A man charged with the stabbing murder of a close friend four months after she was found “gurgling blood” allegedly got into a “heated” argument with her beforehand, police allege.
Detectives have been investigating the death of Erin Mullavey, also known as Erin Gilbert, since she was found suffering fatal stab wounds inside her Merrylands unit at 11.30pm on April 9.
Her husband Nicolas Gilbert found the 42-year-old with multiple stab wounds when he returned home and called paramedics.
Mr Gilbert was taken into custody briefly but was later released without charge and is no longer considered a suspect.
Police on Tuesday charged 32-year-old Morten Jensen with murder, alleging he was known to Ms Mullavey and her husband and had argued with them in the lead-up to her death.
Mr Jensen did not appear in Parramatta Local Court on Wednesday when the matter was first mentioned, and there was no application for bail. He remains in custody on remand.
Magistrate Derek Price adjourned the matter to September 21.
Police allege Mr Jensen arrived at the Merrylands home when Ms Mullavey was alone before things got “heated” and he attacked her with a “bladed instrument” that has not been recovered.
“He’s obtained entry to the unit, there’s been an escalation of the conflict which is between not only Erin but also with Nick Gilbert, and as a result of that conflict, we will allege that … he assaulted and fatally stabbed Erin,” homicide squad commander Danny Doherty said on Tuesday.
Superintendent Doherty alleges Ms Mullavey was “brutally and ferociously attacked” and sustained “catastrophic injuries” that caused her death.
Police allege Mr Jensen fled the scene on foot before getting on a black and red mountain bike, discarding clothes as he made his getaway.
“What we will present to court is that there was efforts to disguise his identity on the way to the unit and definitely we will allege that on the way from the unit he took certain steps to discard clothing, change clothing, dispose of clothing and possibly a weapon,” Superintendent Doherty said.
Earlier this year, Mr Gilbert told police and the media his world had stopped when he found his wife lying in her own blood.
“They put paper bags on my hands and taped them up, I was sitting in the back of the paddy wagon feeling like a bloody chicken on thanksgiving,” he said.
“(The police officer) comes in and he says, ‘Nicolas Gilbert, I’m placing you under arrest for the murder of Erin Gilbert’.
“My whole f**king world stopped, I just collapsed.”
He was released and ruled out as a suspect after CCTV confirmed his whereabouts at the time of the murder.
“He was initially spoken to by police, he was part of that inquiry, a strong line of inquiry initially, police were doing the due diligence and doing their investigative duties to speak with Nick,” Superintendent Doherty said on Tuesday.
Police now allege Mr Jensen is “the sole person responsible for Erin’s murder”, and there is no suggestion that Mr Gilbert was in any way involved in his wife’s death.
Superintendent Doherty revealed police had kept in touch with Mr Gilbert and Ms Mullavey’s family in the wake of her death.
“It’s mixed emotions for them, they’ve lost a loved one,” he said.
“Erin was a 42-year-old young woman who really had a life ahead of her still and she was taken away tragically.”
The matter will return to court in September.