Local News

Police to dig up home where Tiahleigh Palmer once lived

Police are reportedly preparing to dig up the backyard of Tiahleigh Palmer's foster parent's home where she lived before she was allegedly murdered.

Police are reportedly preparing to dig up the backyard of Tiahleigh Palmer’s foster parent’s home where she lived before she was allegedly murdered 11-months ago.

The 12-year-old school girl was living with Rick Thorburn, his wife Julene and their children in their Chambers Flat home, south of Brisbane, before Tiahleigh disappeared and her naked body was later discovered on the Pimpama River.

Excavating equipment has been seen at the Thorburns home but police have not yet said what they are digging for, reports the ABC.

Almost a year after her body was found Tiahleigh’s foster father, Rick Thorburn has been charged with murdering the schoolgirl and dumping her body.

Thorburn had originally told investigators he’d dropped Tiahleigh off at school the morning she disappeared but six days later fishermen found her remains.

The 56-year-old collapsed in custody soon after his arrest on Tuesday and was put into an induced coma before being woken up on Thursday.

He remains at the ICU unit at the Princess Alexandra Hospital and police are still investigating if the suspect had taken pills, before or after he was arrested, to cause the collapse.

Thorburn’s 19-year-old son, Trent, has been charged with incest and is in police custody.

Trent Thorburn.

Prosecutors will reportedly allege he admitted to a cousin on Facebook he “had sex” with Tiahleigh and expressed fears he had gotten her pregnant.

The Australian stated police did not gather this alleged crucial piece of evidence until this month but at a bail hearing this week police prosecutor Elen French said Trent Thorburn sent a message to his cousin on Facebook Messenger on October 28.

“During that conversation he says he had sex with the victim on the prior Monday and he had only done so ¬because she had threat¬ened to kill his dog,” she alleged.

“The defendant said he was concerned about her being ¬pregnant even though he had ‘pulled it out’. The defendant ¬further outlines the victim had spoken to his mother about it.”

Tiahleigh’s foster mother Julene and foster brother Josh, 20 have also been charged with perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Other reports claim Tiahleigh begged a classmate to let her stay with her less than a week before she disappeared because she was ‘in big trouble at home’.

A woman, whose niece attended Marsden State School with the alleged victim, told 7 News Tiahleigh had been at her house on October 23 when she seemed frightened to return to the Thorburns that day – six days before police believe she was killed.

“She asked me if she could stay with me and I said I’m sorry I couldn’t let you stay with me because I really don’t know you for a start,” the unidentified aunt of Tiahleigh’s classmate told 7 News.

“She did tell me that if she does go home that she was going to get in big trouble and that’s why she didn’t want to go home,” the woman added.

VIDEO: Tiahleigh Palmer begged classmate if she could stay at her home before she died

Loading the player...

Related stories


Get your favourite magazines home delivered!  

Subscribe and save up to 38% on a magazine subscription.