Special powers used by Queensland’s Crime and Corruption Commission have led to the arrest of a man over the 2013 murder of Mackay woman Shandee Blackburn.
The 32-year-old unemployed man from Mackay was arrested in Brisbane and charged with murder and robbery on Thursday afternoon.
Ms Blackburn, 23, was walking home from work in the early hours of February 9, 2013, when she was stabbed multiple times.
Early in the investigation, it was revealed Ms Blackburn had been planning a trip to the United States with her boyfriend in the days leading up to her death.
Exactly one week after the attack, Mackay detectives retraced Ms Blackburn’s steps in a late night re-enactment.
“(It) may just jog someone’s memory” detectives said at the time.
Later that month, the 23-year-old was laid to rest with a service at Mackay’s Newhaven Chapel.
In February this year, detectives revealed a vehicle had become central to the case.
They released CCTV images of a white ute from the night of the attack and said the occupant or occupants may be able to assist with the investigation.
On Thursday, police confirmed the arrested man was the owner of the ute.
He was also known to Ms Blackburn, but Detective Inspector Karyn Murphy wouldn’t explain the exact nature of their relationship.
“He certainly came to light early in the investigation,” she told reporters in Brisbane.
The 32-year-old man also appeared before coercive hearings at the Crime and Corruption Commission in the past six months, she said.
Coercive hearings give the commission power to compel witnesses to appear and to override the right to silence and the privilege against self-incrimination.
Det Insp Murphy paid tribute to the work of dozens of officers who’ve been involved in the “long and intense” investigation.
She said police had followed hundreds of lines of inquiry.
Det Insp Murphy also acknowledged the “terrible offence” has had an impact on the Mackay community and said her thoughts were with Ms Blackburn’s family.
“I don’t think I can explain the range of emotions that go through your mind and your body,” her mother Vicki told a media conference.
“You just take a deep breath and try to deal with it.”
Earlier this year, police offered a reward of $250,000 for information that led to the conviction of Ms Blackburn’s killer.
The reward will not be issued.
Shandee Blackburn’s accused murderer will appear in the Brisbane magistrates court on Friday.