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Tahleigh Palmer’s mother agreed to give her up EIGHT days before brutal murder by foster father

Tiahleigh Palmer’s mother agreed to give up her young daughter just days before she was brutally murdered by her foster father.

The 12-year-old girl was found dead and floating in Pimpama River, Gold Coast, by a fisherman in October 2015, just under a week after Rick Thorburn killed her.

The school girl’s biological mother, Cindy Palmer, had struggled to care for her daughter and put Tia into foster care for her ‘wellbeing’.

Tiahleigh Palmer’s mother (pictured together) agreed to give up her young daughter just days before she was brutally murdered by her foster father and abused by her foster brother

The 12-year-old girl (pictured) was found dead and floating in Pimpama River, Gold Coast, by a fisherman in October 2015 just under a week after Rick Thorburn killed her

The 12-year-old girl (pictured) was found dead and floating in Pimpama River, Gold Coast, by a fisherman in October 2015 just under a week after Rick Thorburn killed her

The school girl's biological mother, Cindy Palmer, (pictured together) had struggled to care for her daughter and put Tia into foster care for her 'wellbeing'

The school girl’s biological mother, Cindy Palmer, (pictured together) had struggled to care for her daughter and put Tia into foster care for her ‘wellbeing’

The heartbroken mother claimed she endured years of death threats and had to 'uproot her family' because of the 'horror (Thorburn) created' (pictured) 

The heartbroken mother claimed she endured years of death threats and had to ‘uproot her family’ because of the ‘horror (Thorburn) created’ (pictured) 

On the 21st of October in 2015, Ms Palmer attended a stakeholder meeting and ‘relinquished full-time care of Tia,’ Crown Prosecutor Carl Heaton QC told the Supreme Court during Rick Thorburn’s murder sentencing, according to the Courier Mail. 

In her victim impact statement, Ms Palmer detailed her heartbreak over her daughter’s violent death and says it still haunts her.

‘I cannot go out into public alone. I fear someone will recognise me and then publicly blame and shame me for what happened to Taihleigh … that blame should fall on you (Thorburn), not me,’ Ms Palmer said in court Friday.

She claimed she endured years of death threats and had to ‘uproot her family’ because of the ‘horror (Thorburn) created’.

‘Every day I am forced to think about and relive the unimaginable and horrendous end of my daughter’s life,’ she said.

‘Every day I must endure the pain and heartbreak of not only my own pain and loss but also to help guide my other three children through their own struggles … a constant battle.

‘Because of your (Thorburn’s) actions I will not only never see Tiahleigh’s beautiful face again or see her cheeky smile, but I will also never see her grow up.’ 

Tia, as she was affectionately known, had been in foster care since she was seven-years-old and lived with the Thorburns in Logan, Queensland, on weekends for about a year until she moved in full time about nine months before her death.

The 12-year-old, who was described as a creative free spirit, lived with Thorburn, 56, and his wife Julene and their two sons, Trent and Josh at their remote two hectare property surrounded by horse paddocks and strawberry farms, news.com.au reported.

The 12-year-old lived with Thorburn (left) and his wife Julene (second right) and their two sons, Trent (far right) and Josh (second left) at their remote two hectare property

The 12-year-old lived with Thorburn (left) and his wife Julene (second right) and their two sons, Trent (far right) and Josh (second left) at their remote two hectare property

'Every day I am forced to think about and relive the unimaginable and horrendous end of my daughter's life,' Ms Palmer said (pictured)

‘Every day I am forced to think about and relive the unimaginable and horrendous end of my daughter’s life,’ Ms Palmer said (pictured)

The family – who all had blue working with children cards – owned a day care business, Miss Julene’s Family Day Care, and an food truck business, Nothing Healthy Here. 

A previous foster carer for the school girl, Julie Pemberton, said Tiahleigh ‘hated’ the home but never went in to detail why, 9News reported.

Ms Pemberton said the youngster had run away from the Thorburns more than 10 times in 10 months leading up to her death – a ploy that was later used by the foster father to cover up his vile act.  

The school girl revealed to her biological family, which she stayed in regular contact with, that she had a ‘crush’ on her older foster brother Trent. 

'Because of your (Thorburn's) actions I will not only never see Tiahleigh's (pictured) beautiful face again or see her cheeky smile, but I will also never see her grow up,' Ms Palmer explained

‘Because of your (Thorburn’s) actions I will not only never see Tiahleigh’s (pictured) beautiful face again or see her cheeky smile, but I will also never see her grow up,’ Ms Palmer explained

A previous foster carer for the school girl, Julie Pemberton, said Tiahleigh 'hated' the home but never went in to detail why and ran away from home 10 times in the 10 months with Thorburns

A previous foster carer for the school girl, Julie Pemberton, said Tiahleigh ‘hated’ the home but never went in to detail why and ran away from home 10 times in the 10 months with Thorburns

Soon after, the then 18-year-old sexually assaulted the 12-year-old at the four-bedroom brick house and told a friend he was worried she was pregnant.

Just days later, Thorburn ‘took care’ of the situation by smothering the 12-year-old to prevent an ‘incest’ scandal which would destroy their lives.

The disgraced foster father claimed to drop off the youngster to Marsden State High School and took to Facebook to announce her disappearance as part of the elaborate plot.

Days after murdering the defenceless girl, Thorburn was one of the pale bearers carrying Tiahleigh’s coffin at the heartbreaking funeral.  

Justice David Boddice called Thorburn’s conduct ‘appalling’ and described the murder and cover-up as ‘cold, calculating and callous’, ABC News reported.

‘You showed no respect for her, even in death – you murdered this defenceless child who relied on you for protection,’ he said. 

Tiahleigh's foster brother Trent (pictured) sexually abused her and when he feared the 12-year-old was pregnant, Thorburn 'took care' of the matter by murdering her

Tiahleigh’s foster brother Trent (pictured) sexually abused her and when he feared the 12-year-old was pregnant, Thorburn ‘took care’ of the matter by murdering her

Days after murdering the defenceless girl, Thorburn (pictured second from left) was one of the pale bearers carrying Tiahleigh's coffin at the heartbreaking funeral

Days after murdering the defenceless girl, Thorburn (pictured second from left) was one of the pale bearers carrying Tiahleigh’s coffin at the heartbreaking funeral

Ms Palmer (left) said she ‘cannot go out into public alone’ because she ‘fears’ of the death threats and ‘public blame’ if people recognise her and shame her for Taihleigh’s death (right)

The anguishing mother (pictured) said it was a 'constant battle' to endure the 'pain and heartbreak' created by Thorburn

The anguishing mother (pictured) said it was a ‘constant battle’ to endure the ‘pain and heartbreak’ created by Thorburn

Almost three years later, Thorburn was sentenced to life in jail on Friday after pleading guilty to the schoolgirl’s murder and will not be eligible for parole until 2036.

Trent was jailed in September 2017 for a maximum four years after pleading guilty at the Beenleigh District Court to four charges, including incest.

His mother Julene spent six months behind bars after pleading guilty in November 2017 to perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

The Thorburns’ eldest son, Joshua, was sentenced to three months in jail in July 2017 after pleading guilty to same charges as his mother.

Tiahleigh’s death led to reviews of protocols on cases of children who go missing while in out-of-home care. 

Almost three years after Taihleigh's body was found in the river (pictured), Thorburn was sentenced to life in jail after pleading guilty to the schoolgirl's murder 

Almost three years after Taihleigh’s body was found in the river (pictured), Thorburn was sentenced to life in jail after pleading guilty to the schoolgirl’s murder 



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