IT was the second inquest into the death of Corowa teenager Bronwynne Richardson which prompted police to turn their attention to Colin Michael Newey.
Newey, 61, had failed to attend the inquest in Albury from November 28 to December 1, 2011.
But he had given evidence through a video link from Murray Bridge in South Australia where he lived.
Magistrate Tony Murray was told during a bail application yesterday that Newey became “a person of interest”.
“After the inquest, he was identified as a person of interest,” Director of Public Prosecutions representative Diana Paterson said.
Detectives continued investigations into the long-standing unsolved murder before arresting Newey on July 30 this year.
He was extradited to NSW and has remained in custody without seeking bail until this week.
A 35-page police report tendered to Mr Murray outlined how Newey had a bizarre sexual fascination for Miss Richardson even though he was a distant cousin.
Newey’s fascination for Miss Richardson was unknown to her family.
He had shown photographs of Miss Richardson, 17, to other men and had made comments about her.
Two comments attributed to him were: “I wouldn’t mind getting on to that” and “I wouldn’t mind doing it.”
Police said Newey had inappropriate sexual feelings towards Miss Richardson and witnesses thought it was strange that he would refer to her in such a way.
Newey’s first interview with detectives was more than two years after the murder.
It was suggested he made repeated comments designed to divert police attention away from himself and nominated a number of other “suspects”.
The report indicates how Newey downplayed his interest in Miss Richardson.
He appeared to have a solid alibi by claiming he was on an army reserve bivouac in the Chiltern forest.
But he later said he “could have got his weekends mixed up” and admitted having lunch with Miss Richardson on the day she disappeared.
Strike Force Kulaman was formed in 2008 to further investigate the murder and Newey was interviewed.
Newey referred to the murder as “a mishap” and for the first time admitted speaking to Miss Richardson after she finished work at 5pm, just before she disappeared.