The man suspected of killing Queensland woman Toyah Cordingley has landed in Cairns – as her father first stated.
Rajwinder Singh, 38, arrived on a private jet on Thursday and is expected to face charges of murder after spending his first night behind bars in Australia.
More than four years after Ms Cordingley’s body was found partially buried on the white sands of Wangetti Beach, Cairns, in October 2018, Mr Singh returned to the tourist town – this time under police escort.
Toyah’s father Troy Cordingley has spoken of his relief that Singh, who lives in India, has been extradited.
“The return to Australia of the prime suspect in the Toyah case is another step in the process that I can cross off my list,” Cordingley told the paper. Cairns Post.
Toyah Cordingley (pictured) was just 24 when she was found dead in a shallow grave in the sand dunes at Wangetti Beach in October 2018
“This is a very difficult time for me personally, both mentally and physically, but it is positive news. Once again I thank the Queensland Police for keeping me fully informed and informed on a regular basis.”
He added that there is “a long way to go” and that he will “remain so strong” to “achieve some sort of justice for my beautiful girl.”
“Anything for Toyah,” he added.
Handcuffed and flanked by detectives, the former nurse arrived early Thursday afternoon at the Queensland Government Air Force Base in Cairns.
Toyah’s father Troy Cordingley (pictured) has spoken of his relief that Singh lives in India
He is expected to be taken to Cairns Police Station where he will be formally charged.
The day before, Mr. Singh from Delhi in Melbourne before a Victorian magistrate ordered him to return to the state he allegedly fled when Ms Cordingley’s body was found half-buried in sand dunes.
Police believe he hid in the state of Punjab after fleeing Australia, leaving his wife and three children behind at their home on the Cassowary Coast.
Detective Acting Superintendent Kevin Goan said on Wednesday that Ms Cordingley’s family had been told Mr Singh would be returning to Queensland.
“They are clearly overwhelmed, but delighted that legal proceedings will resume on Australian soil in the very near future,” he said.
Magistrate Martin Grinberg ordered Mr Singh’s extradition to Queensland after learning police had DNA and telephone evidence linking him to the case.
Toyah had driven to Wangetti Beach, north of Cairns, to walk her dog. She never returned home
He has been remanded in custody and is expected to appear before a court in Cairns once charged.
Mr Singh landed at Melbourne Airport at about 12.40am on Wednesday with a police escort on a Qantas flight from New Delhi before being taken to court.
Detective Inspector Sonia Smith said the extradition of the 38-year-old is the culmination of a “determined” and “careful” effort by police to bring justice for Ms Cordingley and her family.
“We are committed to finding answers for Toyah’s family and the work of everyone involved has been painstaking since that terrible day in October 2018,” she said in a statement.
Rajwinder Singh is escorted to a police car at Cairns Airport
“It has been a long journey, including the announcement of the $1 million reward for information – the largest in Queensland history – last November.
“Our thoughts, and I know those of the close-knit community of Cairns, have always been and will always be with Toyah’s family.”
Mr Singh, a local nurse and an Australian citizen, boarded a flight to India hours after Ms Cordingley’s body was found in 2018.
Then federal assistant minister to Attorney General Amanda Stoker issued an arrest warrant to Indian authorities for an unnamed suspect in the case in May 2021.
Mr Singh, a local nurse and an Australian citizen, boarded a flight to India in 2018 hours after Ms Cordingley’s body was found
The Queensland government subsequently offered a record $1 million reward for information leading to Mr Singh’s arrest in November 2022, with three police officers flying to India to follow up on any leads.
Mr Singh was then arrested by Indian police in New Delhi about a month later before an Indian magistrate ordered his extradition to Australia.
“Together with other Australian agencies, we have continued to work closely and respectfully with the Indian authorities to pursue justice for Toyah and her family,” added Det Insp Smith.
“The relationship the QPS has with Australian and other law enforcement agencies again demonstrates the importance of international partnerships.”
Det Insp Smith said the $1 million reward has not yet been awarded, but will be “fully considered” after due diligence.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she was grateful a police investigation had led to Mr Singh’s extradition and a chance for justice.
“It was phenomenal to track down this person in India and deliver them here,” she told reporters in Rockhampton.
“And hopefully it will give Toyah’s family a sense of comfort to know that the police did everything within their power for justice.”