Extradition bid for Toyah’s suspected killer

The Australian government will formally ask India to extradite a man suspected of murdering Toyah Cordingley and leaving her body on a beach north of Cairns.

Mar 19, 2021, updated Mar 19, 2021
Toyah Cordingley's body was found at Wangetti Beach, north of Cairns, in October, 2018. Photo: supplied

Toyah Cordingley's body was found at Wangetti Beach, north of Cairns, in October, 2018. Photo: supplied

The man fled Australia after Cordingley’s boy was found at Wangetti Beach on October 21, 2018.

The 24-year-old pharmacy worker and animal shelter volunteer was taking her dog for a walk on the beach 40 km north of Cairns when she was killed.

She was reported missing within about 10 hours because her disappearance was so out of character. The next day, her father Troy Cordingley found her body in dunes while he was out searching for her.

Cordingley’s murder sparked a passionate community-driven hunt to find her killer, with hand-made posters appearing in shop windows pleading for any information about who had committed the crime.

Media reports have long identified a male nurse from India as a prime suspect. The nurse abruptly left Cairns for his homeland after the body was found.

Assistant Minister to the Attorney-General, Amanda Stoker, confirmed she’d signed an extradition warrant for an Indian national wanted by Queensland Police over the murder. She did not name him.

Senator Stoker said she took the unusual step of confirming the warrant’s existence due to extraordinary community and media interest in the case.

Australia must now formally lodge the extradition request with India.

Far north Queensland federal MP Warren Entsch, who has closely followed the investigation and remains in touch with Cordingley’s family, said it was a very significant step in the fight for justice.

“It’s taken a long time to make sure we got it right. It’s quite complex, and there’s a very high threshold of evidence (required). I’m pleased there’s obviously enough to satisfy the assistant minister to sign off on it,” he said.

“Hopefully India will now issue a warrant.”

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