Toyah Cordingley with her beloved dogs
Toyah Cordingley with her beloved dogs

Toyah suspect still at large 622 days on

QUEENSLAND police are yet to launch a formal hunt for a fugitive suspected of the brutal beach murder of Toyah Cordingley, 622 days after he fled Australia.

Authorities have still not issued an arrest warrant or requested an Interpol "red notice" - a global alert - for key person of interest, Rajwinder Singh, who fled to India.

Singh continues to live as a free man in India, with local police powerless to arrest him without official order or request.

Queensland police have refused to discuss the status of the investigation or reveal why no formal hunt for Singh has been launched.

"This is a complex ongoing matter in which police are taking an appropriately thorough approach to all aspects of the investigation," police said in a statement.

Toyah Cordingley
Toyah Cordingley

 

Rajwinder Singh
Rajwinder Singh

On October 21, 2018, Toyah, then 24, took her large dog Indie for a walk along Wangetti Beach, north of Cairns, but never returned home.

The next day, a search party led by her father found her body partially buried, with visible and violent injuries. Her dog was found tied to a tree nearby.

It is believed Singh fled Australia on a flight to India that same day, leaving behind his wife, child and a nursing job at the Innisfail Hospital.

Extraditions from India are notoriously difficult.

And last year a family spokesman said the fugitive could be hiding in a Sikh temple.

"If someone wants to hide, it is easy to hide in India,'' the spokesman said.

"He could be in any one of thousands of Sikh temples, where he can live under a fake identity and get work, free food and board."

A permanent memorial for Toyah Cordingley at Wangetti Beach
A permanent memorial for Toyah Cordingley at Wangetti Beach

Runaway accused hit-and-run killer Puneet Puneet has been fighting extradition back to Australia since 2009, and just last month went missing before a final court appearance.

The tight-knit Cairns community has rallied to campaign for justice for Toyah, who would have turned 26 on June 14.

Hundreds of locals bear Toyah bumper stickers on their cars, billboards have Toyah's name and face emblazoned across them, a walk and memorial have been established, and a Facebook page has been set up in her honour.

In a written statement, a federal Attorney-General Department spokesman said: "As a matter of longstanding practice the Australian Government does not disclose whether it has made, or intends to make, an extradition request to a foreign country until the person is arrested or brought before (a foreign) court...

"This is in recognition of the sensitive law-enforcement context in which extradition requests are made and to avoid giving the person an opportunity to evade arrest."



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