Homicide Squad detectives extradite woman from New Zealand over 1987 Porters Retreat murder

Homicide Squad detectives have extradited a woman from New Zealand and charged her over the alleged murder of a two-year-old girl more than 30 years ago.

In October 2019, detectives from the Homicide Squad’s Unsolved Homicide Unit received information relating to the alleged murder of a two-year-old girl near Oberon in 1987 and subsequently commenced an investigation under Strike Force Bertrand.

Detectives were told that the child was allegedly fatally assaulted by a woman known to her, in or around July 1987, at a rural property at Porters Retreat, near Oberon.

The woman was then allegedly assisted by a man in disposing of the child’s remains.

On Tuesday 16 November 2021, a 70-year-old man was arrested at a rural property at Porters Retreat and charged over his alleged role in the murder. He remains before the courts.

The same day, New Zealand Police arrested a 59-year-old woman at a home at Palmerston North City pursuant to a NSW arrest warrant.

She has been held in custody in New Zealand since that time, as Australian authorities worked to seek her extradition to NSW.

Earlier this week, strike force detectives travelled to New Zealand, where the woman – now aged 60 – was released into their custody to be escorted back to Australia.

Their flight arrived at Sydney International Airport earlier today (Thursday 12 May 2022), and the woman was taken to Surry Hills Police Station, where she was charged with an outstanding warrant for murder.

She was refused bail to appear at Central Local Court tomorrow (Friday 13 May 2022).

Homicide Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty, said the toddler’s tragic death only emboldened the will of investigators to hold those responsible to account.

“The simple fact is that this sort of crime is intolerable for both the community and police, and those responsible will always be tracked down irrespective of time or location,” Det Supt Doherty said.

“The child’s father has tragically and tirelessly worked for years upon years to find his daughter, unaware that she had been allegedly murdered and her body disposed of, long ago.

“Police have never recovered a body, but we won’t give up, and continue to ask that anyone with information does what is right and comes forward to speak with police,” Det Supt Doherty said.

Anyone with information that may assist Strike Force Bertrand investigators is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.

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