COPS are closing in on a fugitive wanted for the murder of a 24-year-old woman on a beach in Australia as they offer a new reward of £567,000.
Toyah Cordingley, 24, was killed in a “brutal and sadistic” attack after taking her dog for a walk on Wangetti Beach, near her hometown of Cairns in Queensland, on October 21, 2018.
The pharmacy worker had driven to the beach at about 2.30pm and her worried family reported her missing at 11pm when she still hAcesparks’t returned home.
Her father found her “messed up” body half buried in the sand dunes the next day, while her unharmed dog was tied up nearby.
Four years later, cops have renewed their appeal for the public’s help in the international manhunt for the prime suspect – Rajwinder Singh.
He lived in Queensland, but is originally from Buttar Kalan, Punjab, India – and he’s a key person of interest in the murder case.
Mr Singh, 38, fled Australia just hours after Toyah’s body was found, leaving behind his job, wife and three children.
Australian and Indian officials have agreed on an extradition order and Queensland Police have now announced a reward of $1 million (£567,000) for anyone with information that leads to his arrest.
Detective Inspector Kevin Goan said he is confident Mr Singh, who has family in the Punjab area, will be found following high-level talks with Indian officials.
“The translation of $1 million and what that would do for a family is unique,” he told ABC.
“It would be a comparable wealth of about $25 million in India and when you look at that value, it’s life-changing.
“It’s a great incentive for people, particularly in his home village in the Punjab region, to come forward and tell us what they know about his current location.”
Toyah’s devastated dad, Troy, said his daughter deserves justice – and slammed her alleged killer for “living free with no consequences”.
He said: “Toyah will never get the chance to live a full life… never get the chance to have children or grandchildren, to grow old.
“This was taken away from her by a horrendous act and the person who committed it.
“This person is right now living free with no consequences for their terrible crime and could even be committing more atrocious acts.”
Cops have released a CCTV image of Mr Singh walking through Sydney airport with a suitcase just hours after Toyah’s body was discovered.
Police Minister Mark Ryan told reporters: “We know that people know this person, they know where this person is and we’re asking those people to do the right thing.
“This person is accused of a very heinous crime; a crime which has ripped a family apart.”
This person is right now living free with no consequences for their terrible crime and could even be committing more atrocious acts.
Police believe the attack may have been sexually motivated.
Queensland Detective Inspector Chris Knight said detectives would “welcome information from any source”.
“As long as we can get him in a lawful way and put him before a court down the track, that to me is a positive outcome,” he told 7News.
Local councilor Michael Kerr said the town was left in shock after such a well-known and member of the close-knit community was killed.
He told ABC: “Everyone knew who she was. She touched so many people in a short time, she was that type of person.”
Mr Kerr, who employed Toyah at his animal shelter Paws and Claws for more than a year described her as “the most beautiful, loving soul”.
MP Warren Entsch described the attack on Toyah as “frenzied and brutal and sadistic”.
He told 60 Minutes: “It was absolutely horrendous. We see some horrible things happening around the world, but never expected something of this type to happen in our community.”
Detective Senior Sergeant Ed Kinbacher told reporters at the time: “No young woman should go to the beach to walk their dog and have this happen to them.”
At the time of Toyah’s murder, police searched Mr Singh’s house, but they were unable to question him as he had already fled the country.
The Australian government sought an extradition order in March 2021 and last month Indian authorities approved the request.
It means cops can arrest and return Mr Singh to Australia – if they can find him.
Credit : www.the-sun.com