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Coroner rules 32 years after baby disappeared that dingo did it

Published: Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Updated: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 08:06


SYDNEY - A coroner ruled Tuesday that a dingo did take baby Azaria Chamberlain from her tent in the desert of central Australia in 1980, ending a saga that saw the baby's mother jailed for murder and later exonerated.

Northern Territory coroner Elizabeth Morris told a courtroom in Darwin there was sufficient evidence to rule that a dingo took the baby and pulled it from its clothes, which were later found. The child's body was never located.

"The cause of her death was as the result of being attacked and taken by a dingo," Morris ruled.

The coroner offered her sympathy to the Chamberlain family who were in the courtroom. She said they could immediately obtain a death certificate for Azaria stating a dingo was the cause of her death.

Azaria's mother Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton, who spent three years in jail wrongly convicted of killing her baby, tearfully hugged family and supporters after the decision.

"We are relieved and delighted to come to the end of this saga," she told reporters outside the courtroom.

"No longer will Australians be able to say dingoes are not dangerous and only attack if provoked. We live in a beautiful country, but it is dangerous and we would ask all Australians to take appropriate precautions."

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