A second man has been charged with the 1999 murder of Irma Palasics.
Though the cold case found new life when police arrested and charged 68-year-old Steve Fabriczy in September, the second alleged offender remained unknown and at large.
But on Friday, 68-year-old Melbourne man Joseph Vekony faced ACT Magistrates Court where he was charged with one count of murder.
With help from Victoria Police, ACT Policing investigators on Wednesday arrested the accused in the Melbourne suburb of Endeavour Hills, before his extradition was granted at Dandenong Magistrates Court on Thursday.
Vekony was remanded in custody in the ACT and did not apply for bail.
Detective Superintendent Scott Moller said the second arrest was the result of a long and complex investigation.
"Being able to provide comfort for Irma's family and the Canberra community with the second and final arrest this week is what all of the investigators worked towards," he said.
"There is no more traumatic experience than having to deal with the senseless murder of a loved one."
The Palasics' grandson John Mikita thanked the police for their work.
"Twenty-four years is a long time to wait - especially for answers," he told reporters on Friday.
"We never gave up hope, we never stayed silent, we made sure the community never forgot what happened to my grandparents.
"This arrest comes as a great relief and hopefully will allow our family to continue the long healing process and lead to the much needed feeling of closure that we have waited for for so long."
In November 1999, two men allegedly forced their way into Irma and Gregor Palasics' Canberra home, bound and violently assaulted the couple before ransacking their house.
Mr Palasics freed himself from his bindings, which included cable ties, duct tape and a telephone cord, and found his wife had died from injuries sustained in an alleged assault by one of the burglars.
The 72-year-old woman was found face down in the hallway, with bindings covering her hands, mouth and ankles.
An autopsy later revealed she had suffered a broken nose during the home invasion.
In 2019 - two decades after the crime - police found Fabriczy's DNA was allegedly a match to forensic evidence from the crime scene and a year later he was charged and extradited to the ACT.
Both men are in custody and will return to court in January.
Australian Associated Press