Hunt for a killer: New details emerge as tributes flow for Dannielle

Dannielle Finlay-Jones.
Share this story

The man wanted over the alleged murder of a woman at Cranebrook is currently on a two-year Community Correction Order after he was convicted of assaulting, stalking and choking another woman in 2020.

A police manhunt is underway for 33-year-old Ashley Gaddie, who is wanted in connection with the death of Dannielle Finlay-Jones at Cranebrook last Sunday.

Ms Finlay-Jones and Mr Gaddie met on a dating app and had only known each other for a short time.

Dannielle Finlay-Jones.

About 2.30pm on Sunday, December 18, emergency services were called to a home on Borrowdale Way, Cranebrook, after Ms Finlay-Jones was located with serious injuries inside.

The 31-year-old, who did not reside at the home, was pronounced deceased at the scene. It is understood her injuries were horrific and first responders were met with a confronting scene.

Ashley Gaddie.

On Tuesday, police issued an appeal for assistance from the community to locate a man they believe is connected to the incident.

“Ashley Gaddie, aged 33, is wanted on an outstanding arrest warrant for murder,” a police spokesperson said.

“Officers from Nepean Police Area Command have conducted extensive inquiries into his whereabouts; however, he has not been located.”

He is described as being of Caucasian appearance, about 180cm tall, of muscular build, with blue eyes and a bald head.

Both of his arms are covered with tattoos.

He is known to frequent the areas of Five Dock, Penrith and Mt Druitt.

It is understood that Ms Finlay-Jones and Mr Gaddie had recently met online and were at the Marsden Brewhouse on Saturday night before going back to a friend’s house in Cranebrook.

Police believe that they spent the night together before the occupants of the house, who are assisting detectives, located Ms Finlay-Jones the next afternoon after entering a bedroom to check on the pair.

Dannielle Finlay-Jones.

“They returned to the location in the early hours of the morning and at some point, between then and 2.30pm something has happened to this poor young lady,” Acting Superintendent from Nepean Police Area Command John Nelson said.

“We ask that residents around that Cranebrook area that may have any information of anything untoward that happened that they noticed in the early hours of Sunday morning through to mid-morning contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.”

Acting Superintendent John Nelson addresses the media. Photo: Melinda Jane.

A neighbour told the Weekender that they were not aware of an incident until there was a large response from emergency responders, but others reported seeing a man running from the house around 5am.

Forensic experts were seen examining a window at the crime scene which looked to be damaged, but police said it was not a break-in.

The Weekender has learned that Mr Gaddie is currently on a two-year Community Correction Order after he was convicted of assaulting, stalking and choking a woman in 2020.

He was sentenced on December 2 last year and is a little over a year into serving the Order.

It is understood Mr Gaddie also on bail for another alleged domestic related violence offence, and is due to front court on those charges in June next year.

The Weekender has learned that NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman has requested a briefing on the current investigation and the previous offences, to understand why Mr Gaddie was still in the community.

Police at the scene in Cranebrook on Monday. Photo: Melinda Jane.

The family of the victim, who was a support officer at the NSW Department of Education and lived in the Kogarah area, have requested privacy, with Acting Superintendent Nelson telling media that they are devastated “as any family would be”.

“While her family appreciate the media’s interest, they have requested their privacy at this difficult time in their lives,” a police spokesperson said.

A friend said Ms Finlay-Jones was an “incredible person inside and out”.

“She is cherished by everyone who knew her and words cannot describe the shock that this has happened,” she told Daily Mail Australia.

“She did not deserve this and will be dearly missed.”

The investigation into the circumstances surrounding Ms Finlay-Jones’ death is being led by detectives from Nepean Police Area Command under Strike Force Eynahm.

Anyone with information regarding Mr Gaddie’s whereabouts, or who spots him is urged not to approach him but to call Triple Zero (000) immediately.

Police at the scene at Cranebrook on Monday. Photo: Melinda Jane.

Share this story