Extradition request sent to India for key suspect in murder of Cairns woman

The person of interest was identified as Rajwinder Singh by media outlets.

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A formal extradition warrant has been lodged for an Indian national in relation to the murder of Cairns local Toyah Cordingley in 2018.

“I can confirm that I have signed an extradition request to India with respect to a man wanted by Queensland Police in relation to the murder of Toyah Cordingley,” Assistant Minister to the Attorney-General, Amanda Stoker said in a statement.

While she did not name the suspect, numerous media reports had previously identified him as Rajwinder Singh, a male nurse.

In October 2018, 24 year old pharmacy worker Toyah Cordingley was found dead on Wangetti Beach north of Cairns. Singh is believed to have fled to India after he was identified as a key suspect.

At the time, Queensland Police had criticised the move for potentially jeopardising their investigation.

According to Senator Stoker, she confirmed the signing of the extradition warrant due to the large media attention in the case. When news outlets first reported Cordingley’s murder, the North Queensland community had rallied together, creating handmade posters in the hunt for the killer.

Last year, they had held a vigil on the beach to mark two years since Cordingley’s passing.

Far north Queensland federal MP Warren Entsch has welcomed the news of the extradition request.

“The family and the broader community have been very frustrated with the timeframe on this but it has been necessary, unfortunately, to make sure that we get it right, to give us the best shot,” he was quoted as saying by the ABC. “Hopefully India will now issue a warrant.”

Cordingley’s father Troy, who had found her body on the beach the day after she was killed, had been vocal on social media about the length of time taken to find the killer.

“We ask everyone to contact their local member to voice their concerns about the length of time Toyah’s case is taking. We need this person behind bars,” Mr Cordingley wrote on social media.

Australia’s extradition request is in addition to a previous request for Puneeth Puneeth who had killed a Melbourne student while drink driving in 2008. After pleading guilty to the charges and being released on bail, Puneeth had notoriously stolen a friend’s passport and fled to India. He was arrested by Indian authorities in 2013 and extradition proceedings remain ongoing.

READ ALSO: Jasmeen Kaur found murdered in a shallow grave in remote South Australia

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