Shandee's accused murderer photographed at her memorial
THE man accused of murdering Mackay's Shandee Blackburn, John Peros, took part in a walk in her memory just days after her death.
He was photographed among her family members, supporters and community members during the first Walk For Shandee on February 15, 2013.
Relief for Shandee Blackburn's work colleagues
WORK colleagues of Shandee Blackburn say they are relieved someone has finally been charged over the death of the 23-year-old.
Harrup Park Country Club, where Shandee was employed, said they were told the news on Thursday afternoon.
Jenny Ferrier interviewed Ms Blackburn at the country club when she applied for the position.
Ms Ferrier learnt of the developments in the case via an email from the general manager.
"All of us received an email," she said.
"We are relieved for Shandee's family.
"Hopefully, those involved will be held responsible for their terrible actions."
Ms Blackburn was allegedly murdered in Boddington St in the early hours on February 9, 2013, while on her way home after work.
Ms Ferrier said staff members wanted to see the person responsible brought to justice.
"Now we just hope everything goes according to plan with (a) conviction," she said.
"I haven't heard who they've charged, but we always had our suspicions."
Mackay community thanked for efforts in Shandee case
THE Mackay community was thanked for its tireless efforts in helping to bring Shandee Blackburn's alleged killer to court.
Superintendent Terry Borland said it had been a lengthy investigation but that assistance from the public had been helpful.
"I'd like to thank members of the public from Mackay who have continued to provide information that has been invaluable in bringing this investigation to this current conclusion," he said.
"This is just one more step in the process of getting to the court processes and at this stage our thoughts are with the Blackburn family."
Detective Inspector Karyn Murphy said police had followed up hundreds of lines of inquiries.
"It's such a tragic offence that occurred and I guess everyone, whether you're police or public, have definitely related to this matter," she said.
Mackay man John Peros charged with Shandee's murder
POLICE believe Shandee knew her alleged killer, Mackay boxer John Peros, who was arrested in Brisbane earlier today and charged with her murder.
Mr Peros was also charged with robbery.
At a press conference in Brisbane, Detective Inspector Damien Hansen confirmed that Ms Blackburn knew the man accused of taking her life.
"He was known to Shandee, yes," he said.
The amateur boxer won the middleweight Golden Gloves and super middleweight North Queensland Games titles in 2006.
After a break, he returned to boxing in 2012, with a goal to win an Australian title.
It's my goal to win an Australian title and then go back into retirement," he told the Daily Mercury at the time.
Shandee's mother Vicki Blackburn tried to hold back tears as she thanked the police and Mackay public.
"I don't think I could explain the range of emotions," she said.
"Thank you, I can't express in words just how grateful I am for what everybody involved (has done) both in the police force and in the community."
Earlier, news broke that a 32-year-old Mackay man had been arrested in Brisbane today and charged with the murder of 23-year-old Mackay woman Shandee Blackburn.
He is to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Friday.
Shandee died in the early hours of February 9 last year in Mackay Base Hospital after being stabbed multiple times on Mackay's Boddington St.
The crime shocked the Central Queensland town -- the 23-year-old was just a block from her home, walking a well-worn route home from a shift working at the Harrup Park Country Club.
The handbag she was carrying at the time -- cream-coloured and embellished with a bejewelled silver skull -- was plastered throughout the media at the time.
At her funeral in March last year, her mother told gathered mourners:
"I don't want to know every day what you went through alone, I don't want to know that I didn't stand in front of you and protect you".
In March this year, almost 12 months on from the death, a $250,000 reward was offered for the identification of Shandee's killer if it led to a conviction.
Police Minister Jack Dempsey said the murder was "a vicious and horrible act and police have been working hard to track down those responsible".
In Mackay, Superintendent Terry Borland addressed Mackay media and began thanking the police force and the Mackay community.
"I would like to thank the teams for their outstanding efforts," he said.
"I would like to further thank members of the public of Mackay for continuing to provide information that has been invaluable in bringing this investigation to this current conclusion.
Superintendent Borland went onto say that the man was a person of interest.
"The man was a person of interest and as a result of ongoing investigations he has been charged… But there is a long way to go."
Detective Inspector Karyn Murphy said the arrest was the result of a "protracted investigation" by Mackay's Criminal Investigation Branch and the state's Homicide Investigation Unit.
I would like to thank them for their commitment to this investigation," Det Insp Murphy said.
"I would like to thank the Crime and Corruption Commission which held a number of coercive hearings, which helped to gather and corroborate valuable evidence.
"I would further like to thank the members of the public who have continued to provide information that has been invaluable to this investigation.
"This is just the next step in a lengthy process and our thoughts are with the Blackburn family."