Dingo Killed Australian Baby 30 Years Ago, Coroner Rules

Dingo Did Take Azaria Chamberlain in 1980, Says Coroner
Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton
Patrina MALONE/AAP/AFP/Getty/Newscom

06/12/2012 AT 10:25 AM EDT

Months after the case was reopened in February – and more than 30 years since it first snowballed into a media sensation – a coroner ruled Tuesday that a dingo was responsible after all for the death of 9-week-old baby Azaria Chamberlain.

The confirmation brings closure to a case that began during a 1980 family camping trip in the Australian outback.

Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton, who was convicted but later cleared of murder, said she saw the wild dog holding her baby in its mouth as it ran out of their tent.

It was a scene that became a point of parody in Hollywood, where "the dingo's got my baby" was cried by Meryl Streep in the 1988 true-crime thriller A Cry in the Dark – and then later on Family Guy and Seinfeld.

"The cause of her death was as the result of being attacked and taken by a dingo," Elizabeth Morris, coroner for Northern Territory, said to the Darwin Magistrates court, reports CNN. "Dingos can and do cause harm to humans."

Chamberlain-Creighton said she was "relieved and delighted" about the ruling, which means "no longer will Australia be able to say that dingos are not dangerous."
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