Tia’s mum fumes at ‘those evil people’
CINDY Palmer says the pain of losing her daughter is as raw today as it was when the schoolgirl's body was discovered on the banks of the Pimpama River.
Speaking on the fourth anniversary of Tiahleigh's murder, Cindy delivered a heartfelt tribute to the girl who would be 16 today.
Tiahleigh was murdered by her foster father Rick Thorburn after he discovered his 18-year-old son Trent had sexually abused her.
"Your place was here with us, with your family, and there isn't a day that goes by that we don't miss your presence," she said.
"Not only do we miss enjoying all the major milestones of your life - like Christmas and birthdays - but we miss the everyday parts of life that we don't get to spend with you any more.
"Your brothers and sister miss you terribly and struggle to understand and cope with why you aren't here anymore and why you can't share in their lives.
"You would have been 16 and enjoying all the things young girls get to - like hanging out with friends and shopping and teaching your sister how to do her hair and dancing.
"You would have been excited about how well your big brother is doing and going on trips together.
"You will never get to enjoy the ups or the downs of life, and that is especially unfair.
"Sadly we have to endure these things without you and it never gets easier. We miss your angelic face and contagious smile and still four years on, we cannot come to terms with how those evil people took away your life."
Four years ago, Rick Thorburn sat down with his family and calmly confessed to murdering his 12-year-old foster daughter.
"I've made the right decision," he said to his wife and sons.
"It's already been done. I can't change it."
The following day - October 30 - other members of the family would also play their parts in an evil charade, pretending schoolgirl Tiahleigh Palmer had run away.
For days, they would drive the streets pretending to look for Tiahleigh with her distraught biological mother, Cindy.
Cindy helped search for her girl for six days - until a fisherman found her partially clothed body on the banks of the Pimpama River.
Rick's wife Julene and eldest son Josh were convicted of perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice, while Trent was jailed for incest, perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice.
Rick told his family he'd killed Tiahleigh so Trent would not go to jail.
Instead, Rick would be sentenced to life in prison for murder, and the remaining family members would face court for their roles in covering his crime.