A Queensland dad "haunted" by the murder of Toyah Cordingley near his hometown has invented a device he hopes will save the lives of people who feel their life is at threat.

Drew Garson will this month launch a crowd-funding campaign for Trakalarm, a smart bracelet that triggers four lifesaving actions when its wearer is in danger.

The north Queensland entrepreneur said Cairns residents lost a sense of safety when Ms Cordingley's body was found on Wangetti Beach with "visible and violent" injuries.

Toyah Cordingley was found dead at Wangetti Beach in 2018.
Toyah Cordingley was found dead at Wangetti Beach in 2018.

No arrests have been made.

"I didn't personally know Toyah but there's been a great local push to keep her story alive," Mr Garson said. "I thought about whether there's something we could create that could have helped Toyah."

Mr Garson came up with a watch-like device to document an attack while reaching out to contacts for help.

Drew Garson has invented safety device Trakalarm.
Drew Garson has invented safety device Trakalarm.


With the push of a button, Trakalarm sets off a piercing siren and instantly sends an image or live video along with a GPS location to chosen contacts using its own universal SIM card.

"If you forget your phone or you are in trouble, you won't have time to search for it in your bag or pocket and a perpetrator could take it off you," Mr Garson said.

He said the device could also help parents or people caring for the elderly thanks to two-way remote access.

"This allows the creation of family group with a parent or guardian having the ability to activate all the functionality of a group registered device back to their mobile phone," he said.

"In the case of young children, teenagers, people in aged care, or those caring for loved ones with Alzheimers or dementia sufferers, you will always know where they are."

Trakalarm has three former law enforcement professionals involved in the company including two former police officers and a former customs officer with the Australian Border Force.

Former policeman Steve Jenkins spent 35 years working in the force and now worked as a volunteer firefighter and brigade captain with the NSW Fire Service.

He said Trakalarm could assist police with investigations.

"The photos, sound and video footage that Trakalarm captures, when someone is being attacked, should be admissible in a courtroom," Mr Jenkins said.

"I've investigated many cases where this type of evidence could have proved invaluable."

Crowd-funding for the device is set to launch on April 21 with the goal of raising $20,000 through Indiegogo.

The company will be offering rewards on the crowd-funding website for 35 days at a discounted rate to secure early funding for the overall production and manufacturing of Trakalarm's first round of production.

The device will retail for AUD $260.

Mr Garson said the company plans to launch the product later in the year.


Originally published as How Toyah tragedy sparked safety device