Parents of murdered dog walker Toyah Cordingley celebrate what would have been her 27th birthday almost three years after her accused killer left his wife, child and job and fled to India
- Toyah Cordingley’s parents celebrated what would have been her 27th birthday
- Ms Cordingley, 24, was found dead on Wangetti Beach, QLD, in October 2018
- Extradition order has been issued for suspect in the murder of Toyah Cordingley
- Nurse Rajwinder Singh reportedly left his wife, child and job in Cairns for India
Toyah Cordingley’s parents have celebrated what would have been her 27th birthday almost three years after she was found dead on a beach with her distressed dog.
The 24-year-old’s father, Troy, found her naked body on Wangetti Beach, north of Cairns, in October 2018 and has campaigned for her killer to be brought to justice.
Rajwinder Singh, the prime suspect in Toyah’s death, fled to India – leaving behind his wife, child and job as a nurse – the day she was killed and the Australian Government issued an extradition request.
But on Monday Mr Cordingley said he ‘chooses to be happy’ and celebrate Toyah’s life on her birthday rather than dwell on her death.
‘I choose to be happy and remember all the wonderful times that we had together. Today, I know that you are with me, so we will have fun and smile and laugh together,’ he said.
Toyah’s mother Vanessa Gardiner reflected on her daughter’s death while celebrating with a vegan chocolate birthday cake, espresso martini and photos of the would-be 27-year-old
Mr Cordingley said he ‘chooses to be happy’ and celebrate Toyah’s life on her birthday rather than dwell on the tragedy of her death
Toyah’s mother Vanessa Gardiner also reflected on the past two-and-a-half years since her daughter’s death, sharing her grief that Toyah’s life was cut short.
‘You should have been celebrating with family and friends… drinking your espresso martini and enjoying your vegan chocolate cake and captivating everyone with your contagious laugh and beauty.
‘Not a day passes without thinking of you… We will never give up.’
In March, Assistant Minister to the Attorney-General Amanda Stoker confirmed she personally signed an extradition request to India for Singh.
‘[The] man is wanted by Queensland Police in relation to the murder of Toyah Cordingley,’ she said.
Toyah Cordingley (pictured) was murdered north of Cairns in October 2018
Nurse Rajwinder Singh reportedly left his wife, child and job in Cairns for India the day the 24-year-old was killed while taking her dog for a walk
Ms Stoker said the Australian Government does not typically comment on individual steps taken along the extradition process in an individual manner.
‘However, given the intense community and media interest in this matter, I am publicly confirming that a formal extradition request has been approved by me,’ she said.
Pictured: Toyah Cordingley
‘The next step in the extradition process is to formally lodge the request with India.’
Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said Attorney-General Christian Porter had worked closely with Queensland Police to prepare a brief of evidence for Indian authorities, Cairns Post reported.
‘We’ve got an extradition order agreement with India but a very high level of evidence is required – you’ve almost got to prosecute the case to have a change of getting it accepted by India,’ he said.
‘That’s why it has taken so long.
‘It has been back and forth between Queensland Police and the Attorney-General because you generally only get one whack of this.’
The order does not mean Mr Singh is guilty of murder and the Indian government do not have to immediately send him back to Australia.
While the extradition process can take years, Mr Entsch said authorities are sure to ‘get it right’ to ensure they can ‘bring a perpetrator to justice’.
Mr Cordingley discovered the 24-year-old’s naked body in sand dunes almost 12 hours after she was reported missing.
Ms Cordingley was found dead on Wangetti Beach, north of Cairns, in October 2018