Toyah Cordingley’s friends and family have vowed never to give up on bringing her killer to justice, as the one-year anniversary of her murder passes with no arrests.
A memorial was unveiled on Saturday not far from where the 24-year-old was killed on Wangetti Beach, less than an hour’s drive north of Cairns, on October 21, 2018.
More than 100 people attended many arriving on Harley Davidson motorcycles, wearing yellow and carrying sunflowers to lay as tributes.
Ms Cordingley’s family, although not present at the unveiling, were involved in constructing the memorial and chose Toyah’s version of the famous Gandhi quote for the plaque: “Be the change you want the world to be”.
Megan Amour said the shrine was everything her best friend would have loved.
“It all symbolises Toyah,” she said.
“Toyah’s probably the person that everyone wanted to be, she’s the whole package deal from one of the most amazing, helpful, encouraging, inspiring people. She’s one of a kind.”
Not long before she died, Ms Amour had asked Ms Cordingley to stand beside her on her wedding day.
She said she likes to think she’ll visit the memorial often but admits it’s still a difficult place for her.
“It’s definitely a hard spot for me to visit quite regularly, but it’s definitely something I’d like to do in the future,” she said.
Family spokesman Wayne ‘Prong’ Trimble said the community would never give up.
“It has been nearly one year since Toyah’s death and we will remember her forever and never give up,” Mr Trimble said.
Bumper stickers and posters, emblazoned with Toyah’s name, sunflowers and the Crime Stoppers phone number, are still plastered all over Cairns.
“We need her in everyone’s mind, we need everyone to keep spreading it around,” Ms Amour said.
A person of interest, Innisfail nurse Rajwinder Singh, is understood to have fled to India not long after Ms Cordingley’s body was found.
An international manhunt has so far been unable to locate him.
Cairns detectives say they remain committed to ensuring justice for Ms Cordingley and her family.
The team of detectives tasked to Operation Quebec Clarify, led by Detective Inspector Sonia Smith, continue to investigate.
“Police remain unwavering in their commitment to deliver justice for Toyah, her family, her partner, friends and the local community who have shown immense support,” Det Insp Smith said in a statement.
“The Queensland Police Service offers its sincere condolences to those still coming to terms with the tragedy on the anniversary of Toyah’s death.”
Anyone with information, who may have until now been unwilling to speak, are urged to come forward.
Contact Policelink on 131 444 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or online. You can remain anonymous.