The father of a young girl allegedly killed by her cousin on a farm has tattooed one of her final drawings on his arm, in a touching tribute to his daughter.
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 by her 14-year-old female cousin.
So horrific was the alleged crime that a court banned details of it or the names of the victim or accused from being published in the media.
In the aftermath of her death the girl’s father labelled the crime as ‘preventable’.
He has since shared a touching tribute to his daughter, telling friends in a Facebook post how her drawing was an eerie metaphor for her life.
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
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’
‘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.
‘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.
While the details of the case and the gruesome manner in which the young girl died can not be published by the media, the incident has been the talk of the small town of Gunnedah.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.
‘So clever and beautiful fly high my angel,’ the proud father (left) wrote next to one photo with his daughter (right) in the weeks since her death
The 10-year-old girl was allegedly murdered by her cousin, 14, on a farm in Gunnedah, in NSW, on Wednesday, July 8. The incident rocked the local community, with the first police officer on the scene taking leave, so horrific was the scene that confronted him when he arrived
So horrific was the alleged crime that a NSW court banned details from being published by the media, but the incident has been the talk of the small town of Gunnedah (pictured)
The officer – a longtime member of the local Gunnedah force – was granted leave by NSW Police, who are ensuring he receives the necessary support.
Police Association of NSW president Tony King said the impact of the job on officers’ personal welfare is often forgotten about.
‘Police officers regularly encounter situations and circumstances that are horrific,’ Mr King told Daily Mail Australia.
‘Every scene of a fatality, particularly those involving children, is extremely difficult.
‘Our officers are human and aren’t immune to the impacts of handling difficult cases that no one else in any other other job would ordinarily have to confront, let alone on repeated occasions. It’s a hard job.’
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.
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)
Gunnedah, known best for being the hometown of supermodel Miranda Kerr, is about an hour west of Tamworth and 450km from Sydney
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.
The tragedy has divided the two families, with the victim’s father launching a furious rant against his sister-in-law and her husband on Facebook.
After the victim’s mother posted on Facebook stating she did not blame her sister or brother-in-law for the tragedy, her husband launched into a furious rant in response.
‘You are deadset unf***ing believable,’ the man wrote.
The victim’s father initially hit out at the alleged killer’s parents, calling her death ‘preventable’
Forensic police collect evidence from in and around the farmhouse where the alleged murder occurred
In a separate post the victim’s father described his daughter’s death as ‘preventable’.
‘All the news reports state good family from Gunnedah,’ he wrote.
‘This crime was completely preventable.’
His emotional tirades followed a post from his wife on her sister’s Facebook page.
In it she urged locals in Gunnedah – which has been rocked by the death – to ‘show some compassion’ to her relatives, who she said she still has a ‘deep, deep love’ for.
‘I love you a lot, our family will get through this together and work through this day by day together,’ the victim’s mother wrote.
‘My sister and her family are going through immense circumstances and I speak for (my daughter) as her mum, and we feel only deep, deep love.
The 10-year-old girl was visiting her cousins on the remote farm for a school holiday sleepover
The teenager did not appear in Tamworth Children’s Court (pictured) on Thursday and was refused bail until her next court date on September 16
‘If everyone including the Gunnedah community can please show some compassion and kindness to my beautiful sister, her husband and family where the tragedy unfolded that would mean a lot.’
The age of the alleged killer and victim mean they, nor any family members, can be named or identified by Daily Mail Australia.
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.
‘I used to see her and her sister running around the paddock, playing, or with her parents at cattle market,’ he said.
The area is renowned for its wheat and cotton farming, which is among the biggest in Australia
Police and state emergency service volunteers meticulously searched paddocks and fields for what is believed to be the alleged murder weapon
‘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 last week and should provide police with more clues about how the alleged murder unfolded.
The teenager did not appear in court on Thursday and was refused bail until her next court date on September 16.
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.