After four long years, the family of 24-year-old Toyah Cordingley will finally have closure after the arrest of a 38-year-old man in India for her murder, described as a “frenzied and brutal” attack on an Australian beach.
Rajwinder Singh, who was a nurse working about two hours from the crime scene at the time, has been taken into custody after Australia offered a AUS $1 million ($675,000) reward for information about his whereabouts on October 23, the fourth anniversary of her death.
Singh became a prime suspect after he left his wife and three children in Australia suddenly without even giving notice for his job the day after Cordingley’s father found her body buried in sand dunes on a beach in Queensland. Cordingley, who worked at an animal shelter, had been walking her dog on the beach at the time she was attacked. Her dog was tied up nearby.
Police have not said if Singh knew his alleged suspect before the attack, or what his motive might have been. His family denies he is “capable” of such a crime.
For the last four years, Australian police have built a case against Singh, but had no idea where he might be. Even his family in India near where he was arrested said they had not heard from him since 2018. “It was never a question of if, but when this day would come,” Queensland police commissioner Katarina Carroll told Australian media. “I am very confident we have a strong case to put before the courts.”
Police have not said if anyone will claim the award, but Australian police were only granted an extradition agreement upon his arrest in October 2022 after petitioning for one in March 2021.
Cordingley’s father, who held a memorial at the beach where she was found on the anniversary of her death, said he was pleased with the arrest. “While justice will not bring Toyah back, justice is the very least that she deserves,” he said, according to ABC Australia.
Police have never given details about how Cordingley died, but called the murder targeted and “sadistic.”