Key dates in the Tiahleigh Palmer case



Oct 30: Tiahleigh’s foster father Rick Thorburn says he dropped the 12-year-old at Marsden State High School. It was the last time she was seen alive.

Nov 5: Three fishermen find a girl’s body on the banks of the Pimpama River on the Gold Coast. It’s later confirmed to be Tiahleigh.

Nov 14: Tiahleigh is remembered as a “beautifully imperfect” girl at her Gold Coast funeral, where Thorburn was a pall-bearer.


Feb 15: Police offer a $250,000 reward for information to solve the schoolgirl’s murder.

March 14: Biological mother Cindy Palmer makes a public appeal to help find her daughter’s killer.

Sept 20: Rick Thorburn is charged with Tiahleigh’s murder. Foster mother Julene and their sons Trent and Joshua are also arrested.

Trent is charged with incest, perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Julene and Joshua are charged with perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Sept 21: Rick Thorburn fails to face court after a reported overdose.

Sept 23: Detectives say the foster family’s home is a primary crime scene.


June 28: Rick Thorburn is committed to stand trial for murder.

July 27: Josh Thorburn is sentenced to 15 months’ jail after admitting to perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Sept 14: Trent Thorburn is sentenced to four years’ jail after admitting he had sex with Tiahleigh.

Nov 3: Julene Thorburn is sentenced to 18 months’ jail for perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice, with the sentence suspended after six months.


Jan 19: Trent Thorburn is released on parole after 16 months behind bars.

Feb 16: Rick Thorburn seeks a judge-only trial due to publicity surrounding the case.

May 25: Rick Thorburn pleads guilty in the Brisbane Supreme Court to murder, interfering with a corpse, perjury and perverting the course of justice. Sentenced to life in jail, and must serve a minimum 20 years.

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