Police test DNA of residents in Queensland town where woman killed

Residents in a small beachside town are undergoing DNA testing as police investigate the murder of young woman that rocked the community.

Toyah Cordingley, 24, was walking her dog along Wangetti Beach, North Queensland, on Sunday when she was murdered in what police believe was a sexually motivated attack. 

Her body was not discovered until Monday morning. 

Residents living near the beach have been visited for DNA testing as police continue to search for the killer.

‘The police came around door-knocking, they asked a few questions and they popped a thing in my mouth and said it was for DNA,’ one local, who did not want named, told the ABC.

Residents in a small beachside town are undergoing DNA testing as police investigate the murder of Toyah Cordingley

Residents in a small beachside town are undergoing DNA testing as police investigate the murder of Toyah Cordingley

Residents in a small beachside town are undergoing DNA testing as police investigate the murder of Toyah Cordingley

Toyah Cordingley (pictured), 24, was walking her dog along Wangetti Beach, north Queensland, on Sunday when she was murdered in what police believe was a sexually motivated attack

Toyah Cordingley (pictured), 24, was walking her dog along Wangetti Beach, north Queensland, on Sunday when she was murdered in what police believe was a sexually motivated attack

Toyah Cordingley (pictured), 24, was walking her dog along Wangetti Beach, north Queensland, on Sunday when she was murdered in what police believe was a sexually motivated attack

‘I’m perfectly fine with that because I’ve got nothing to hide and if it helps them track down who did this to her, then I’m all for it.’

The resident added there were a number of people in the community who lived ‘unofficially’ in illegal camps.

According to a police spokesperson, the DNA testing is a ‘standard procedure’.

Crime Stoppers have received about 160 calls since information of Ms Cordingley’s death was released while many locals have opted to visit the crime scene to speak directly with investigators. 

One man, who was walking along the beach at about the same time as Ms Cordingley was in the vicinity, drove 40 minutes from Cairns to speak with police.

The man, who did not wish to be named, told police there were a lot of families at the beach at the time.

Residents living in near the beach been visited for DNA testing as police continue to search for the killer

Residents living in near the beach been visited for DNA testing as police continue to search for the killer

Residents living in near the beach been visited for DNA testing as police continue to search for the killer

Mr Heidenreich (right) is believed to have been dating Ms Cordingley (left) for nearly three years. The pair share a deep love of animals, and Ms Cordingley is believed to have been walking one of Mr Heidenreich's dogs when she was killed

Mr Heidenreich (right) is believed to have been dating Ms Cordingley (left) for nearly three years. The pair share a deep love of animals, and Ms Cordingley is believed to have been walking one of Mr Heidenreich's dogs when she was killed

Mr Heidenreich (right) is believed to have been dating Ms Cordingley (left) for nearly three years. The pair share a deep love of animals, and Ms Cordingley is believed to have been walking one of Mr Heidenreich’s dogs when she was killed

Police divers were called in from Brisbane on Tuesday to help specialist detectives, Cairns police officers and SES volunteers scour the area for the pharmacy worker’s personal possessions. 

Ms Cordingley disappeared after going to walk her dog at Wangetti Beach on Sunday about 2pm.

She was reported missing at 11pm that night, and her body was found in sand dunes at the beach on Monday morning, with ‘visible and violent’ injuries inflicted on it.

A full-scale homicide investigation was launched after Ms Cordingley’s body was found, with police urging anyone who knew anything or had been at the beach that day to come forward. 

Police have appealed for anyone who was on the beach that afternoon and who has dashcam footage of the area or either carpark to come forward.

Officers are also looking to speak with anyone who was at Rusty’s Markets in central Cairns between 12pm or 1pm, where Ms Cordingley is believed to have been before she headed to the beach. 

A full-scale homicide investigation has been launched as police hunt Ms Cordingley's killer, but police are yet to announce a person of interest. On Tuesday, officers urged anyone with dashcam footage or other information to come forward

A full-scale homicide investigation has been launched as police hunt Ms Cordingley's killer, but police are yet to announce a person of interest. On Tuesday, officers urged anyone with dashcam footage or other information to come forward

A full-scale homicide investigation has been launched as police hunt Ms Cordingley’s killer, but police are yet to announce a person of interest. On Tuesday, officers urged anyone with dashcam footage or other information to come forward

Police divers from Brisbane have been called in to the far north beach to help search for Ms Cordingley's personal possessions (pictured is police searching on the beach, which is now a crime scene)

Police divers from Brisbane have been called in to the far north beach to help search for Ms Cordingley's personal possessions (pictured is police searching on the beach, which is now a crime scene)

Police divers from Brisbane have been called in to the far north beach to help search for Ms Cordingley’s personal possessions (pictured is police searching on the beach, which is now a crime scene)

With Ms Cordingley’s killer on the loose, and no publicised leads as to who is responsible for the death, Det Insp Smith said people should take precautions. 

‘Everybody should be aware of their surroundings, and have a safety plan wherever they are,’ she said.

Ms Cordingley’s boyfriend, Marco Heidenreich, was pictured looking sad on what appeared to be the balcony of a pub, with a friend, on Tuesday.

The photo of Mr Heidenreich, shared by a friend to social media, was ‘reacted’ to with likes and hearts, and one man commented: ‘Our thoughts and prayers are with you Marco’. 

It is the first time Mr Heidenreich, who had been in a relationship with Ms Cordingley for nearly three years, has been pictured since the devastating news of his girlfriend’s murder.  

Marco Heidenreich (left) was pictured looking glassy-eyed on Tuesday, just days after his girlfriend, 24-year-old Toyah Cordingley, was brutally murdered on Wangetti Beach on Sunday. The image received multiple 'love' reactions, and one friend said: 'Our thoughts and prayers are with you Marco'

Marco Heidenreich (left) was pictured looking glassy-eyed on Tuesday, just days after his girlfriend, 24-year-old Toyah Cordingley, was brutally murdered on Wangetti Beach on Sunday. The image received multiple 'love' reactions, and one friend said: 'Our thoughts and prayers are with you Marco'

Marco Heidenreich (left) was pictured looking glassy-eyed on Tuesday, just days after his girlfriend, 24-year-old Toyah Cordingley, was brutally murdered on Wangetti Beach on Sunday. The image received multiple ‘love’ reactions, and one friend said: ‘Our thoughts and prayers are with you Marco’

Ms Cordingley was found at Wangetti Beach on Monday morning in sand dunes between the foreshore and the start of bushland, and police are still hunting her killer

Ms Cordingley was found at Wangetti Beach on Monday morning in sand dunes between the foreshore and the start of bushland, and police are still hunting her killer

Ms Cordingley was found at Wangetti Beach on Monday morning in sand dunes between the foreshore and the start of bushland, and police are still hunting her killer

Friends said Ms Cordingley had been walking her boyfriend’s dog, Jersey, when she died. 

The Port Douglas man, a fellow animal lover who appears to own multiple dogs and multiple snakes, has not commented on his girlfriend’s death. 

Ms Cordingley was an animal lover, who was remembered for her kind nature and deep compassion for all creatures great and small.

Paws and Claws Refuge and Boarding Centre in Port Douglas, where she once worked, said in a statement the woman’s ‘heart was pure and innocent, and her dedication and love for animals was unmatched’. 

Grieving friends turned to social media to share the devastating news of her death and pay tribute to the ‘amazing’ woman. 

Ms Cordingley’s best friend, Megan Amour, shared a heartbreaking letter about how she was grieving and could not believe the 24-year-old was gone

‘She could calm the most distressed dog with grace and handle the large and boisterous ones with ease. Her calmness and special ways were inspiring,’ the statement read.

Grieving friends turned to social media to share the devastating news of her death and pay tribute to the ‘amazing’ woman.

Ms Cordingley’s best friend, Megan Amour, broke her silence on Tuesday with a devastating open letter about her broken heart.

Shared under a five minute video of pictures of the pair together, Ms Amour said she was still not able to believe what had happened, and kept catching herself imagining a better outcome.

‘I can’t believe this, I refuse to believe this,’ she wrote.

‘I drove to find you, I thought we were going to find you being the environment lover you are, I was so sure of it. 

‘I’m so angry, I’m so frustrated and I’ve been walking around the house grieving and then thinking: ‘It’s not real, it’s not my Toyah, it’s someone else’.

‘I’m not familiar with this process, I’ve never in my life have lost anyone as close as you are to me and this is the worst time I’ve ever encounter.’

With Ms Cordingley's killer on the loose, and no publicised leads as to who is responsible for the death, Det Insp Smith said people should take precautions 

With Ms Cordingley's killer on the loose, and no publicised leads as to who is responsible for the death, Det Insp Smith said people should take precautions 

With Ms Cordingley’s killer on the loose, and no publicised leads as to who is responsible for the death, Det Insp Smith said people should take precautions 

She told followers Ms Cordingley was a ‘gypsy soul’ who lived her life to the fullest and was beloved wherever she went.

‘I wanted to be like you, I wanted to be the gypsy soul you were,’ she wrote. 

‘I wanted to be flawless and not just the beauty you had on the outside but the beauty you had on the inside. 

‘You were different to everyone, you followed what you believed in, you had nobody hating you, you lived life to the fullest and you respected everyone else’s decisions. You had such a big heart and a beautiful loving family you adored.’

Earlier this month, Ms Amour said she’d asked Ms Cordingley to stand behind her as she married the man of her dreams. ‘It took you less than a minute to start planning everything with me,’ she recalled.  

‘I started to feel like I can’t get married anymore, because you wont be there, you won’t be there standing with me and witnessing this milestone of my life,’ she said.

Friends remembered the 'amazing' young woman for her kind nature and friendly dog (pictured: Ms Cordingley after she accepted Ms Amour's invitation to be a bridesmaid 

Friends remembered the 'amazing' young woman for her kind nature and friendly dog (pictured: Ms Cordingley after she accepted Ms Amour's invitation to be a bridesmaid 

Friends remembered the ‘amazing’ young woman for her kind nature and friendly dog (pictured: Ms Cordingley after she accepted Ms Amour’s invitation to be a bridesmaid 

‘You will be there somehow, I will make sure of it, your memory will be shared every day for as long as I live.

‘I will be sharing the funny, loving, crazy memories about ‘Aunty ToyToy’ to [my daughter] Rose when she’s older and tell her that she would have loved you the way I did.  

‘I’m betting you’re going to be the prettiest angel up there with the prettiest wings, and over a thousand of puppy angels surrounding you. 

‘Look over us, and shine bright my honey, there will not be a day where I don’t think of you because believe me every single day is going to hurt. I love you.’

In a separate Facebook post, friend Hayden Chalkin wrote: ‘No words could describe how amazing of a person you were.’

 ‘I can’t believe you’re gone. I can’t believe I’m never going to see your smile again. I can’t believe I’m never going to hear your voice again. I can’t believe I’m writing this post. 

‘I don’t know what to think, I don’t know what to say. I’m going to miss you so much. 

‘You didn’t deserve this and you will never be forgotten.’ 

Anyone with information is urged to call Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000. 

Daily Mail Australia has contacted Queensland Police for further comment.  

Wangetti Beach (pictured) is about 40km north of Cairns. Ms Cordingley was found about 800m from the southern entrance, in an area that is not highly frequented 

Wangetti Beach (pictured) is about 40km north of Cairns. Ms Cordingley was found about 800m from the southern entrance, in an area that is not highly frequented 

Wangetti Beach (pictured) is about 40km north of Cairns. Ms Cordingley was found about 800m from the southern entrance, in an area that is not highly frequented 

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One comment

  1. Even at the time of the funeral?
    For Madeleine, we had to take things in hand because we could not reach them. I tried to be worthy. With Hélène Darroze, Nadège Winter and all my friends, we chose the poems, the texts, and the prayer intentions. I called the musicians. I brought the priest home. It gave me the strength to hold. It was important to share this moment with the French. Johnny had shared all his life with them. That’s what he wanted. I wish David and Laura were here. They refused to join me. I closed the coffin of my man alone. It was hard too, they missed me terribly at that moment.

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