Police have launched a murder inquiry into the death of a 32-year-old Sydney woman found dead at her harbourside home, as friends and colleagues paid tribute to her sense of humour, easygoing nature and professionalism.
Paramedics found the body of Kate Malonyay just before 2pm on Monday in a red-brick unit block on McLeod Street.
It is understood that when Ms Malonyay failed to attend work on Monday at the Challenger financial services group, colleagues and friends raised the alarm.
When police arrived at the unit block, they are believed to have seen Ms Malonyay's body through a window or door.
One of her closest friends told Fairfax Media: "We're all okay, and coping with this together."
Challenger chief executive Brian Benari said the popular staff member had worked at the company for three years, describing her as a "much-liked and valued member of staff".
He said all Ms Malonyay's friends and colleagues were "deeply shocked and saddened by the news of her passing".
"Nothing was ever too much trouble for Kate," Mr Benari said in a statement.
"She will be remembered for her sense of humour, easygoing nature and professionalism. Our thoughts are now with her family."
The estate agent who manages the unit where she lived said a young couple had rented it. "She was a terrific young girl. They were a nice young couple. I'm flabbergasted."
On Tuesday morning, police were still guarding the unit block, as well as three wheelie bins inside the unit's garage, which were cordoned off by police tape.
Five forensic officers came out of the building about 10am holding yellow bags, black boxes and a blue esky.
Residents told Fairfax Media that detectives had spent most of Monday knocking on doors and interviewing people who lived in the street.
One resident, who lives next door to the unit block, said there were at least five police cars and two forensics vans in the usually quiet, tree-lined street until late on Monday night.
"Police were walking up and down the street and waiting for people to get home from work to interview them," she said.
Inspector Elise Teeling, of Harbourside Police, said: "It is an ongoing investigation right now and it's pretty new."
Police refused to comment on the record about a motive or cause of death but sources told Fairfax Media that the case was almost certainly a murder.
A police spokeswoman said a decision would be taken in the near future if the Homicide Squad would take over the investigation from the Harbourside Local Area Command.
A post-mortem examination would be carried out to determine how Ms Malonyay had died, police said.
with Rachel Olding