SYDNEY — Michael Chamberlain, who waged a decades-long battle to prove his baby daughter was killed by a dingo in Australia’s most notorious case of injustice, has died, his former wife said Tuesday. He was 72.

Chamberlain died suddenly, Lindy Chamberlain said in a statement. Michael Chamberlain’s longtime friend and former lawyer, Stuart Tipple, told Australia’s Fairfax Media that he died Monday night as a result of complications from leukemia.

“I am on my way today to support and be with our children,” Lindy said in her statement.

Lindy and Michael Chamberlain were wrongly convicted in the death of their 9-week-old daughter, Azaria, after the infant vanished from their tent during a 1980 camping trip to Uluru, the sacred monolith in Australia’s Outback.

The mystery surrounding Azaria’s disappearance was the most divisive and sensational legal drama in Australian history. It gained a place in global pop culture after Meryl Streep portrayed Lindy Chamberlain in the movie “A Cry in the Dark.”

The Chamberlains insisted that a dingo snatched their daughter from the tent. But officials doubted the wild dogs were capable of carrying an infant. Instead, prosecutors argued that Lindy Chamberlain had slit her daughter’s throat and buried her in the desert.

There were no witnesses, no motive and no body; Azaria’s remains were never found. But in 1982, Lindy Chamberlain was nonetheless convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. Michael was convicted of being an accessory after the fact and given a suspended sentence.

Three years later, Azaria’s jacket was found in the desert near a dingo den and Lindy Chamberlain was quickly released from prison. A Royal Commission, the highest form of investigation in Australia, later debunked much of the forensic evidence used at trial and the Chamberlains’ convictions were overturned. In 2012 – more than three decades after Azaria vanished – a coroner finally ruled that the infant had died as a result of a dingo attack.

The trial remains a source of shame for the many Australians who initially doubted the Chamberlains and cast Lindy Chamberlain as a villain largely due to her religious beliefs. Michael Chamberlain was a pastor with the Seventh-day Adventist church, a Protestant denomination that few Australians understood.

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