Coroner: Dingo Killed Australian Baby in 1980 Case

Posted June 12th, 2012 at 6:50 am (UTC-5)
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A coroner has determined that a wild dingo dog was responsible for the death of an infant in Australia's outback 32 years ago, confirming the parents' version of events and ending an emotional case that attracted global attention.

Nine-week-old Azaria Chamberlain disappeared from her family's tent in the Australian desert in 1980. Her parents have always insisted that she was dragged away by a dingo. But many Australians doubted the story, since no similar attack had been documented at the time.

Coroner Elizabeth Morris said Tuesday she found evidence proving that a dingo or multiple dingoes were responsible for Azaria's death and that her death certificate should be amended to read “attacked and taken by a dingo.”

Her mother, Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton, was sentenced to life in prison and spent three years in jail before later being cleared of murder charges. The father, Michael Chamberlain had also been convicted on similar charges.

Besides dividing Australian public opinion, the case also sparked international attention and became the inspiration for a Hollywood movie starring Meryl Streep, as well as several books, a TV mini-series, and even an opera.