The shocking disguise of Toyah Cordingley’s accused killer as he is finally arrested in India following million-dollar reward – four years after she was found dead on a remote beach
- Toyah Cordingley, 24, was found dead on a beach in north Queensland in 2018
- Her alleged murderer, Rajwinder Singh, 38, fled to India two days after her death
- On Friday, Indian police revealed they had tracked him down and arrested him
- They have now shared a photo of Singh, looking completely different to 2018
A new photo has revealed the shocking disguise of a male nurse suspected of killing Toyah Cordingley in north Queensland more than four years ago.
After a four-year hunt, he was finally tracked down to a village in India and arrested on Friday.
Police in Delhi have now shared a photo of the suspect, showing him sporting a turban and large white-streaked beard.
His appearance is completely different to photos that circulated of him after Toyah’s death in 2018.
He was arrested following an extradition request by Australia in 2021 and a $1 million reward offered by Queensland authorities earlier this month which attracted the attention of bounty hunters.
Rajwinder Singh, 38, was finally tracked down to a village in India and arrested on Friday. Police in Delhi have now shared a photo of the suspect, showing him sporting a turban and large white-streaked beard
Rajwinder Singh (pictured in 2018) fled to India two days after her death, leaving behind his wife and three kids
Toyah Cordingley (pictured) was 24 when she was found dead in a shallow grave at Wangetti Beach in October 2018
The former Innisfail nurse is expected to face court in India ‘very shortly’ and Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll is hopeful of a smooth extradition process to Australia.
She also said it is ‘too early’ to determine whether the million dollar award will be paid out but added she’ll ‘happily write out that cheque myself’ if the required processes have been followed.
‘The relationship working with the local Indian police on this has been exceptional, we’ve worked with them and the Australian Federal Police for an extended period of time,’ she said.
‘It has been … one of the most intense, comprehensive, across the world investigations over many years now.’
An extradition request for Singh was lodged with the Indian government in March last year. The Indian government approved the request last month.
In announcing the $1million reward earlier this month, the largest in Queensland’s history, police said they were hopeful Singh would be found.
While bounties are generally offered for information that leads to a criminal conviction, police in this case offered the reward for Mr Singh’s arrest instead.
Police believe Singh has been avoiding apprehension in the Punjab region since travelling to India on October 23, 2018.
Toyah Cordingley drove to Wangetti Beach, north of Cairns, on October 21, 2018, to walk her dog.
The pharmacy worker and animal shelter volunteer was then allegedly attacked and killed at the beach.
Friends and family conducted a search for Toyah when she didn’t return home.
In an horrific twist, it was Toyah’s father who discovered her body the next morning, buried in a shallow grave with her dog tied up nearby.
Police later identified Rajwinder Singh, from Innisfall, as a suspect.
Mr Singh flew from Cairns to Sydney after the alleged murder before he boarded a plane to India two days after Toyah’s death.
Toyah had driven to Wangetti Beach, north of Cairns, to walk her dog. She never returned home
Police have released images of Mr Singh moments before he boarded a plane to India at Sydney International Airport
He left behind his nursing job, his wife and his three children.
Police released images of Mr Singh at Sydney International Airport earlier this month, just moments before he left the country.
He was believed to have flown to his hometown of Amritsar in Punjab.
His family denied allegations he killed Toyah, saying he was ‘not capable’ of murder.
They also claimed his flight back to India two days after Toyah’s death was pure coincidence.
On November 3, Queensland Police Detective Acting Superintendent Sonia Smith described the unique nature of the reward and how a member of the public could receive it if information led to the suspect’s capture.
‘This reward is unique in that we’re appealing to any member of the public for information which could assist police in locating and arresting Singh,’ she said.
‘In usual terms, a reward of this nature would be posted to seek public assistance in solving a crime.’
An extradition request was lodged for Mr Singh (pictured) in March last year. It was signed off by Indian authorities last month
Supt Smith said a dedicated team of detectives from Cairns, Far North and the Homicide Investigation Unit had worked tirelessly towards ensuring justice for Toyah and her family.
‘We strongly believe there are people in Australia and overseas who could share information about the whereabouts of Rajwinder Singh,’ she said.
‘This is most definitely the time to come forward and tell us what you know.’
Police Minister Mark Ryan approved the reward in early November and said an appropriate indemnity from prosecution would be considered for any accomplice, not being the person who committed the crime, who gave information leading to Mr Singh’s arrest.
Queensland Police worked with Australian Federal Police, Commonwealth Attorney-General’s department and Indian police to find Mr Singh in India.