Keyboard warriors attack Tiahleigh Palmer's grief stricken mother

The biological mother of Tiahleigh Palmer has become the victim of a torrent of abuse on social media, prompting family members to urge her off of the internet.

Cindy Palmer spoke publicly last week on the death of her 12 year old daughter after murder charges were laid against her foster father Rick Thorburn, 56.

His 19-year-old son Trent Thorburn was also charged with incest, months after the girls semi-naked body was found dumped near a Queensland creek six days after she was reported missing.

Last week Cindy Palmer said she would not allow Tiahleigh’s death to be in vain, and unwittingly invokied the wrath of the nation's keyboard warriors.

“A piece of my heart is missing forever,” the heartbroken mother said fighting back tears.

“The time has come to get justice from Tiahleigh.”

Cindy, left, speaking at the press conference was visibly upset and shaken by Tiahleigh's, left, death. Source: AAP
Cindy, left, speaking at the press conference was visibly upset and shaken by Tiahleigh's, left, death. Source: AAP

But rather than support, the grief-stricken mother instead found herself targeted over her daughter’s death by an army of social media users bent on blaming her for the crime.

“Sorry but this makes me so angry and sick to my stomach,” a Mammamia reader wrote after Ms Palmer spoke.

“Your child was in foster care because you couldn't care for he,. (sic) You were not a Mother (sic) to her, your daughter died because you weren't the Mother you should of (sic) been. Stop acting like a victim. There is only one victim here and that is little Tiahleigh....”

Those who tried to come to the mother’s defense quickly found themselves on the receiving end of barrages of insults.

“You must be another looser (sic) dependent on society so f**kin’ explain yourself,” wrote on Facebook user in response to a post appealing for people to drop the vitriol.


Another attacked a user who said Cindy Palmer had been working to reunite with her daughter, after losing custody while imprisoned for offences her family described as minor and non-violent.

“Mistakes? why does (sic) everyone say it's a mistake, she CHOSE drugs over her daughter which resulted in her daughter being placed in foster care, you have a choice- (sic) Drugs or your child? If she really loved her daughter she wouldn't have continued to chose (sic) drugs would she (sic). A mistake is something you make on a form or a (sic) exam NOT when it comes to your child. She was 100% to blame. THINK before commenting,” came the response.

The savage outbursts have been visible on almost every major media outlet’s Facebook pages since Ms Palmer emerged, but few, if any comments, have made mention of the girl's as yet publicly unidentified biological father.

The Daily Mail reports her family is now trying to keep the bereaved mother from the internet in an effort to protect her from the rampant attacks.

Sister Pou Kaufusi posted to her wall urging others to avoid criticising Ms Palmer until they understood the challenges she had faced.

“Just wanted to tell the world, I have…. THE BEST SISTER , SHES (sic) THE BEST MUM, BEST AUNTY, STRONGEST WOMAN, SHES (sic) MADE MISTAKES BUT HEY WHO HASN’T?” she wrote.

“I LOVE HER TO BITS ILL (sic) WALK EVERY INCH OF EVERY DAY BESIDE HER, NO ONE KNOWS HOW REAL HER STRUGGLE HAS BEEN LIKE I DO.”

The death of Tiahleigh Palmer has become one of the most high profile crimes in Queensland's recent history.

The youngest was reported missing 11 months ago by her foster family, with Rick Thorburn claiming she had failed to return from Marsden State High School in Logan on October 30.

Rick, Josh, Julene and Trent Thorburn have all been charged with crimes related to Tialeigh Palmer's death. Photo: Supplied
Rick, Josh, Julene and Trent Thorburn have all been charged with crimes related to Tialeigh Palmer's death. Photo: Supplied

Six days later her body was found on the banks of the Pimpana River on the Gold Coast, 30 kilometres from the last place she was seen alive.

Almost a year passed before charges were finally laid, after police allegedly found Facebook messages suggesting Rick and Trent Thorburn feared the 19 year old had impregnated his 12 year old foster sister.

The break in the case appeared to come on September 13 when police seized a Ford sedan sold by the Thorburns after Tiahleigh vanished.

Trent Thorburn has reportedly been bashed twice in jail since being taken into custody. Photo: Facebook
Trent Thorburn has reportedly been bashed twice in jail since being taken into custody. Photo: Facebook

A week later police swooped on the Thorburn house, charging Rick with murder and interfering with a corpse, Trent with incest, perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Tiahleigh’s foster mother Julene, 54, and a second foster brother, Josh, 20, have also been charged with perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

The case is already sending political shockwaves through Queensland as the government is forced to contend with difficulty questions on the state of its child protection system.

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