Australian coroner finds dingo took baby Azaria in 1980
Three decades after Azaria Chamberlain went missing from a tent near Uluru in central Australia, a coroner in Australia has finally concluded that the nine-week-old baby was taken from her tent by a dingo.
Azaria's disappearance transfixed Australia in 1980, and divided a nation in the years that followed. Her parents, Michael and Lindy Chamberlain, were camping near the Uluru, formerly known as Ayers Rock, with Azaria and their two other young children on the night she disappeared. They have always maintained a dingo took her.
On Tuesday, Northern Territory coroner Elizabeth Morris handed down her findings, saying evidence from the case proved a dingo or dingoes were responsible for Azaria's death and ruled that her death certificate should read "attacked and taken by a dingo".
"I am satisfied that the evidence is sufficiently adequate, clear, cogent and exact, and that the evidence excludes all other reasonable possibilities, to find that what occurred on 17 August 1980 was that shortly after Mrs Chamberlain placed Azaria in the tent, a dingo or dingoes entered the tent, took Azaria and carried and dragged her from the immediate area," she said.
Her voice breaking with emotion, the coroner addressed Michael Chamberlain and his former wife, now Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton, and their son, Aidan, in court.
"Please accept my sincere sympathies on the death of your special and loved daughter and sister, Azaria. I am so sorry for your loss. Time does not remove the pain and sadness of the death of a child," she said.
The finding means that Azaria's death certificate has been changed from "unknown" to state that a dingo took her.
Outside the court Chamberlain-Creighton said she was relieved and delighted to be at the end of this saga.