Friends of murdered water polo coach Lilie James have called on the public to donate as her family recovers from the devastating tragedy.

Tributes have continued to pour in for Ms James, a beloved daughter, friend, teammate, and staff member at St Andrew’s school in Sydney’s CBD.

A GoFundMe page organised by Daniel Makovec has already raised $9700 in two days.

“Everyone who has been graced with the presence of Lilie will be broken forever,” the tribute reads.

“With tears streaming, numb with disbelief, this new journey is now a long one for the family. As close family friends, we will be grieving this loss forever.

“We look for your support and take this time to reflect on Lilie, Lilie’s love for family and friends. Please share far and wide, we feel your love and support in this trying time.”

Flowers have been laid outside the school as the community grieves Ms James, who has been remembered as a “vibrant” and “outgoing” person.

Ms James’ father, Jamie, said the family was “devastated and heartbroken by the loss of our beautiful Lilie James” in a statement to NCA NewsWire.

“She was vibrant, outgoing and very much loved by her friends and family,” he said, stopping multiple times to gather himself.

“We are tremendously grateful for the support of the community at this difficult time.”

A statement from the James family described the 21-year-old as a “loving beautiful girl filled with love for family and friends, focused and determined for her love of teaching and helping others.”

A distraught family friend, who asked not to be named, told the ABC the family were “in disbelief and need answers and time”.

Fresh claims about the man who callously murdered Lilie James at St Andrew’s Cathedral School have surfaced, with students recalling his “creepy” behaviour toward them.

Mr Thijssen, 24, murdered the school water polo coach in a bathroom at the prestigious Sydney school just after midnight on Wednesday. He was confirmed dead by police overnight after an extensive search.

The pair worked at the school and briefly dated, but the relationship ended about a week ago.

Now students have recalled to the Saturday Telegraph how the former sports assistant used to “boast” about his relationship with Ms James, among other behaviours that made them uncomfortable.

Speaking exclusively to the paper, students described Mr Thijssen as a “creep who was flirtatious with the girls” at the school.

“He had a wandering eye and flirtatious personality which unsettled young girls in the sports team,” one student exclusively told the Saturday Telegraph.

“I am absolutely shocked by the circumstances but there’s no doubt that he was a creep.”

Mr Thijssen was called “arrogant” by former peers – he attended the school and graduated in 2017 – who noted he was “hated” by boys and liked by girls.

A search at Vaucluse commenced after police traced a triple-zero call from him to the area.

He reportedly called police from the notorious suicide spot, informing them there was a body at the school.

Officers arrived at the St Andrew’s gym just after midnight on Wednesday to find Ms James’ body had suffered “serious head injuries”. Unnamed police sources have told the Sydney Morning Herald she was beaten to death with a hammer.

Security cameras captured Mr Thijssen, dressed in black, arriving at Chris Bang Crescent in Vaucluse at 8.47pm. He was later seen walking along the cliffside footpath at 9.03pm.

He is seen approaching a bin, which police sources allege he may have dumped the hammer he allegedly used as a murder weapon, the publication reports.

Ten minutes later, he is seen returning to his car, where he sat before driving to another clifftop location.

Ms James and Thijssen met at the school on Wednesday night, where a fight ensued.

CCTV footage from the school, obtained by police, reportedly shows Thijssen following Ms James into the gym bathroom before he is seen leaving the area over an hour later, according to The Daily Telegraph.

Four hours later, Mr Thijssen reportedly rang police to inform them of a body on school grounds which should be investigated.

Officers arrived at the school after Ms James’ family alerted police as she hadn’t returned home.

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By Rahul

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