Toyah Cordingley.
Toyah Cordingley.

Beach murder a ‘disgusting’ act of violence

A NORTH Queensland mayor says the murder of Toyah Cordingley on an isolated beach was a disgusting, horrific act of violence that has shaken the local community.

The body of 24-year-old Ms Cordingley was found on Monday in dunes at Wangetti Beach, 40km north of Cairns.

She went missing while walking her dog on Sunday.

Investigators are combing the beach for clues as well as tracing Ms Cordingley's steps as they hunt for her killer.


Toyah Cordingley’s body was found on a beach north of Cairns.
Toyah Cordingley’s body was found on a beach north of Cairns.


Douglas Shire Mayor Julia Leu issued a statement on Wednesday calling for public help to solve the crime.

"This is a disgusting, horrific and fatal act of violence against a young woman who was enjoying what so many people do on a daily basis - walk along our beautiful beaches," Ms Leu said.

"It is extremely chilling to think a murderer is out there." Ms Leu said she wants anyone with information to contact police immediately. Police have broadened their search beyond the isolated beach north to Port Douglas and south to Cairns.

A visit to Rusty's Markets in Cairns by Ms Cordingley before she headed to the beach is part of the investigation, police say.

"If anybody has spoken to her at that location please come forward," Detective Inspector Sonia Smith told reporters on Tuesday.

Appeals have also been made for dashcam footage from drivers who travelled between Smithfield and Port Douglas on Sunday using the Captain Cook Highway between 12pm and 7pm on Sunday.

Det Insp Smith said detectives were particularly interested in obtaining footage from the northern and southern car park areas of Wangetti beach. Police divers were also searching waters near where the body was found for Ms Cordingley's personal possessions, she said.

Ms Leu said Ms Cordingley's death had shaken her community.


Toyah Cordingley.
Toyah Cordingley.


"I have lived here for 27 years and this is not something we expect," she said.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk added her voice to calls for anyone for information on the murder of Toyah Cordingley to come forward, describing the crime as both horrific and "absolutely heartbreaking".

"I know that police have already received a number of calls but any information, please, we need to catch who was responsible for this horrific murder," Ms Palaszczuk, who is in the state's Far North, said.

"If you have seen anything or you have heard anything, or if you have overheard any conversations, please contact police."

Ms Palaszczuk said her thoughts were with Toyah's family.

"My heart goes out to her family that must be going through a very, very sad time at the moment," she said.

"it is absolutely heartbreaking. As a woman I want women to be able to go out there and live their lives, to go about and do their business.

"This should not happen to a young woman out there walking her dog on a Sunday.

Ms Palaszczuk thanked police and SES for the work they were doing to try and catch whoever was responsible for the crime.

"This is really tough, tough, tough work. It is also very emotional work. We have trained professionals here doing everything they possibly can."