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Tiahleigh Never Made It To School Despite Thorburn's Story

When Tiahleigh Palmer first went missing in October 2015, her foster father told police he’d last seen her walking to school.

However, it seems it was all part of a carefully constructed story that is now falling apart.

Following Tuesday’s arrest of Rick Thorburn, it is now being reported that the 12-year-old never left home.

According to The Courier Mail, police will allege that the schoolgirl was most likely smothered the night before.

Photo: Tiahleigh Palmer

The revelation shatters Thorburn’s claims that he dropped Tiahleigh off at her school’s gates.

While initial reports placed her on a bus and at McDonald’s, while another student thought they had spoken to the missing girl, detectives now believe they were confused trying to place events to days.

Police are resuming their hunt for clues today at the home of her foster family.

Tiahleigh's foster mother Julene Thorburn assisted police at the Chambers Flat property south of Brisbane on Wednesday as her teenage son faced court on an incest charge.

Photo: Tiahleigh Palmer, Trent Thorburn and Rick Thorburn.

Police believe Tiahleigh's foster father killed the girl at the property on October 29.

He remains in hospital after collapsing shortly after being charged with murder on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, as his case was adjourned until December, Rick Thorburn's lawyer Kelly Thompson revealed her client was in an induced coma.

Police ethical standards command is investigating how Thorburn collapsed, amid reports he may have swallowed pills while in custody.

It's also been suggested he may have suffered a cardiac incident.

Tiahleigh's 19-year-old foster brother Trent Thorburn was denied bail as police outlined their case against him in court on Wednesday.

The girl's biological mother Cindy Palmer watched from the gallery as it was alleged he'd confessed in a Facebook Messenger conversation with a cousin that he'd had sex with Tiahleigh and feared she might be pregnant.

Photo: Tiahleigh Palmer

Police also alleged he'd repeatedly lied during their murder investigation and was determined to do all he could to avoid a prison sentence for his alleged crimes.

According to The Courier Mail, it is believed his father was worried the “young bisexual dancer” would end up a target if imprisoned and murdered Tiahleigh.

Julene, 54, and the Thorburns' older son Joshua, 20, have also been charged with perjury and perverting the course of justice.

They're set to face court on October 10.


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.

AAP; Photos: AAP

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