Toyah Cordingley, 24, was murdered on Wangetti Beach near Cairns on October 21. Picture: Queensland Police
Toyah Cordingley, 24, was murdered on Wangetti Beach near Cairns on October 21. Picture: Queensland Police

Police hunt ‘panicked’ men in Toyah’s murder

HOMICIDE detectives could be chasing down a new line of inquiry today after a witness came forward to describe the moment he stumbled upon two panicked men heading away from Wangetti Beach the day 24-year-old Toyah Cordingley was murdered.

Queensland Police were unable to confirm if they'd spoken to the man but said the hundreds of Crime Stoppers tips on Ms Cordingley's murder meant detectives might have already interviewed them.

Speaking to the Courier-Mail, the witness said he was driving down the Captain Cook Highway, north of Cairns, when he spotted the erratic men on the side of the road, waving for help.

When the witness, who asked not to be named, pulled over, the men said they had lost their tyre jack and needed help changing a flat tyre.

"They were really freaking out," the witness told the publication.

"It was strange behaviour - they were in a huge panic. It was just a flat tyre but they were really stressing out."

 

The Crime Stoppers display at Wangetti Beach carpark. Picture: Anna Rogers
The Crime Stoppers display at Wangetti Beach carpark. Picture: Anna Rogers

 

A deserted Wangetti Beach where Toyah Cordingley was murdered. Picture: Anna Rogers
A deserted Wangetti Beach where Toyah Cordingley was murdered. Picture: Anna Rogers

 

The witness said the men appeared "scruffy" and after helping them, they hastily piled back into their white ute and began the 40km drive south to Cairns.

A Queensland Police spokesman said detectives were painstakingly going through each of the 600 Crime Stoppers files to try to find clues that might lead them to Ms Cordingley's killer.

Earlier this week, police released a patched together video of Ms Cordingley's final hours, including CCTV of the 24-year-old in Cairns on October 21.

Ms Cordingley went to Rusty's Markets in the Far North Queensland city before driving the 40km north to the remote Wangetti Beach, where she was murdered.

On Monday, Detective Inspector Sonia Smith made another appeal for public assistance, telling reporters they were still hunting for suspects

"We understand photographs are very good but it doesn't replace vision where people can get more of an idea of what that person actually looks like and acts like and it may just be another thing just to trigger somebody to think, 'Yes, maybe I did see something,'" Ms Smith said.

"Toyah was wearing a light-coloured crocheted singlet top and carrying a large striped colourful bag when she was at Rusty's Markets and she was there for just over half an hour.

"It is possible that Toyah changed clothes after leaving the markets."

Ms Cordingley's family raised the alarm on October 21, hours after she'd told her family she had gone to walk her dog at the beach.

Toyah's dad Troy Cordingley led a search party to Wangetti Beach the next morning, finding his daughter's body in the sand dunes.

Queensland Police later said Ms Cordingley had sustained "visible, violent injuries" before her death.

Toyah was last seen at Rusty’s Markets in Cairns.
Toyah was last seen at Rusty’s Markets in Cairns.

 

Police have widened their hunt for Ms Cordingley's killer, appealing for all and any information earlier this week.

"We've had a massive amount of support form the community and they've given us dashcam footage," Det Insp Smith said.

"We're particularly interested in the time between 2pm and 3pm on Sunday, October 21. Any footage between Ellis Beach and the turn-off to Port Douglas both north and south."

Police said they were no longer just asking for dashcam footage and asked anyone with helmet cams, GoPros or even photographs to contact police.

"We'd like to remind people to look around in their community and think about anyone in their community since last Sunday that has any injuries that can't be accounted for, movements that can't be accounted for between 12pm and 7pm and anyone with damaged or unaccounted for clothing," Det Insp Smith said.

She said Queensland Police was pouring all of its resources into finding the 24-year-old's killer.

"We have an open investigation and we will leave no stone unturned until we find out who is responsible for Toyah's death," Det Insp Smith said.

"We will conduct inquiries as they present to us. Needless to say it is an open investigation - we do have an open mind and we will follow all lines of inquiry until we get answers for Toyah and her family."



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