Chris Dawson, the husband of missing Northern Beaches woman Lynette Dawson, has been arrested on the Gold Coast and is expected to be charged with murder.
Speaking on the arrest, Detective Chief Inspector Chris Olen said: "A 70-year-old man has been arrested this morning shortly before 8 o'clock in relation to the murder of Lyn Dawson".
A podcast, The Teacher's Pet, brought global attention to the case this year.
The case is the subject of an investigative podcast series The Teacher's Pet which has uncovered new evidence about the disappearance of Lyn Dawson from Sydney's northern beaches in January 1982.
Dawson is a former first grade rugby league player turned high school teacher.
Mick Fuller, the New South Wales police commissioner, recently apologised for police failings on the case during the 1980s.
"Statements from witnesses helped us tie pieces of the puzzle together".
Commissioner Fuller says they won't give up on trying to identify Lyn's whereabouts but locating her remains isn't crucial to finalising the matter.
Ms Dawson's relatives expressed relief following the arrest, while Chris Dawson's family said they had no doubt he would be found innocent.
Mr Dawson is due to appear in Paramatta Local Court on Thursday.
"A team of dedicated detectives has been investigating this case over the past three years", Det.
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Dawson continues to maintain his innocence.
Despite two coronial inquests recommending Chris be prosecuted for murder, the DPP stated at the time there was insufficient evidence to lay charges.
The magistrate has denied Dawson's bail plea, turning him over to NSW Police.
"We have solved homicides before without identifying the body", he said.
The duty lawyer told the court he was willing to surrender his passport and live with a brother in NSW.
Detectives from the NSW homicide squad began reinvestigating her suspected murder in 2015 and sent a brief of evidence to the Director of Public Prosecutions in April this year.
"It is my understanding two additional statements were the work of the media", he said.
A forensic search of the home the Dawsons once shared in Bayview was undertaken.
"We're certainly hoping an interview with this 70-year-old man who's now in custody in Queensland will assist us with the outcome of where the body may be".
"We've had a cry, we've cuddled, we're just completely over the moon that something has finally happened", he told The Australian.
His family said they were "disappointed" at the decision of the DPP.