A 14-year-old girl who allegedly brutally murdered her cousin, 10, on a rural farm will remain behind bars for at least another two weeks.
The 10-year-old was staying with her uncle and aunt on a farm in Gunnedah, in north-west NSW, on July 8 when she was allegedly stabbed to death in a crime that shocked the nation.
The case was horrific that a court banned details of it or the names of the victim or accused from being published in the media.
The teenager was arrested shortly after in a neighbouring property after her mother found her bloodied niece.
At Tamworth’s Children Court on Wednesday, Magistrate Julie Soars adjourned the case and ordered prosecutors to serve evidence to the girl’s lawyers by September 28, The Daily Telegraph reported.
The young girl was staying with her uncle and aunt for the school holidays when she was killed (Pictured are officers at the scene in the days after the tragedy)
Police and state emergency service volunteers meticulously searched paddocks and fields for what is believed to be the alleged murder weapon
The girl, who did not apply for bail, will return to court for a committal mention on September 30.
The case will then be handled by a higher court due to the seriousness of the charges.
It was just before 6.30am on Wednesday, July 8, when the older girl’s mother walked into their room to check on them before going out to begin work on the farm.
When she returned just half-an-hour later she found her niece horrifically killed and her own daughter vanished.
Dazed and confused, the alleged teenage killer had walked three kilometres across a wheat field with the sharp weapon allegedly still in her hand.
The young victim had gone to stay with relatives on the farm for the school holidays.
While the details of the case and the gruesome manner in which the young girl died can not be published by the media, the incident has been the talk of the small town of Gunnedah.
So serious was the alleged murder that the first police officer on the scene has taken leave after being severely disturbed by what confronted him at the property.
The alleged victim’s father has since shared a touching tribute tattoo to his daughter, telling friends in a Facebook post how her drawing was an eerie metaphor for her life.
‘Cherry blossom tattoos are a metaphor for the transience of life because they do not live for very long,’ the father wrote.
‘Japanese cherry blossoms also mean strong luck and good fortune.
The girl’s father said the drawing of a cherry blossom tree was a metaphor for her life as they ‘do not live for very long’ but are a symbol of ‘strong luck and good fortune’
The father of a 10-year-old girl (pictured) allegedly killed by her cousin on a farm at Gunnedah, in NSW, has tattooed one of her final drawings on his arm, in a touching tribute to his daughter
‘They are considered to be omens of good things to come. The blossoms serve as emblems for affection and love.’
Tributes to his daughter have flooded the grieving father’s Facebook in the months since her death.
Among them were photos of the talented young artist next to more of her drawings.
‘So clever and beautiful fly high my angel,’ the proud father wrote.
Just days before the incident, the alleged teenage killer had been suspended from her local high school for throwing scissors at a classmate.
The alleged murder rattled the sleepy country town of around 10,000 people, known best for being the hometown of supermodels Miranda Kerr and Erica Packer.
Police spent days combing the nearby wheat and cotton paddocks for clues as they try to answer the many questions remaining about the incident.
A close neighbour a few paddocks down the road was shocked the little girl he remembered playing in the grass was accused of a heinous crime.
Gunnedah, known best for being the hometown of supermodel Miranda Kerr, is about an hour west of Tamworth and 450km from Sydney
‘I used to see her and her sister running around the paddock, playing, or with her parents at cattle market,’ he said.
‘She was always very polite and happy, I never had any qualms with her. How does this happen?’
The deceased girl is from Orange, a town west of Sydney past the Blue Mountains, and also from a locally prominent family.
Police have refused to give details of the girl’s injuries except that that were substantial, and the court has suppressed such information anyway.
A post mortem examination was carried out earlier this month and should provide police with more clues about how the alleged murder unfolded.
FAMILY FARM HORROR: TIMELINE
Wednesday July 8
– 6:30am: Mother leaves home in Gunnedah, north-west NSW, to do farm work. Her daughter, 14, and niece, 10 are asleep inside.
– 7am: The woman returns and finds the younger girl with serious lacerations and her daughter missing.
– 7:15am: Emergency services arrive at the property but the 10-year-old is already dead.
– 8:30am: Police find the 14-year-old on a neighbouring property after a frantic search. She is taken to Gunnedah Police Station.
– 10pm: The child is charged with her cousin’s alleged murder.
Thursday July 9
– The teenager’s case goes before Tamworth Children’s Court. The girl was not in the courtroom and did not apply for bail.
– Police and SES crews search a paddock next to the farmhouse
– The teenager is due to reappear in court. She has been refused bail until then.