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Toyah Cordingley: brutally murdered on Australian beach

Toyah Cordingley was a young girl, much loved by her friends and family. She was going on with her life as usual, until one day, at the age of 24, she was the victim of a murder full of mysteries.

Toyah was 24 years old at the time of the case, born on June 14, 1994, she was a young woman living in Woree, southeastern Australia. Her parents, Troy and Vanessa were separated, but they had a good coexistence and were very present in the girl’s life.

She was described by friends as loving and carefree, who enjoyed adventures and had a vibrant personality that was expressed through her colorful hair. She was known for her compassion and care for street animals, and had previously worked in rescue and volunteer work.

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Toyah was a full-time pharmacist in her city. Her boyfriend, Marco, took up a lot of her free time, the two had been in a relationship for 2 years, and their passion for animals was something that united them very much.

October 21, 2018, Sunday, case day

The young woman had a shift to fill as a pharmacist in the morning, and in the afternoon she had plans to walk her dogs.

About noon she ends her work shift, decides to go to a nearby market, bought some products and went home leaving the groceries and then to her boyfriend’s house, where she would pick up the dogs. Security camera footage proves the chronology of the facts.

Toyah drove to Wangetti Beach, 25 kilometers from where she lived. She liked to go to more secluded places where she could relax and exercise with her dogs.

The location is paradisiacal, having proximity only to a hotel and a resort. October is the beginning month of the Australian summer, making the trip very welcome.

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Dusk without news

It was late at night and Toyah still hadn’t returned, her boyfriend Marco began to get worried. There was no return of any messages or calls. At 9 pm the same day Marco called the police and reported Toyah missing.

Just after 9:30 pm the girl’s mother and boyfriend join the police in searching the beach. Because of the low light and the extensive environment the police team decides to postpone the search for a few hours, returning the next morning.

The family was desperate, Toyah’s father joined the group, they decided on their own to conduct a nighttime search. They drove towards the south of the beach where they found the vehicle, a blue Mitsubishi, year 2009.

More people join the search

Finding the parked car gave hope that Toyah was nearby. Members of the community joined the search early that morning. There was no electricity or lighting in the area. Visibility was provided by flashlights and lanterns.

About half a mile ahead was found Marco’s dog, who was conducting the walk with Toyah on Sunday afternoon. He was tied to a tree by a rope so tight that it did not allow the dog to sit or lie down. The dog was unharmed.

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The girl’s mother began to go into despair, Troy, the father took the lead in order to control the situation and they returned to where their daughter’s vehicle was.

Monday morning, discovery of the body

The search resumed, the police were following the beach when Toyah’s father spotted from afar what appeared to be a human foot protruding out of the sand. Quickly the father, in an act of desperation, ran towards it and began digging. Unfortunately he found his daughter, already lifeless.

She was lying naked in a shallow grave below the sand. The injuries indicated that she had been murdered, there were several knife punctures all over her body.

The family was in shock; the case deeply shook the community.

The funeral was held two weeks later, attended by 400 people and was even attended by the dog that was with Toyah in her last moments.

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Research

Toyah was murdered, this fact was irrefutable. Police efforts from nearby regions were added to the investigation. What was known by then was that the killer seemed to be a violent person, and the blows indicated that there was some kind of passionate motivation.

Close friends and family members were investigated, all had consistent alibis. Indy, the dog was a German Shepherd Dane, much larger than average, and had a protective tendency. And what it appeared so far was that the animal had shown no resistance to being tied to the tree, away from its owner. Everything indicated that Toyah knew her attacker.

More than 100 anonymous reports were received, cameras from nearby highways were checked and some locations questioned. But nothing led anywhere.

January 2019, a potential suspect emerges

The police’s list of interest boiled down to one name: Rajwinder Singh. A native of India, he lived with his wife and three children in Australia. Known as Raj, the man was described as hardworking. He worked in a geriatric hospital as a nurse and spoke three languages.

A quiet, isolated personality, Raj suffered from depression. Months before the case, co-workers reported that the man took several leaves of absence from work without any plausible justification. Everything got worse when Rajwinder Singh’s vehicle was identified in security camera footage on the day of the crime.

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A witness told police that he would have seen the nurse covered and scratched and bitten on Monday afternoon, the day after the crime. Police also hinted that they were able to collect DNA from the suspect on the beach, information that was never confirmed.

Rajwinder Singh abandons his family in a desperate act

On the same Monday where the body was found in the morning, and a witness claims to have seen Raj with signs of a struggle in the afternoon, the man decides to flee at night.

According to his sister, he flew to Sydney, and at dawn would return home. But that didn’t happen, Raj bought a ticket to his home country, India.

The police could not reach him in time, and bank data confirmed that the tickets were hastily purchased.

November 2019, frustrations in the case

The Indian authorities have revealed that they have never received a formal extradition request for Rajwinder Singh. An extradition agreement between two countries needs to be well-founded, sufficient evidence needs to be indicated that the accused should become a defendant, if denied on the first attempt, Raj would be exempted from the crimes.

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The victim’s family feels their hands are tied in the face of so much bureaucracy.

Months later an extradition request was actually made by the Australian government. And there are many gaps to be filled about the motive for the crime and relationship between Toyah and the suspect.

Rajwinder Singh’s whereabouts are unknown.

Final Thoughts

The case is still fresh, I believe more clues will emerge and Rajwinder won’t be able to spend much more time in the shadows.

This is another one of the cases that leaves us with a negative impression about the Indian police. Much more could have been done.

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19 thoughts on “Toyah Cordingley: brutally murdered on Australian beach”

  1. Very sad case
    They need to contact someone in a higher field eg- psychics or remote viewers
    Whether you believe in them or not it is worth a try to locate the perpetrater.
    Youd be suprized at the result providing you get the right one.
    I recommend Deb Weber who is from QLD

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    • We were on vacation in Cairns when she was murdered. My heart goes out to the family still waiting for justice. I hope the Indian government does the right thing before more innocent women die.

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  2. First time hearing this sad story, so sorry for the family losing their beautiful Toya, I hope they get the bastard and justice is served, the family needs closure 🫶

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  3. Oh my goodness…words can’t describe…it makes me SICK!!
    The photos show that Toyah was a gorgeous young woman enjoying her life in our great country.
    The photo of her Father at the spot where he found his daughter…shatters me. You poor people…I’m so sorry that this evil has happened to your beautiful girl & family.
    I pray that honesty prevails & that the monster is captured!

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    • Tell that to the Indian authorities, they have a habit of doing nothing, I’ve seen other horrendous crimes committed by Indians in Western countries and the Indian police do nothing even when committed in India to a westerner.

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  4. The Indian police have a reputation of not doing anything when an Indian person commits a serious crime in a Western country then escapes to India, whether they were in the U.K, Australia, N.Z or the U.S

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  5. But I thought that they suspected the killer was someone she knew? This man has no connection to her at all?
    Something is not adding up about this case
    Also what would have been the motive? What did they family of the man have to say about his whereabouts?
    Lot of unanswered questions

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    • Possibly in his job as a geriatric nurse he would be in contact a local pharmacy often, and she worked in a pharmacy according to the news. There aren’t many details, but it is a very sad case. I hope he is brought to justice and the poor family can have at least a bit of peace of mind.

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    • I beleive that he stayed at the camping grounds at wangetti beach few times and perhaps crossed the same path as toyah a few times.
      Thats probably how he was aware of her sunday walks there.
      They probably spoke a few times too
      They thought she knew her killer because the violet injuries was as “a personal attack” he might of had some deep seeded issues with women exposing their bodies in swimwear as alot of cultures do.
      He clearly had issues to put her in the state she was in with no respect to toyahs life or anyone its forever effected.
      His issues were escalating to go that far -its just sad that only now they are showing security camera footage of him leaving the country via airport cctv footage.
      Something that should of been done when they tracked toyahs ph in his vehicle within a few days of the crime
      4years ago.
      He was fleeing regardless because hes guilty so its a shame they remained tight lipped then because they could of acheived alot more results
      4years is just too long
      Sniffer dogs to and from
      Fresh witnesses worldwide but it is a goal setter that they are giving 1million dollar reward for an arrest. Lets hope thag kn this case money does talk.
      R.i.p toyah xxxxxxx

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  6. As an Indian i have only one thing to say sorry 😔. I myself being a 17 year old girl is scared to live in this country, and in addition India has a horrible judicial system and the police are worse. There is no use of democracy in this country.

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  7. with all sympathies and strength to the family of toya .I suspect that this man was somehow know to toyah through their professions and may be he was trying to forcing her into something as he was already married and was depressed by his family life moreover he needed refreshment in his life which she did not pay heed to ultimately this situation turns bad to worse poor toya i wish u could have been saved from this demon .
    Myself I am Indian(northeast) and I feel enraged whoever girl the victim maybe irrespective of nationale.Should be brought to justice wish If i could find the guy would have killed him myself.
    Moreover this kind of criminal mindset brings disgrace to the nation and the community as a whole .
    About the system no comments my silence answers that all .
    As now crores/ million will be given for his info I think somebody might come up with the info .
    I hope to see Positive results in this case .
    My Heart goes for the family and
    Her soul rest in peace .

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  8. Just a couple of points about the story.
    1. Cairns is in the North East of Australia not Southeast.
    2. October is the middle of Spring not the start of Summer.
    That said very well written. I live in Cairns and the people here have not and will not forget Toya, and we will not rest until Justice is served.

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    • Yes, and as an Indian living in US for 20 yrs, I just want to say this is very sad news that I have followed for years. He is caught finally today. Indian Government had agreed to extradition since long time BTW. But given country’s population, Police cannot find criminals even domestically lot of times, with best of their intentions/efforts. They are resource scarce always.

      I saw his latest pic with turban 15 mins back in a news online so indeed he was disguised in India too. $1MM made someone finally act. Better late than never

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      • That being said, the Indian extradition laws will make it a long time before he faces an Australian court. The news reports here in Australia are predicting a minimum of 2 to 5 years.

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  9. First, thanks for writing such a detailed story! There was so little information about what happened in the beginning. Especially it’s even harder to find now that they got this SOB. Can’t imagine what compelled this guy. He had a wife and 3 kids and decided to do this to a poor young woman walking her dog… Hope they bring him back to Australia to face justice.

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  10. Terry
    Very sad, Toyah from all photos & information provided was a beautiful, loving & carefree girl who met up with a monster at Wangetti Beach.
    4 years is far too long to catch up with this bastard, the extradition from India needs to be fast tracked so Singh will face an Australian Court.
    Can only begin to imagine what her family have been going through, hope they can obtain some closure now
    Have made many trips through that area, both business & holidaying in Cairns & Port Douglas, & stopped numerous times at Wangetti Beach, does have a somewhat dark past
    Toyah R.I.P

    Reply

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