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Cold case: charges laid over

killing of woman 19 years ago

Georgina Robinson

August 2, 2011 – 2:14PM


One of two men arrested today over the cold case killing of Sydney woman Pia Navida almost 20 years ago has been charged with murder and sexual assault.

Similar charges are expected to be laid soon against the second man after he is extradited to Melbourne.

Police said they arrested one man in Bathurst, in the NSW’s central west, early today, as Victorian detectives arrived at a house in Langwarrin, south-east of Melbourne, and arrested a second man. Both men are 40.

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The arrests come two weeks after NSW Police announced a potential breakthrough in the 19-year-old cold case.

A routine case check uncovered new DNA evidence at the crime scene – a patch of scrub in the Royal National Park at Bundeena, where Ms Navida’s naked body was found one Saturday in the summer of 1992.

The 37-year-old, who had come to Australia from the Philippines as a young bride in the early 1980s, had last been seen the day before near Central Station in Sydney.

Homicide Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Peter Cotter, said the breakthrough was testament to the hard work undertaken by his 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.”

The Bathurst man was taken to Bathurst police station and charged with murder and sexual assault before being refused bail to appear in Bathurst Local Court this afternoon, police said.

The Melbourne man was taken to the Melbourne Watch House and charged with outstanding interstate warrants, police said.

Investigators successfully sought his extradition in Melbourne Magistrates Court late this morning.

It is expected he will be taken across the border to Albury police station later today.

He will then be charged with murder and sexual assault and refused bail to appear in Albury Local Court tomorrow, police said.

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