Rajwinder Singh arrested in connection with the alleged murder of Cairns woman Toyah Cordingley

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The main suspect in the alleged murder of Cairns woman Toyah Cordingley, on a beach near Cairns four years ago, has been arrested in India.

The 24-year-old was walking her dog alone at Wangetti Beach, north of Cairns, when she was killed in October 2018.

Earlier this month, the Queensland government issued a reward of 1 million dollars — the largest in state history for a homicide investigation — for information that led to the location and arrest of former Innisfail nurse Rajwinder Singh.

The 38-year-old person of interest flew to India in the days after Ms Cordingley’s death and Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said he was arrested in New Delhi “just hours ago” after hiding in India’s Punjab region.

Man walks through the airport terminal
CCTV footage was released by the interesting Rajwinder Singh before he left Australia.(Provided: Queensland Police Service)

Commissioner Carroll said the man would appear in court soon and the extradition process to Australia would then begin.

She said it was “very early days” but she was “very confident we have a strong case to present to the courts” and described it as “one of the most intense, [and] comprehensive studies all over the world”.

She said it was too early to say whether the $1 million reward would be paid.

“The process will be followed in relation to million dollars, if [the information] has led to this person’s arrest, I will gladly write the check myself,” the commissioner said.

Case a ‘high priority’ for the Australian Government

Police Minister Mark Ryan said Queensland police would work with the Australian and Indian governments on extradition procedures.

“The general process around extradition with countries like India is that you need a card with evidence approved by the federal government, the Attorney-General’s Department, which then goes through to be approved by the Indian government,” he said.

Federal Attorney General Mark Dreyfus said the case “is a high priority” for the Australian government.

“Australian agencies continue to work closely with Indian authorities to pursue Mr Singh’s extradition to Australia, to enable him to face justice,” he said.

Toyah Cordingley, wearing pink sunglasses and with long pink hair, kneels on the beach with her dog, date unknown.
A $1 million reward was issued as part of the investigation into Toyah Cordingley’s death.(Facebook: Toyah Cordingley)

The case has had a profound impact on the far northern community. Billboards, shop windows and car bumpers continue to bear her name, urging those with information to contact police.

Mrs Cordingley’s body was discovered by her father Troy Cordingley on picturesque Wangetti Beach, located between tourist hotspots Cairns and Port Douglas, after hours of searching.

When the reward was announced earlier this month, he said her killer lived without consequence.

“At a minimum, this person needs to be removed from society and held accountable for their crime,” he said.

Queensland police are working with Indian authorities

In recent weeks, Detective Inspector Kevin Goan recently returned from New Delhi, where he had been working with Indian officials, including the Ministry of External Affairs, Home Affairs and the head of the Central Bureau of Investigations.

Five Queensland police officers who speak Hindi and Punjabi have received information via WhatsApp.

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