IT WAS MURDER: Police confirm death of former BHP executive Cecilia Haddad was homicide

NSW PoliceCecilia Haddad.

NSW Police have confirmed Cecilia Haddad, the 38-year-old former BHP Billiton executive whose body was found in Sydney harbour on Sunday, was murdered.

Kayakers found her body on Sunday morning near Woolwich, an affluent suburb on Sydney’s lower north shore.

Google MapsA map with a pin showing where Haddad’s body was found, near Angelo Street, Woolwich, in Sydney.

While the results of a post mortem have not been released, a police spokesperson confirmed to Business Insider tonight that Haddad, who was running a consultancy in Sydney after moving from Western Australia, was murdered.

Her death was initially thought to be an accidental drowning, but earlier this week the homicide squad was called in and the body sent for examination.

Police divers have today been searching the area around were Haddad’s body was found.

The Brazilian national previously worked for mining giant Vale in Rio de Janeiro as an analyst and came to Australia in 2007 with her then-husband. More recently she’d worked for freight company Pacific National before setting up her logistics consultancy business.

Police are hoping to speak with a man while whom she subsequently had a relationship with, Mario Marcelo Santoro. The pair recently broke up and Santoro flew from Sydney to Brazil in the last few days. There is no suggestion that he is a suspect, but police have been unable to contact Santoro and officers are liaising with Brazilian authorities to try and connect with him.

Haddad was at a barbecue on Friday evening and spoke to friends on early on Saturday morning. After that she failed to appear for several appointments and concerned friends contacted police.

Haddad owned a red 2013-model Fiat 500 sedan, with a black roof, with the registration plate DJV50H. It was found parked at the West Ryde train station this week.

Police are seeking dashcam footage taken in the area over the weekend, and say they already have several strong leads from the public.

People with information can call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or Ryde Police Area Command on 02 9858 9299.

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.