New South Wales Police made a major breakthrough in a murder cold case that has remained a mystery for almost 50 years.
Authorities confirmed a 63-year-old Melbourne man was arrested on Wednesday in connection to the abduction and murder of toddler, Cheryl Grimmer, at Fairy Meadow Beach in Wollongong 47 years ago, in a statement released on Thursday.
The then three-year-old Cheryl went missing from the beach in January 12, 1970 while on a trip with her parents and three older brothers.
Detectives from the Wollongong Local Area Command and members of the State Crime Command's Unsolved Homicide Team re-opened the case in 2016 before acting on fresh information on Wednesday and making the arrest around 1pm with the assistance of Victoria Police.
Appearing on Channel Ten's The Project, one of Cheryl's older brothers, Stephen Grimmer, said the arrest marked an emotional day for the three brothers, who all hope the process of grieving and closure doesn't take too long.
"Today, pretty emotional today. Speaking to a lot of people, a lot of media and that. Yeah, just a bit teary-eyed. My brothers are in the same frame too. They're very emotional. This is all come about now and it's like a big load just hit us straightaway," he said.
"The way it's going at the moment, it's looking pretty promising. We just hope it doesn't drag on for too long."
Grimmer also said, while it is difficult to hear the details of Cheryl's death, the three brothers need to know what happened on the day Cheryl went missing.
Detective Inspector Brad Ainsworth confirmed will allege her death occurred within "an hour or so" of being taken, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
"I think it's pretty gut-wrenching to know that. My brother Ricki has taken it hard. Paul, he's taken it really hard. I have been pretty emotional all day and when you do hear that, that kicks you in the guts," he said.
"Yeah in a way, yes, we need to know what happened. It's not going to hurt us to know. It hurts inside when you get told that, you know, the way she went and that. But, you know, I think we're big boys and we'll deal with that."
The accused individual faced Frankston Magistrates Court on Thursday where it was successfully ruled he will be extradited to New South Wales. He was later taken to Wollongong Police Station and charged with murder and detain for advantage (abduction).
The man will reappear in court on Friday March 24.
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