Tiahleigh Palmer’s killer found unconscious in prison cell

Convicted child killer Rick Thorburn is fighting for life, after being found unresponsive in his Queensland jail cell over the weekend.

Authorities say he was found unconscious in his cell on Saturday, before he was rushed to hospital.

He’s believed to be in a coma, in a critical condition at the Princess Alexandra Hospital intensive care unit.


Thorburn is currently serving a life sentence for killing his 12-year-old foster daughter Tiahleigh Palmer, who was reported missing in 2015.

Her body was found dumped on the banks of the Pimpama River shortly after.

The 2018 court case revealed that Thorburn killed the Year 7 student sometime between 8pm and 11pm on the night of October 29, 2015 after discovering his son Trent had been intimate with her and feared she might be pregnant.

The court heard Thorburn came home “covered in dirt” at 11pm the following night and told his family “it’s done”.

He’s now two years into his life sentence, and isn’t eligible for parole until September 2036.

Related article: Tiahleigh Palmer’s foster father Rick Thorburn sentenced to life in prison