Toyah Cordingley was found dead at Wangetti Beach on Monday.
Toyah Cordingley was found dead at Wangetti Beach on Monday.

Chilling warning before beach woman’s death

A CAIRNS woman who was found dead on a secluded beach yesterday had posted about the dangers women face from violent men weeks before her suspected murder.

Toyah Cordingley, 24, was last seen leaving her house in Cairns on Sunday afternoon with her dog.

She was found dead on Wangetti Beach, 38km north of Cairns, yesterday morning.

Her dog was found unharmed nearby.

Ms Cordingley was reported missing on Sunday night after she failed to return home, prompting friends and family to take to Facebook in search of the young animal lover.

In her own Facebook post in June, Ms Cordingley shared a tweet that read: "I can only imagine the rage and fear women feel to see women die doing everyday mundane things like walking home. Stop blaming women. Make men the issue".

Ms Cordingley, who worked at a Port Douglas animal ­shelter, also shared images denouncing sexism, misogyny and called for women to support each other.

Police and SES at the crime scene at Wangetti Beach. Picture: Anna Rogers
Police and SES at the crime scene at Wangetti Beach. Picture: Anna Rogers

Ms Cordingley's cause of death was still to be determined yesterday, police said. But Detective Senior Sergeant Ed Kinbacher said that police were treating Ms Cordingley's death as suspicious.

Her body was found about 800m from the carpark where her car was found.

Snr Sgt Kinbacher said Ms Cordingley drove to the beach between 2pm and 2.30pm yesterday to walk her dog.

"There are only two access points at Wangetti. She was between the foreshore and the start of bushland," he said.

Snr Sgt Kinbacher said any information could help.

"No young woman should go to the beach to walk their dog and have this happen to them," he said.

"It's a quiet beach. I'm not aware of any historical problems with this area. Anyone who has had any concerns about people they've seen on the beach in recent months, please come forward."

Wangetti Beach was now a crime scene, as well as a small dirt carpark off the ­Captain Cook Highway that leads to the beach, where Ms Cordingley's Mitsubishi Lancer had been parked.

Douglas Shire Mayor Julia Leu said the tragic incident had rocked the community.

"This is really shocking news," she said.

"Our shire is traditionally a very safe and welcoming tourism destination, so the thought of something like this happening in our own back yard is deeply distressing."

Port Douglas Councillor Michael Kerr, who employed Ms Cordingley at his animal shelter Paws and Claws for more than a year, said he was devastated to hear news of her death.

"She was the most beautiful, loving soul," he said.

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