Man arrested over death of teenager in 1973
Colin Michael Newey, 61, has been arrested in relation to the oldest unsolved homicide case in NSW, according to Detective Inspector Mick Willing.PT2M27S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-3cwoi 620 349 July 31, 2014
Police have made a breakthrough in one of the state’s oldest unsolved homicide cases after the arrest of a man who allegedly abducted, raped and killed a teenager at Albury more than 40 years ago.
Unsolved Homicide detectives arrested Colin Michael Newey, 61, in a country town just outside Adelaide on Wednesday in relation to the strangling death of 17-year-old beauty queen Bronwynne Richardson.
Police said fresh information gleaned from a coronial inquest in 2011 helped them build a strong enough case to make an arrest.
Cold case: Bronwynne Richardson, crowned Miss Corowa in 1973 and murdered in Albury that year.
To date it is the oldest homicide case in NSW to have resulted in an arrest.
On Thursday, the accused Murray Bridge man was extradited to Sydney, where it is expected he will be charged with abduction, rape and murder and appear before court.
Police will allege that, on October 12, 1973, the accused dragged Ms Richardson into a car on Smollett Street, Albury, a regional town on the flats of the Murray River.
Distressed but relieved: Stan and Noelle Richardson visiting their daughter Bronwynne's grave in 1998, 25 years after her death.
It was a Friday, just after 7pm when the teenager was driven to a reserve off Howlong Road, about six kilometres out of the town.
It was there where she was allegedly assaulted in the dark before she was strangled and thrown into the Murray River.
Her body was found in Horseshoe Lagoon, off the river, two days later.
NSW Police Homicide commander, Detective Inspector Mick Willing, said on Thursday that Bronwynne’s parents, Noelle and Stan Richardson, were distressed but relieved at the news someone had finally been arrested over their daughter’s death.
"A 17-year-old girl lost her life under horrific circumstances," he said. "The pain of murder lasts forever".
He told journalists at a Sydney press conference that police believed one other man had allegedly been involved in the beauty queen’s death but that person was now dead.
There were no other persons of interest in the case apart from Mr Newey, who will shortly be charged at Sydney Police Centre.
‘‘We are not looking for anyone else.’’
In 1975, a coronial inquest found that Bronwynne died of strangulation and drowning.
A new investigation was launched in 1990 after new evidence was found and three men were charged but were never convicted.
Detectives refused to give up on the case and, in 2008, the newly formed Southern Region Unsolved Homicide Team set up a new investigation under a strike force called Kulaman.
Five years later detectives arrested the accused in his home town of Murray Bridge, about 75 kilometres from Adelaide in South Australia.
He was taken to the local police station and charged by virtue of a NSW arrest warrant.
Mr Newey appeared in Murray Bridge Magistrates Court on Wednesday afternoon, before being taken to the Adelaide Watch House, where he was kept overnight.
Superintendent Willing said on Thursday that with extra resources being thrown into the Unsolved Homicide team, there would be more cold case arrests in the near future.
He sent a message to those who have murdered but still walk free: ‘‘Sooner or later your past is going to catch up with you,’’ he said.
The homicide boss mentioned several times how proud he was of Unsolved Homicide detectives.
‘‘I do commend and congratulate the detectives involved in this case.’’
Detective Superintendent Willing had earlier said: ‘‘By their very nature, these old, unsolved cases are extremely challenging investigations, but we have a team of Unsolved Homicide detectives who are brilliant at what they do, and are committed to getting results no matter how long ago the crime occurred."