Chris Dawson arrested and expected to be charged over wife's murder

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Australian authorities are expected to charge Chris Dawson, 70, with the murder of his former wife Lynette, who disappeared nearly 40 years ago.

Her disappearance and suspected murder were returned to prominence through the Australian newspaper's investigative podcast series The Teacher's Pet.

Police say she went missing in Sydney's northern beaches in 1982 and her body has never been recovered.

Dawson, a Newtown rugby league player in the early 1970s, has always been a suspect in the case but denies any involvement in his wife's disappearance.

Mr Dawson told Lynette's family that she needed time away, and he did not report her missing to police for nearly six weeks.

NSW Police confirmed the arrest of a 70-year-old man had taken place around 8am (AEST) on Wednesday in Queensland.

He's been taken to the Southport Courthouse where NSW detectives will apply for his extradition at his first court appearance.

He then added: "We haven't given up hope in terms of finding Lynette Dawson's body".

She said her client had co-operated with detectives in the past and was happy to comply with any bail conditions imposed.

The disappearance of Lynette Dawson is the subject of a popular Australian podcast.

Police have been under fire over their handling of the case.

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Mr Dawson's family released a statement yesterday, insisting he would be found not guilty.

It came after Mr Dawson began a relationship in 1980 with his 16-year-old student Joanne Curtis.

Mr Dawson held his head in his hands as the magistrate made his decision.

It is understood the airlines are concerned about taking Mr Dawson on board because of the strong interest in the case.

Police are reportedly looking into chartering their own flight to get Mr Dawson back to NSW.

Despite two coronial inquests recommending Chris be prosecuted for murder, the DPP stated at the time there was insufficient evidence to lay charges.

In 2015, NSW homicide detectives established Strike Force Scriven to re-investigate the circumstances surrounding Lynette Dawson's disappearance and suspected murder. "I wouldn't have written to the DPP otherwise", he said.

Following extensive investigations, detectives requested the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions review their brief of evidence in April this year.

Mrs Dawson's brother Greg Simms said he was "quite emotional" after hearing of the arrest.

"We have to also ensure Chris gets due process".

Earlier this week, the ODPP provided advice to police, and following further inquiries, detectives applied for an arrest warrant before travelling to Queensland, police said.