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The Shocking Twist In The Murder Investigation Of Schoolgirl

The murder of 12-year-old Tiahleigh Palmer last year shocked the nation. The schoolgirl's naked decomposing body was discovered on the Pimpama riverbank in Queensland a week after her disappearance.

Today more sad news has emerged with police charging her foster father Rick Thorburn with the alleged murder. The 56-year-old was arrested yesterday afternoon and taken to the Beenleigh Watchhouse.

His wife Julene Thorburn and two men aged 19 and 20 were also taken into custody at Logan Central Police Station. Police confirmed they were all known to one another and Tiahleigh.

A police spokesperson said the 19-year-old man was arrested for incest, attempting to pervert the course of justice and two charges of perjury. The Courier Mail claim the 19-year-old is Tiahleigh's foster brother.   

Thorburn's arrest follows the seizure last week of a blue Ford XR6 for forensic examinations. Detective Inspector Damien Hansen confirmed the car was formerly owned by the 56-year-old before being sold on. He confirmed its current owner was not connected to the murder investigation.

Detective Inspector Hansen labelled today's events as tragic but said he was pleased with the way the investigation had developed in the last 24 hours. South Eastern Regional Crime Coordinator Superintendent Kerry Johnson said it had taken a group of dedicated detectives 11 months of hard work to get to today's outcome.

'Make no mistake, this is an investigation that is close to the hearts of all officers whose sole aim was to bring her alleged killer to justice.

'The QPS values its relationship with the media and recognises that a strong two-way partnership is vital in order to appeal for public's help in solving crime.

'We want to thank them and the public for their assistance in this matter. also want to particularly thank the Crime and Corruption Commission for their continuing support and assistance.' Superintendent Johnson said.

Tiahleigh disappeared on October 30 last year and was last seen being dropped at school by her foster career.

Nine News revealed her death led to a review to change reforms for children who go missing from out-of-home care earlier this year. All 29 recommendations admitted in a Queensland Family and Child Commission report have now been implemented.Under the old protocols, police had to wait a week before they could release a missing persons alert.

Thorburn has been denied police bail and remanded in custody. He will face court tomorrow.

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