The first police officer on the scene of the alleged horrific murder of a 10-year-old girl on a rural farm last week has taken leave after being severely disturbed by what confronted him at the property.
The young girl was found dead inside a home at Gunnedah, in northern NSW, last Wednesday, before her 14-year-old cousin was arrested at a nearby farmhouse.
She has been charged with murder and remanded in custody.
So disturbing is the manner in which she allegedly killed her cousin that a NSW Local Court magistrate has banned the media from publishing any details.
Daily Mail Australia can reveal the first officer at the scene was a longtime member of the local Gunnedah police and has been granted leave by NSW Police, who are ensuring he receives the necessary support.
A 10-year-old girl was allegedly murdered by her cousin, 14, on a farm in Gunnedah, in NSW, on Wednesday, July 8. The first officer on the scene has been granted leave, so disturbed is he by what he experienced
NSW Police and the Police Association of NSW are supporting the officer, who is a longtime member of the local Gunnedah police (Pictured are officers at the scene last week)
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.
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 lashed out at the alleged killer’s parents, saying her death was ‘preventable’
Forensic police collect evidence from in and around the farmhouse where the alleged murder occurred
Gunnedah, known best for being the hometown of supermodel Miranda Kerr, is about an hour west of Tamworth and 450km from Sydney
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 incident shocked the sleepy town of around 10,000 people, known as the ‘koala capital of the world’
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.