The man accused of killing teenager Michelle Bright in NSW's central west more than 21 years ago was so shocked by his arrest that he needed medical care for heart palpitations.
Craig Henry Rumsby, who lives on the outskirts of Sydney, was arrested on a Mudgee street on Tuesday evening and charged with murder and sexual assault.
The 53-year-old appeared in Mudgee Local Court on Wednesday and did not apply for bail, which was formally refused. He will return to court next Wednesday.
Ms Bright, then aged 17, was last seen alive on February 27, 1999 when a friend dropped her off on Herbert Street in Gulgong after a birthday party.
Three days later, her body was found in long grass on the side of Barneys Reef Road.
The reward for information to solve Ms Bright's murder was on Monday doubled to $1 million and Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty told reporters on Wednesday responses to the plea reaffirmed existing evidence against Rumsby.
The alleged murderer, who police believe travelled this week to Mudgee for reasons unrelated to Ms Bright's case, reacted with great shock to his arrest.
"He was actually taken back to the police station and had heart palpitations and had to get medically treated for a couple of hours," Det Supt Doherty said.
After Monday's plea for information Rumsby posted on Facebook that "it's so sad that they haven't caught her killer" and that Ms Bright was "like a sister" to him.
Det Supt Doherty said Rumsby, who in the past lived near the Bright family home in Gulgong, had been a person of interest for several years.
He was also this week charged with the choking and attempted sexual assault of an 18-year-old girl in January 1998, one year before Ms Bright's death.
"There's a lot of scars that need healing in Gulgong and I think now they've got an arrest and some answers for the family, we may be able to bring some healing for that small town. They're a proud and close-knit community," Det Supt Doherty said.
Ms Bright's mother Loraine was expected to address the media in Mudgee on Wednesday, having admitted on Monday she has endured 21 years of "indescribable pain".
Det Supt Doherty on Wednesday said the charges against Rumsby had also shocked Loraine Bright.
"She's been waiting for that phone call for 21 years," he said.
"It's been a long, arduous, difficult time for them."
Australian Associated Press