The accused killer of Toyah Cordingley lands in Australia for the first time since her body was found dumped on a beach
- Rajwinder Singh, 38, was facing a court in Melbourne after being extradited from India
- His arrest came after a four-year manhunt following the murder of Mrs Cordingley
The man suspected of murdering Queensland woman Toyah Cordingley is set to face an extradition hearing in Melbourne after a ‘determined’ and ‘accurate’ four-year police investigation led to his extradition from India.
Rajwinder Singh is at Magistrates Court in Melbourne where Queensland Police are applying to extradite him north on Wednesday for questioning over the murder of Ms Cordingley four years ago.
The body of the 24-year-old woman was found in the sand dunes after taking her dog for a walk on Wangetti Beach, north of Cairns, in October 2018.
Rajwinder Singh arrives at Melbourne Magistrates Court in Melbourne on Wednesday
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
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.
“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, leaving his wife and three children at their home in Innisfail.
Toyah had driven to Wangetti Beach, north of Cairns, to walk her dog. She never returned home
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.
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.”