NSW man charged over cold-case murder

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A Sydney man has been charged with the cold-case murder of German man Bernd Lehmann, who was bashed to death in a "frenzied attack".

Detectives from Strike Force Navala arrested a 66-year-old man outside a home at Arncliffe in southern Sydney on Wednesday morning, a month after offering a $1 million reward.

He has since been charged over the bashing murder of 66-year-old Mr Lehmann, whose body was found in a home unit at Ashfield on February 14, 2008.

An autopsy revealed he died from severe head injuries.

Following a coronial inquest in 2012, the case was referred to the Unsolved Homicide Unit.

In 2018, DNA samples from the crime scene were re-examined and revealed they did not belong to Mr Lehmann.

Last month, the NSW government offered a $1 million reward for information that would lead to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for Mr Lehmann's death.

The man charged was a friend or casual contact of Mr Lehmann, Homicide Squad Commander Danny Doherty told reporters on Wednesday.

"Bernd's murder was a horrific crime, he was a well-respected member of the community who had been working as a disability carer prior to his murder," he said.

"After 13 years of searching for answers, we hope this result will provide Bernd's family and loved ones with some peace."

Mr Doherty said the "viciousness" of the "frenzied attack" made it obvious the murder was not robbery related but a "very emotive crime".

One theory was the murder is related to a vice crime, he said.

The breakthrough was due to "innovative strategies" used by investigators and advances in DNA technology, Det Supt Doherty said.

"These DNA capabilities weren't around 13 years ago," he said.

Police hope they will be able to use technological advances to solve other cold-case murders.