Chambers Flat man charged with Tiahleigh murder; foster brother charged with incest

Killed: Tiahleigh Palmer
Killed: Tiahleigh Palmer

Foster brother charged with incest

THE foster father of Marsden schoolgirl Tiahleigh Palmer has been charged with her murder.

Chambers Flat man Rick Thorburn, 56, was taken taken to Beenleigh Magistrates Court on Tuesday and charged with murder about 2pm.

Mr Thorburn’s wife Julene Thorburn was also arrested in relation to the murder but has not been charged.

 A 19-year-old Chambers Flat man has been charged with incest, perjury and perverting the course of justice.

The man, who is reportedly the foster brother of murdered schoolgirl was charged on Tuesday after he was taken into custody in relation to the murder investigation.

Police refused to provide any more details on the charges. 

Mr Thorburn was reportedly the last person to see Tiahleigh alive when he dropped her off at Marsden High School on October 30 last year.

Investigations have been ongoing since the 12-year-old's body was found on the banks of the Pimpama River on the northern Gold Coast on November 5.

Mr Thorburn was featured in a Jimboomba Times article in September 2015, six weeks before Tiahleigh went missing.

Detective Inspector Damien Hansen said Mr Thorburn had not spoken since police brought him in.

"You're pleased with the result but I'd rather be standing here and  ... Tia still be alive, you know," he said.

"It's a tragic event that has occurred."

The breakthrough in the case came on Tuesday morning after police seized a blue 2009 Ford Falcon XR6, labelled a "vehicle of interest.”

The car was later confirmed to be owned by Mr Thorburn.

South Eastern Regional Crime Co-ordinator Superintendent Kerry Johnson welcomed the result after an 11-month investigation.

"A team of dedicated detectives and police officers from the Homicide Group and the Logan District have been working long and endless hours to locate those responsible for her death," Detective Superintendent Johnson said, in a statement.

"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."

Police stressed the other three people had not been arrested or charged but were simply helping police with their inquiries.