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Murder suspect in Australia arrested 4 years later in India

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CANBERRA, Australia — The prime suspect in the murder of a woman on an Australian beach four years ago was arrested in New Delhi, three weeks after being targeted for a $1 million ($677,000) reward, Australian authorities said Friday .

Indian Rajwinder Singh, 38, flew from Sydney to his home country the day after the body of 24-year-old Australian Toyah Cordingley was found on the coast of Queensland on October 22, 2018.

Attorney General Mark Dreyfus said Singh had been arrested on Friday following Australia’s extradition request to India.

“This case is a high priority for the Australian government and Australian agencies continue to work closely with Indian authorities to pursue the extradition of Mr. Singh to Australia for trial,” Dreyfus said in a statement.

Dreyfus said it was not appropriate to comment further as the matter was under the Indian courts.

Australia had requested Singh’s extradition for murder in March last year, but he could not be found.

The Queensland government on Nov. 3 offered the largest reward in the state’s history for information on Singh.

The reward was unique in that it did not look for a clue that solves a crime and leads to a successful prosecution. Instead, the money is offered for information leading only to the location and arrest of a suspect.

Indian police arrested Singh on the same day they received information about his whereabouts, the Australian Federal Police said in a statement.

It is not clear whether the reward will be collected.

Singh was “presumably avoiding apprehension in India’s Punjab region since he traveled to the country” in 2018, Australian police said.

Queensland police officers had traveled to India in late October and early November to work with the Australian Federal Police in New Delhi to share information about Singh with Indian law enforcement.

Singh was working as a nurse in Innisfail, a town south of the great city of Cairns, when Cordingley was murdered on Wangetti Beach, north of Cairns. on October 21, 2018. She had gone to the beach to walk her dog.

The Indian embassy in Australia could not immediately comment on the matter.

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