It was the middle of spring 2015 in Queensland, Australia, and local girl Tiahleigh Palmer had been away from home for six days. State police had been treating the girl’s disappearance as a missing person case, until three fishermen on a nearby river made a gruesome discovery. As the police investigation became a murder hunt, it proved to be the start of a mystery that fascinated and repulsed Australia for many months.
In October 2015, Tiahleigh Alyssa Rose Palmer – known as Tiah – was a 12-year-old schoolgirl living in Logan City, close to Brisbane in Southeast Queensland. Although she was a popular and friendly student at Logan’s Marsden State High School, Tiah’s outgoing personality masked a less-than-perfect family life.
Tiah’s mother, Cyndi, was just 18 years old when she had her daughter. And the young mom sometimes found it a struggle to raise a child on her own. In fact, when Tiah was born in 2003, a neighboring family in Marsden who had become close friends with Cyndi acted as “kinship carers” for the baby girl. Then, in 2011, Cyndi found herself in trouble with the law.