Chamberlain dingo baby case reopens in Australia
A FOURTH inquest into the infamous disappearance of baby Azaria Chamberlain 32 years ago has seen both her parents pleading with the coroner to find their daughter was taken by a wild dog.
Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton and her ex-husband Michael Chamberlain have always maintained that nine-week-old Azaria was taken by a dingo from a campground at Ayers Rock (since more commonly referred to by its Aboriginal name of Uluru) on August 17th, 1980.
Ms Chamberlain-Creighton was convicted of murdering her daughter and was sentenced to life in prison with hard labour. She spent three years in jail before being released when some of Azaria’s clothes were found close to where she was taken from.
The third inquest into the case, in 1995, returned an open finding, meaning the baby’s death is registered as “cause unknown”. The parents are hoping new evidence about dingo attacks on children will convince Northern Territory coroner Elizabeth Morris to change the cause of death to say Azaria was taken by a dingo.
Barrister Rex Wild, who is assisting Ms Morris, gave evidence of three fatal attacks on young children and 14 other significant attacks, most of which happened on Fraser Island off the coast of Queensland. Mr Wild said there was enough evidence during the 1995 inquest to prove Azaria was taken by a dingo and that after yesterday’s submissions there should be no doubt.
Mr Chamberlain was close to tears as he gave evidence in court in the Northern Territory capital Darwin. “A dingo stole a little girl from our humble tent and killed her,” he said. “Since the loss of Azaria, I have had an abiding fear and paranoia about safety around dingoes. They send a shudder up my spine.”
Ms Chamberlain-Creighton said she hoped “Australians will finally be warned and realise that dingoes are a dangerous animal . . . I also hope that this will give a final finding which closes the inquest into my daughter’s death,” she said.