Manhunt for medico who fled to India after murder
A MALE Indian nurse who fled overseas after the murder of Toyah Cordingley has emerged as a key suspect in the killing.
The Sunday Mail understands the nurse, who was working at a far north Queensland hospital, inexplicably packed up his belongings and flew back to India after her body was found.
It is believed witnesses saw the man with visible scratch and bite marks and behaving suspiciously in the hours before he fled overseas.
Homicide detectives are working to track his movements during a trip to Cairns on the day Toyah (above) was murdered at Wangetti Beach while taking her dog for a Sunday walk.
HOMICIDE detectives are investigating a male Indian nurse working at a far north Queensland hospital – who has fled overseas – as a key suspect in the Toyah Cordingley murder.
Queensland Police has been liaising with Interpol and Indian law enforcement agencies in an international manhunt for the suspected killer of the popular 24-yearold at Wangetti Beach seven weeks ago.
The Sunday Mail understands the former Queensland Health enrolled nurse inexplicably packed up his belongings and flew back to India shortly after the grisly discovery of her body in sand dunes.
Police have been working to track the suspect’s movements on a trip to Cairns on the day of Toyah’s murder and to match DNA that may link him to the murder scene.
It is believed witnesses saw the man, who speaks Hindi and Punjabi, with visible scratch and bite marks behaving suspiciously on his return home after his trip to Cairns.
It is understood he booked his flight to India that evening and flew out the following day.
Police are also understood to have identified the nurse’s car driving erratically in security pictures from traffic and dash cams in the same location Toyah’s mobile phone was triangulated to.
Toyah, a pharmacy assistant and a “beautiful soul”, was brutally attacked and killed while walking her dog in broad daylight on the secluded beach 40km north of Cairns, on Sunday, October 21.
Her father, Troy, found the dog tied to a tree and her body “all messed up” and buried in sand with “visible and violent injuries” in a search early the next day.
It is the most high-profile police homicide investigation in the state’s north in living memory, with tens of thousands of people rallying together to help find the killer and get justice for Toyah.
Toyah’s family will be briefed by police – headed by a team of 12 crack homicide investigators – in Cairns today.
It is understood the family is taking the breakthrough cautiously until her convicted killer is put behind bars.
The Sunday Mail yesterday contacted relatives of the suspect, who declined to comment, except to say the man was not at home.
Queensland Health’s Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service confirmed that the male nurse had disappeared from work without explanation shortly after Toyah was found murdered.
“We can confirm the person is no longer an employee of Queensland Health,’’ a statement said.
“This matter is under police investigation and therefore we will not be making any comment.’’
Staff at the hospital where the man worked have given statements to police about the individual, his behaviour, professional record, personal details, family history and his movements.
Police investigators have tightly guarded the top-level murder probe and various strategies deployed to catch the killer.
Yesterday they declined to discuss the stunning breakthrough in the case.
Asked if investigators had a DNA match linking the suspect to the murder or if an Interpol red list notice had been issued for his arrest, police declined to comment.
It is understood Queensland Police are working with the Australian Federal Police to try to secure evidence in India.
“The Queensland Police Service will not be providing anything further other than the investigation is continuing,’’ a spokesman said.
“Speculation surrounding elements of the investigation are not helpful and have the potential to jeopardise it.”
As part of the investigation, detectives had previously launched an appeal to help identify drivers of 68 vehicles that had been captured on security video travelling
We can confirm the person is no longer an employee of Queensland Health QUEENSLAND HEALTH SPOKESPERSON
south on the Captain Cook Highway near Clifton Beach about 5pm on the day Toyah was murdered.
This week, former Melbourne Storm fullback Billy Slater lent his autograph to a bumper sticker campaign to find Toyah’s killer during a hometown visit to Innisfail.
The sticker campaign has notched up enormous numbers with about 40,000 de- cals being printed so far. The sticker, signed by the league legend, was to be raffled to raise money to print more.
“Those have all been done for free, but it’s getting to the point where we need to raise money to get more printed,” Innisfail resident Sol Daley said.
“All it will take is to put the puzzle pieces together.”
GRUESOME DISCOVERY: Toyah Cordingley and (left) Wangetti Beach, north of Cairns, where her body was found seven weeks ago. Picture: Anna Rogers