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Foster Father Charged With Murder Of Tiahleigh Palmer

The foster father of Logan schoolgirl Tiahleigh Palmer has been charged with her murder.

Rick Thorburn and his wife Julene Thorburn were arrested this morning, with Police revealing the 56-year-old had been formally charged over the 12-year-old's death.

A 19 and 20-year-old were also taken in for questioning. Police say all four are known to each other.

Thorburn has been denied bail and has been remanded in custody to appear in Beenleigh Magistrates Court tomorrow.


Police say the other three people are continuing to assist them with their enquiries.

Nearly 11 months after Tiahleigh first went missing, South Eastern Regional Crime Coordinator Superintendent Kerry Johnson said detectives had been working hard for this outcome.

“A team of dedicated detectives and police officers from the Homicide Group and the Logan District have been working long and endless hours to locate those responsible for her death,” she said.

“Make no mistake, this is an investigation that is close to the hearts of all officers whose sole aim was to bring her alleged killer to justice.

 “The QPS values its relationship with the media and recognises that a strong two-way partnership is vital in order to appeal for public’s help in solving crime.

“We want to thank them and the public for their assistance in this matter.”

Last week police seized a car they believed to be connected to Tiahleigh's murder.

After speculation the blue-coloured 2009 Ford XR6 sedan had been sold by Thorburn last year following her death, Police today confirmed reports.

They said they were forced to move quicker than they "possibly would have wanted to" after Tiahleigh's mother and media began focusing on Thorburn.



October 30 - Tiahleigh is dropped off at Marsden State High School

November 5 - A missing person alert is issued hours before an unidentified body is found by fishermen on the banks of Pimpama River

November 7 - Body confirmed as Tiahleigh's, SES volunteers begin searching river

November 8 - Friends hold candlelight vigil

November 9 - Detectives question school friends

November 10 - River search resumes but police admit they have few answers; Queensland government vows to review response processes for missing children in state care

November 11 - Search upgraded to include land surrounding school

November 13 - Police set up Crime Stoppers marquee, believe Tiahleigh may have wagged classes

November 14 - Tiahleigh's funeral honours a "beautifully imperfect" girl

November 30 - Police divers return to search Pimpama River

December 4 - Search widened after Tiahleigh's shoe found; police release footage of classroom two days prior to disappearance


February 15 - $250,000 reward offered for information; more than 300 people contact Crime Stoppers

March 14 - Tiahleigh's biological mother Cindy makes public appeal to help find killer

March 23 - Police begin searching vacant house at Waterford West on Logan Reserve Road

July 11 - Queensland government announces new protocols on how authorities are to deal with children missing from out-of-home care in direct response to Tiahleigh's disappearance and murder

September 13 - Police seize a blue Ford Falcon XR6 they believe is linked to Tiahleigh's disappearance.

September 20 - Tiahleigh's foster father is charged with her murder; his wife and two males are also taken into custody.

Staff Writers with AAP; Photos: AAP

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