Rick Thorburn, murderer who killed Tiahleigh Palmer to cover up his son’s incestuous relationship, tries to take his own life in jail and is rushed to hospital

Rick Thorburn has tried to take his own life for the third time since he was found guilty of murdering 12-year-old schoolgirl Tiahleigh Palmer.

Thorburn, 63, was found unresponsive in his cell at Brisbane’s Wolston Correctional Center on Thursday morning.

He was attended to by nurses and stabilized at the scene before being taken to the Princess Alexandra Hospital.

“The matter will be subject to standard internal investigation,” a Queensland Correctional Services spokesman said.

Thursday marks his third suicide attempt, Thorburn was also found unresponsive while behind bars in August 2022 and earlier in September 2020.

Rick Thorburn tried to take his own life for the third time after being found guilty of murdering 12-year-old schoolgirl Tiahleigh Palmer

Rick Thorburn tried to take his own life for the third time after being found guilty of murdering 12-year-old schoolgirl Tiahleigh Palmer

Tiahleigh was killed in October 2015

Tiahleigh was killed in October 2015

Thorburn is serving a life sentence for the murder of Tiahleigh, who was his foster child.

He was motivated to kill Tiahleigh after learning that his youngest son Trent, then 19, was having an incestuous sexual relationship with her and believed he may have impregnated her.

Trent was sentenced to four years in prison for indignity, perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice, but spent just 16 months behind bars.

Thorburn reported Tiahleigh missing on October 30, 2015, claiming he had dropped her off at school that morning, but she never entered the gates. Her body was found six days later on the banks of Pimpama River.

He also pleaded guilty to sexual offenses against a four-year-old and 11-year-old who were in his wife’s care at the home daycare she ran while they were also fostering Tiahleigh.

Queensland deputy coroner Jane Bentley found in her inquest report that Thorburn had shown no remorse for the 12-year-old’s murder.

He pleaded guilty to Tiahleigh’s murder, but claimed he accidentally suffocated her.

LIFELINE 13 11 14

THE TIAHLEIGH PALMER MURDER: A TIMELINE

2015

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

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

Nov 14: Tiahleigh is remembered as a ‘beautifully imperfect’ girl at her Gold Coast funeral, where Thorburn was a delight.

2016

February 15: Police offer a $250,000 reward for information leading to 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 indecent assault, 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.

2017

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

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

September 14: Trent Thorburn is sentenced to four years in prison after admitting he had sex with Tiahleigh.

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

2018

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

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

May 25: Rick Thorburn pleads guilty in the Brisbane Supreme Court to murder, tampering with a corpse, perjury and perverting the course of justice.

Source: AAP