A Colombian man will remain behind bars until at least next year after being extradited to Australia from the Caribbean island of Aruba and charged with the murder of a woman in her east Sydney unit.
Sex industry worker Kimberley McRae, a 69-year-old also known by the names Isabella, Samantha and Sabrina, was found dead in her Coogee apartment on January 14 after not being seen for a week.
Police were granted an arrest warrant in February for Hector Enrique Valencia Valencia, who had since left Australia, and he was arrested by the Aruba Police Force on February 26.
Aruba is a constituent country of the Netherlands.
The 21-year-old Valencia Valencia was held in custody in Aruba until his extradition to Sydney on Tuesday, where he was charged with murder and refused bail to appear at Central Local Court on Tuesday afternoon.
He declined to apply for bail in court, which was formally refused by magistrate Margaret Quinn. He’ll return to the same court on January 19, 2021.
The four NSW Police detectives who travelled to Aruba for Valencia Valencia’s extradition will now begin 14 days of hotel quarantine.
“This has been a difficult and complex investigation for detectives, who have spent months liaising with our partners to safely navigate the challenges and restrictions impacting worldwide travel due to COVID-19,” NSW Police Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty said in a statement.
Ms McRae’s twin sister Karen thanked police for their hard work in successfully extraditing Valencia Valencia.
“Kimberley was a cherished member of our family with a unique and vivacious personality,” she said in a statement.
“We grieve daily for Kimberley and are still struggling to comprehend that we will never see her again.”