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Foster dad charged with Tiahleigh's murder

AAP logoAAP 20/09/2016 Sarah Motherwell

Eleven months after her body was found dumped beside the local river, the person entrusted with the care of Queensland schoolgirl Tiahleigh Palmer has been charged with her murder.

Tiahleigh's foster father was arrested on Tuesday a week after homicide detectives seized a car he owned at the time of the 12-year-old's death.

The 56-year-old was one of the pallbearers at her funeral and a registered foster carer at the time

He was expected to face Beenleigh Magistrates Court on Wednesday, but on Tuesday night was taken to hospital for an undisclosed medical condition.

A Queensland Police spokesman confirmed a 56-year-old man was taken to hospital for a non-life threatening condition and had not sustained any injuries.

A 19-year-old man has also been charged with incest, perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice over her death.

Detective Inspector Damien Hansen said the 19-year-old man's charges related to a Crime and Corruption Commission hearing.

A 20-year-old man is also expected to be charged with one count of perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

He is related to the foster father and was known to Tiahleigh.

Tiahleigh's foster mother, the alleged murderer's 54-year-old wife, is in custody and assisting police with their investigation.

"She will be a key witness," Det Insp Hansen said.

"All three of them are expected to be witnesses."

Tiahleigh was last seen alive on October 30 when she was dropped off at Marsden State High School, south of Brisbane.

A missing person alert was only issued six days later, hours before an unidentified body was found by three fishermen on the banks of the Pimpama River.

Decomposition and damage caused to Tiahleigh's body from being in water hindered what Det Insp Hansen described as one of the most difficult cases he had ever worked on.

"It was a real 'whodunit' type of investigation" he said.

Police knew Tiahleigh was planning to meet someone on the morning she disappeared but the breakthrough in the case happened last week when they seized a blue Ford sedan for forensic examination.

The revelation that the car was previously owned by Tiahleigh's foster father came after her biological mother Cindy Palmer posted about it on Facebook.

Police admitted the post forced them to move quicker than they wanted to but were pleased with the way the investigation had gone.

Ms Palmer has not spoken publicly since the foster father's arrest but police say it has been a very traumatic time for her.

She last saw Tiahleigh a week before her disappearance and previously said there was nothing unusual about her behaviour.

"She was good, she was her normal self, fighting with her brother, giving him a hard time," she said in March.

Ms Palmer described her daughter as a loveable, caring girl who had aspirations to become a dancer.

"She didn't deserve what happened to her."

South Eastern Regional Crime Coordinator Superintendent Kerry Johnson said a team of dedicated detectives and homicide officers investigating Tiahleigh's death had worked "endless hours" over the past 11 mont

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