Local News

Mayor Julia Leu Says Locals Want Justice For Toyah

UPDATE | One year has passed since Toyah Cordingley was murdered while walking her dog at Wangetti Beach.

Julia Leu Mayor of Douglas Shire Council said "it is a very sad day for the community in Far North Queensland and also Douglas Shire, Wangetti Beach is in Douglas Shire, and we were devastated when this tragedy occurred, that should never, ever have happened".

"Toyah, on a Sunday afternoon, walking her dog on a beautiful beach, was attacked and was killed, it's absolutely ghastly.

A memorial to Toyah was unveiled to the community on the weekend and Mayor Leu was there, she said "it was a very moving service, it was also about celebrating her life and the wonderful person that Toyah was".

Mayor Leu said she hopes we all take inspiration from Toyah's values and her contributions to the community.

She said the fact that such a tragedy could occur to a beautiful young woman who was walking her dog along a beach in broad daylight meant that this touched so many people.

She added, "We're all very very angry still that her killer has not been found and brought to justice and that was something that a number of people who spoke to me discussed".

Mayor Leu said it is common knowledge that a Person of Interest has fled to India, "the fact is that he has not been found and that is what the pressure is on all the authorities in Australia and India and so that is what people are focusing on, they want that person to be found and they want him to be brought to justice".

In terms of safety in the local area she said, "beaches in Far North Queensland generally are still very safe to enjoy and experience, the grief and anger about what has happened to young Toyah; a beautiful soul who helped other people so much, who certainly loved animals...her short life certainly shows the contribution a young person can make to society".

She added that "while this murder remains unsolved, it compounds the grief for everyone".

EARLIER | Toyah Cordingley's memory will live on forever at the beach where she took her final breaths almost a year ago.

The 24 year-old Cairns woman was murdered at Wangetti Beach on October 22nd 2018.  Her pet dog was discovered tied to a tree nearby the following day.  

Family friend Prong Trimble has told Tropic Now a monument is being built by an artistic concreter at the beach, in memory of the bright young woman who loved animals.  

Prong wouldn't go into too much detail about the monument but told Tropic Now it will be a fitting tribute.

He also revealed that a memorial service will be held at the beach on Saturday the 19th October to mark the first anniversary of her death.

“I’ve been asking the family about a memorial and they just find it hard to go there full stop,” he said.

“But we’ve worked something out, it’s going to be something different and the family’s already got the plaque done for it.

“I’m going out with Vanessa (Toyah’s mother) tomorrow [Thursday] morning and meeting Councillors from the Douglas Shire Council and we’re going to pick out a spot.

“We want it to be there for a hundred years so we need a spot where the high tide doesn’t get it and any future road works don’t get it.”

Details of the memorial service:

  • Meet at Ellis Beach at 3pm, October 19
  • Travel to Wangetti Beach for a short ceremony and the unveiling
  • Everyone is invited to wear something yellow (Toyah's favourite colour)