Just days before her tragic death, Tiahleigh Palmer allegedly asked a friend’s aunt if she could stay at her house because she was scared to return to her foster home where she lived with the Thorburn family.
“She asked if she could stay with me and I said I'm sorry you can't stay with me because I don't really know you for a start,” the woman, who has chosen to remain anonymous, told 7 News.
She told the woman she was in trouble at school and was worried about returning home.
“She did tell me that if she did go home she was going to get in big trouble and that's why she didn't want to go home," the woman added.
The woman says she then called the Browns Plains office of child safety, but it was allegedly dismissed by the case worker.
“They are kids and they tell stories,” the case worker also allegedly told the woman.
Tiahleigh’s foster mother Julene Thorburn was then contacted via text message, and assured the woman that the 12-year-old was not in trouble.
“Thank you and if she is worried about it tell her that just Julene is coming and she isn't it (in) trouble,” the text message allegedly read.
“She said I don't want to go home,” the witness added.
When the woman confronted Julene about what Tiahleigh had told her, she also dismissed it as nothing but "kids telling stories".
Six days later, Tiahleigh was dead. Police allege that her foster father, Rick Thorburn, killed her at their family home before dumping her body and reporting her missing.
Following her “disappearance”, Julene sent the woman another text message, asking if she knew where she was.
"Hi it's Tia's foster mum Julene Tia has run from school again first thing this morning if you hear anything or if anyone has seen her today could you let me know,” the text message read.
"I spoke to *beep* and she said she hadn't seen her all day. I hope you found her,” the witness replied.
Julene then replied, “Okay thanks we really have no leads this time police are following up on friends and some other contacts and your number is on the list since she came there last week so hope someone knows something regards Julene.”
The woman is said to be cooperating with police in their ongoing investigation.
A former carer has also made explosive claims that Tiahleigh tried to run away form the Thorburn’s home 10 times in the 10 months before she died.
Julie Pemberton, who cared for her for two years before she moved in with the Thorburn family, told Nine News that Tiahleigh “hated” living there.
"I've got emails that Tiah wanted to leave their care in the first two weeks that she was sent there," Ms Pemberton said.
"I would have had her back in the following week, but I couldn't get her back. Too late now, you've just got to stop it happening again."