Friday, August 15, 2014

Australia: Update--Tinder Playboy Gable Tostee, 28, Arrested in Homicide of Warriena Wright, 26


Tinder playboy Gable Tostee, 28, is charged in connection with the homicide of New Zealander Warriena Wright, 26, who plunged to her death from Tostee's 14th-floor Gold Coast apartment after meeting him on the dating site.

Tostee was arrested and taken into custody by Australian police at 1402 hours local time on Friday (August 15).

 The defendant will appear in Southport Magistrates Court on Saturday (August 16); his attorney stated that he will plead not guilty.

Ms. Wright was in Australian to attend a friend's wedding. It was during her visit that she met Tostee through the dating site, Tinder, with Wright eventually connecting with Tostee at his apartment during the early morning hours on Friday (August 8).

Tostee was arrested at his parents' home on Friday morning.

Police initially first questioned Tostee last week in the presence of his attorney, but said the defendant "exercised his right to remain silent," which essentially ended the interview.

Queensland police said: "At 1402 hours police have charged a 28-year-old Surfers Paradise resident with murder following investigations into the sudden death of a 26-year-old New Zealand woman at a Surfers Paradise high-rise apartment complex on August 8."

Officers arrested Tostee at his parents' home in Carrara, Queensland, where he has been staying since Wright's death last week.

COMMENT: Tostee's lawyer told Australia-based ABC he would plead not guilty to a charge of murder and would be seeking bail, although bail would be based on the defendant's flight-risk.

On Thursday (August 14), Reza Tagpuno Wright, 23, Warriena's younger sister, braved the public glare of the media and made a tearful public appeal for information surrounding the 26-year-old's fatal fall  from Tostee's 14th-floor apartment.

Reluctantly facing the media to make an emotional plea for witnesses to her sister's death, Reza broke down several times and asked for "just anything, please anything."

Reza said she had spoken to her older sister eight hours before Warriena fell to her death.

She [Warriena] was not only my sister, she was my best friend," Reza said. 

Reza said Warriena was 'very excited' about her trip to Australia for the wedding of a former work colleague.

Reza said she would stay [in Australia] as long as it was necessary to help the investigation, but she wanted to return to New Zealand. 

Reza flew into Brisbane in Queensland with her mother on Wednesday morning (August 13) and met with detectives from the task force investigating Warriena's sudden death.

Warriena Tagpuno Wright, 26, died on Friday (August 8) after she was last seen on the balcony of Gable Tostee's 14th floor home at the Avalon Apartment complex.

Sin City manager Ty Davidson said Tostee had been banned from a number of clubs, including Sin City and Vanity, as a result of his being a predator.

He has also hit back at reports police took footage away from his Gold Coast unit of his conquests of women.

Footage aired on Nine News reportedly shows Tostee hosting a girl in an apartment. It shows a woman apparently stealing his wallet before leaving in the middle of the night.

Tostee also reportedly boasted of using miniature spy equipment and remote accessing cameras.

Since Ms. Wright fell from Tostee's apartment, police have been seen at the Wahroonga Place building where Warriena plunged to her death to collect forensic evidence.

On Wednesday, one criminalist, a police photographer and a firefighter went up in the bucket of a cherry picker to collect fibers, human remains and DNA from the outside of the 14th and 13th floor balconies. 

Tostee reportedly is a regular on the Gold Coast's party strip and often visited nightclubs such as Crazy Horse, Cocktails, Club Liv, Bourbon Bar, Players, Alive, Vanity and Sin City.

In a long-running Facebook thread seen by THE DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA, at least nine Gold Coast women recounted their run-ins with Tostee.

According to THE DAILY MAIL, comments from women who have met Tostee or dated include: "Honestly, I've had so many run-ins with this guy...OMG!! I remember this dude! He was sooooo weird...OMFG. I met this guy on Tinder four months ago," wrote another participant woman, before detailing her an encounter with him."

Tostee was barred from Vanity and Sin City after staff decided they did not like his behavior. "He was just creepy," Sin City manager Ty Davidson said.

"He was here all the time. Everyone along here knows him. Even after he was banned, he’d come on nights when bouncers didn’t know him and try and get back in."

Detective Superintendent Dave Hutchinson said police have obtained statements from "a number of women."

Detectives have also interviewed Tostee's parents, Gray and Helene Tostee at their home in a gated community in Carrara, west of the Gold Coast tourist strip.

D/Supt Hutchinson said a "forensic procedure order" had been carried out against Tostee, which is believed to have included blood samples and a DNA swab.

Tostee's attorney, Michael Purcell, said his client would NOT be making a statement to police in the foreseeable future.

This report will be updated as new information becomes available.