NSW police investigating the 1982 suspicious disappearance of mother Roxlyn Bowie have charged her former husband with murder.
John Bowie, 69, was escorted in custody to Sydney on Saturday morning after police were granted his extradition in Brisbane Magistrates Court on Friday.
Ms Bowie’s daughter Brenda Boyd admitted the news was “very bittersweet”.
“There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about mum and how kind, caring and loving she was,” Ms Boyd said on Friday.
“She was a devoted mother – my brother and I never doubted how loved we were. She, too, was so loved by those who were lucky to meet her.”
“I’m so thankful that police never forgot about Mum and never gave up trying to find out why she was so cruelly taken away from us.
“As we are still coming to terms with this news, our family requests privacy at this time.”
Ms Bowie was 31 years old when she was last seen at her Walgett home in the state’s far north on June 5 in 1982.
Inside Sydney’s domestic airport terminal, Bowie, wearing a pink t-shirt and shorts, told reporters he didn’t killed his former wife.
“I don’t even know if she’s dead or not,” Bowie said as he was escorted out of the airport by police and taken to Surry Hills Police Station.
NSW Police Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty admitted the police case against Bowie was circumstantial.
“It’s happened before, we know the road ahead will be challenging. We have to build a case,” Detective Superintendent Doherty told reporters on Saturday.
“But we’ll have our day in court and hopefully get some justice.”
Detective Superintendent Doherty said personal items uncovered during a 2018 forensic search for Ms Bowie near a Walgett home would play a role in the prosecution.
In a separate search in April, police found a silver ring with the letter “R” and black and gold packaging for a Swann-Morton surgical blade.
In 2014, the NSW coroner ruled Ms Bowie was probably killed the day she disappeared or not long after but the manner of her death and location of her remains could not be established.
The 2018 dig did not locate Ms Bowie’s body.
“Along the way, when you do these renewed cold case matters, you do review all the forensic evidence available with all the latest technology. There is some forensic evidence,” Detective Superintendent Doherty said.
The arrest and charge comes after the NSW government in 2018 announced a $1 million reward for anyone who could help find Ms Bowie.
Detective Superintendent Doherty said that reward still stands.