Bludgeoned, naked: arrest in cold-case murder
Megan LevyAugust 2, 2011 - 10:50AM
A man has been arrested in Melbourne's south-east this morning in connection with the murder of a Filipina woman who was bludgeoned to death in Sydney's south almost 20 years ago.
Homicide squad detectives arrested the 40-year-old man at a house in Langwarrin just after 7.15am today.
He is being questioned over the murder of Pia Navida, 37, whose naked body was found by bushwalkers on February 1, 1992, near a trail in the Royal National Park south of Sydney.
A second man was also arrested this morning at a house in Bathurst, in central western NSW, about 6.30am. He is also helping police with their inquiries.
Two weeks ago, detectives said a routine check of "cold cases" had uncovered new DNA evidence at the crime scene and they appealed for information about the case.
At the time, Detective Inspector John Lehmann of the Unsolved Homicide Team would not reveal exactly what that evidence was but he did say: "We've uncovered further evidence and that includes ... speaking to persons that were never spoken to in 1992."
A key part of the investigation was a silver-coloured Nissan Pintara abandoned on Wattamolla Road, seven kilometres from where Ms Navida's body was found in Bundeena.
Ms Navida first came to Australia from the Philippines in the early 1980s after marrying an Australian.
She lived in Melbourne for some time with her husband but it is not known for how long.
When the marriage failed and the couple separated, Ms Navida moved to different cities across Australia.
Homicide Squad Commander Detective Superintendent Peter Cotter said today’s arrests were the result of hard work undertaken by detectives over a long period.
“It’s only because of the doggedness of this team of investigators that we have achieved this breakthrough after 19 years,” Detective Superintendent Cotter said.
“It’s another tremendous example of police persevering and not losing hope in their search for answers.
“No matter how long ago a crime occurred or how cold a case might seem, there are police working behind the scenes with the resolve to bring those responsible to justice.’’
Police said the 40-year-old Melbourne man was expected to appear in the Melbourne Magistrates Court today when police will seek his extradition to NSW.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/bludgeoned-naked-arrest-in-coldcase-murder-20110802-1i8yu.html#ixzz1TqdFA97M