am for around 30 minutes on Saturday, according to police.

But friends reported Ms Haddad missing when she failed to keep various appointments later that day, saying it was completely out of character.

Cecilia Haddad, 38, was found dead in suspicious circumstances over the weekend.
Cecilia Haddad, 38, was found dead in suspicious circumstances over the weekend.

Detective Acting Inspector Ritchie Sim today told reporters that a time frame from Saturday morning to Sunday afternoon needed to be pieced together to provide "vital clues in the investigation".

"So far, we have been able to establish Cecilia went to a barbecue on Friday night and then spoke to friends on Saturday morning, but her movements after that time are unknown," he said.

Police were told Ms Haddad's car, a red 2013-model Fiat 500 sedan with a black roof, registration number DJV50H, was seen outside her home on Saturday afternoon. They are keen to speak to anyone who may have seen her or the car after that time.

The vehicle was located on Sunday night at West Ryde train station. Acting Insp Sim said police had "been able to see some movements" of Ms Haddad on CCTV footage but they "need a lot more information".

"We are specifically seeking CCTV or dash-cam footage of Cecilia or her vehicle, possibly in the Hunters Hill, Ryde, Top Ryde, West Ryde, and Woolwich areas over the weekend," Acting Insp Sim said.

"We are seeking the assistance of the public to piece together Cecilia's movements leading up to her disappearance.

There are a lot of questions that need to be answered ... for Cecilia's family.

"Like any mum or dad they would be distraught, wanting to know what happened to their daughter."

He said several people, including her ex-husband, were assisting police with inquiries.

"Her ex-husband who is from Western Australia has spoken with us ... He's obviously very traumatised ... we believe he was in Perth at the time [of Ms Haddad's death]," Acting Insp Sim said.

"We are speaking with her mother who is in Brazil and obviously [also] really upset and wanting answers."

Police at the scene of Cecilia Haddad’s home in Ryde this morning.
Police at the scene of Cecilia Haddad’s home in Ryde this morning.

Ms Haddad worked for a mining company in Western Australia before moving to NSW in 2016 to work as a logistics manager for a freight company, Pacific National. She had recently started her own business, CHC Consulting, based near where she lived, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Her current employer, Hireup, today issued a statement in response to her death.

"We're saddened to hear the news of Cecilia Haddad's death," it read.

"Cecilia has been a disability support workers since August 2017 in the Sydney region.

"She was a bright and valued member of our team; her services and positive approach were much valued in our community."

Homicide police were searching her apartment on St Annes Street, Ryde for clues on Wednesday morning. There were "no signs of disturbances in Ms Haddad's Ryde home at this stage", according to police.

"By all accounts, Cecilia enjoyed an active social life and had made a large circle of friends during her time in Sydney," Acting Insp Sim said.

"Cecilia, [was] a very friendly lady ... and was a very well liked person - which again, poses more questions than answers."

Ms Haddad spoke three languages - Spanish, English and Portuguese. She graduated from Brazil's Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro in 2002, had degrees from the Melbourne Business School and University of Tasmania and more than 14 years' experience in the resources sector, according to an online profile.

A post-mortem is expected to be carried out today.

- With AAP

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