Toyah was murdered last month. Picture: Queensland Police
Toyah was murdered last month. Picture: Queensland Police

Cops hunt ‘aggressive’ men over murder

POLICE are again appealing for help finding the person who murdered Toyah Cordingley, leaving her body in the sand dunes of Wangetti Beach in a remote section of far north Queensland.

Detectives say they have fresh leads after searching a suburb in Cairns, almost a month after the 24-year-old was killed.

Ms Cordingley was last seen at Rusty's Markets in Cairns on October 21 before driving to Wangetti Beach north of the city to take her dog for a walk.

She was reported missing late that night before her dad Troy Cordingley found her body on the beach the next morning.

In a heartbreaking statement today, Ms Cordingley's mum Vanessa Gardiner spoke of the moment the family started looking for the 24-year-old at Wangetti Beach.

"We started our search in pure darkness with our little torches and continued to search as much as we could until light at 5.30am," she said.

"Eventually I found Toyah's dog Indie and we kept searching until my phone battery went flat."

Ms Cordingley's mum headed back to the car when her phone went flat but Troy kept looking, eventually finding his daughter's body on the beach. The distraught father later had to be carried back to the carpark by friends.

Flowers and cards on a tree at Wangetti beach where Toyah Cordingley was murdered PICTURE: ANNA ROGERS
Flowers and cards on a tree at Wangetti beach where Toyah Cordingley was murdered PICTURE: ANNA ROGERS

Speaking to reporters, Detective Inspector Sonia Smith said their search of the Caravonica and Lake Placid area, in northern Cairns, yesterday yielded a number of items of interest, but he would not detail what had been found.

Police are now appealing for people who saw anyone acting suspiciously in the area on the day Ms Cordingley went missing to come forward.

Detective Insp Smith also called for women who have been approached by men acting inappropriately or aggressively between the northern beaches of Cairns and Cardwell during the past two years to come forward.

"We are also keen to speak to any female who has been approached by any male either acting inappropriately, aggressively, or making them feel uncomfortable in the last 12 months to two years in any beach area or secluded area between the northern beaches of Cairns to Cardwell," Detective Insp Smith said.

"I'm not saying sexual, I'm using the word 'inappropriate', I'm using the words 'making people feel uncomfortable'.

"I'm leaving that broad so community can make their own determination on what they feel they would like to come forward and report to the police.

"We've already had a number of calls (from women) to Crimestoppers in relation to males causing them concern on our beaches."

Toyah was found on Wangetti Beach. Picture: Stewart McLean
Toyah was found on Wangetti Beach. Picture: Stewart McLean

Immediately after Ms Cordingley's murder was reported, a number of women complained about the behaviour they'd experienced on the beach on social media.

The local publication Cairns Post received numerous reports of nude men displaying "deviant sexual behaviour" on the beach in recent months.

Detectives are also appealing for dashcam footage from drivers who travelled between Wangetti and Clifton beaches on the Captain Cook Highway on October 21 between 4.30pm and 5.30pm.

In a statement, Ms Cordingley's mother Vanessa Gardiner urged anyone who knows what happened to her daughter to contact police.

"If there is anyone who is holding back or knows something about this, no matter how small the information may be, we plead with you to come forward to bring us closer to finding who and why anyone would do this to our Toyah," Ms Gardiner said.

"You can help our broken family by bringing hope and justice for Toyah's senseless death.

"Life for us will never, ever be the same.

"A message from Toyah to everyone, especially all the young women in the world - NEVER GIVE UP!"