Australia

Queensland police widen hunt for beach killer

Toyah Cordingley went missing while walking her dog on Sunday. She was found dead on Monday. Source: Facebook

Queensland police have extended their search for a young woman's killer after she was found dead on an isolated beach north of Cairns.

Police have broadened their hunt for clues in the death of a young Cairns woman whose body was found on a deserted north Queensland beach after she went missing while walking her dog.

Toyah Cordingley's body was found in dunes at Wangetti Beach, 40 kilometres north of the popular holiday spot, on Monday.

The 24-year-old animal lover was reported missing by her family after she failed to return from an afternoon walk on Sunday.

Homicide detectives are treating her death as suspicious and potentially a sexually-related murder.

Investigators have now extended their search for evidence beyond the isolated beach north to Port Douglas and south to Cairns.

Detective Inspector Sonia Smith says officers are looking into Ms Cordingley's visit to Rusty's Markets on Sheridan St in Cairns on Sunday before she went to the beach.

"If anybody has spoken to her at that location please come forward," she told reporters on Tuesday.

"We have already made a number of inquires with family, friends and colleagues but if we haven't spoken to you yet we would ask you to make contact with us."

Det Insp Smith appealed for dashcam footage from drivers who travelled between Smithfield and Port Douglas on Sunday between 12 pm and 7 pm using the Captain Cook Highway.

She said detectives were particularly interested in obtaining footage from the northern and southern car park areas of Wangetti beach.

Police divers are also searching waters near where the body was found for Ms Cordingley's personal possessions, she said.

The young pharmacy worker's body and dog were discovered on Monday morning by SES volunteers 800 metres north of her car, which was parked in a camping ground car park.

The community has been mourning the popular young woman's death.

Friends and strangers have posted messages of grief and outrage on her Facebook page.

"Rest in peace beautiful soul. This story is so upsetting. I don't know who you are but so many people are sending love for your family and friends. Goodbye Toyah," Shaeley Paris Young-Wilson posted.

"I didn't know Toyah but just by the way I see she loved animals, she was clearly a beautiful person. May she rest peacefully and be forever surrounded by angels," Judy Wilson wrote.

"I hope the police and community in Cairns find the person who did this atrocity and bring them to swift justice," Sharon Cousins said.

Anyone with information should call Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch