Man arrested in India for alleged murder of Queensland woman

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The suspect in the alleged murder of Queensland woman Toyah Cordingley has been arrested in Indiabut there is a long process ahead before he faces one Australian right.

The body of 24-year-old Cordingley was found by her father Troy in the sand dunes at Wangetti Beach, north of Cairns, in October 2018.

Rajwinder Singh, an Innisfail nurse who boarded a flight to India days after she was killed, had been identified by police as the prime suspect in the case.

On October 21, the body of Cairns woman Toyah Cordingley was found on remote Wangetti Beach.
On October 21, the body of Cairns woman Toyah Cordingley was found on remote Wangetti Beach. (Included)

“We are so excited to announce that the suspect in the murder of Toyah Cordingley has been arrested in India,” said Commissioner Katarina Carroll.

“This day has been a long time coming,” she added.

The suspect had been hiding in the Punjab region and will face a court in India before being extradited to Australia.

Commissioner Carroll described the year-long investigation as “intense and comprehensive” and said it was a joint operation between local and international authorities.

Police Minister Mark Ryan said while the development was promising, “it is very early days in this next step in delivering justice for Toyah”.

Federal Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus released a statement saying the extradition of Singh was a “high priority” for the Commonwealth.

“I can confirm that Rajwinder Singh has been arrested today in India following Australia’s extradition request,” Dreyfus said.

Toyah Cordingley
Toyah Cordingley (Nine)

“Mr Singh is wanted to stand trial in Queensland in relation to the murder of Toyah Cordingley in 2018.

“This case is a high priority for the Australian Government and Australian agencies continue to work closely with the Indian authorities to pursue Mr Singh’s extradition to Australia, to enable him to face justice.

“I acknowledge the work of the Queensland Police, the Australian Federal Police, the Attorney-General’s Department as well as the Indian authorities in this case.”

Dreyfus said it would not be appropriate to comment further as the case is before the courts in India

Rajwinder Singh left Australia on 23 October 2018.
Rajwinder Singh left Australia on 23 October 2018. (Queensland Police)

In the four years since Cordingley’s death, her father Troy and the 24-year-old’s mother Vanessa Gardiner have been appealing to find the person who allegedly killed the “beautiful and spiritual” woman ever since.

Australian authorities worked with the Indian government to secure an extradition warrant for Singh and traveled there to focus on making an arrest.

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