true crime

Tiahleigh Palmer murdered to cover up 'incest by foster brother', police allege.

Queensland police will allege that Tiahleigh Palmer’s foster father killed her as a desperate attempt to cover up his son’s incest with the 12-year-old, according to a new report.

Detectives yesterday pounced on Rick Thorburn, 56, and charged with the murder of the Logan girl, whose body was found on the banks of the Pimpama River last November.

According to The Courier Mail, he took Palmer’s life after discovering she and his son had been “sexually involved” during the 10 months she was in the family’s care.

Her 19-year-old foster brother, Trent, has been charged with incest, attempting to pervert the course of justice and perjury.

The pair were due to face Beenleigh Magistrates Court this morning, however Rick Thornburn was rushed to hospital overnight, reportedly having self-harmed while in custody.

Palmer’s foster mother Julene Thorburn and her 20-year-old son Josh have also been charged with perjury and preventing the course of justice. The pair have been bailed to appear in Beenleigh Magistrates court on October 10.

It’s believed the perjury charges against Trent Thorburn are believed to relate to allegedly false testimony given to secret Crime and Corruption Commission hearings into Palmer’s death.

According to The Courier Mail, it was an April call to Crime Stoppers that provided the breakthrough in the intensive, 10-month investigation.

Some 50 detectives were involved in the case after Palmer’s badly decomposed body was discovered by fisherman on November 5, 2015.

Her cause of death remains unclear, but police believe her body may have been in the river for up to a week.

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