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Thursday, 9 July 2020

'She was real weird': Girl, 14, accused of brutally murdering her 10-year-old cousin during a sleepover tragedy pretended to be a tiger and 'hissed' at people, her school friend says

  • A 14-year-old girl is accused of murdering her 10-year-old cousin on a farm
  • Police were called to a farm in Gunnedah, in north-east NSW, on Wednesday
  • The teenager was taken to Gunnedah Police Station and charged with murder 
  • A schoolmate of the alleged killer has remembered her as 'real weird'
A school friend of a 14-year-old girl accused of murdering her 10-year-old cousin on a rural farm claims the alleged killer was 'real weird' and often 'hissed' like a tiger. 
The tragedy unfolded at a farmhouse in Gunnedah, in north-east NSW, on Wednesday morning.  
The alleged victim's aunt, who is the mother of the accused, made a frantic Triple-0 call just after 7am, but the girl had died by the time police arrived.
A schoolmate of the alleged killer has claimed the accused was known to pretend to be a tiger, 'hiss' at people and eat off the ground.
A schoolmate of a 14-year-old girl accused of murdering her 10-year-old cousin has remembered her as 'real weird'. Pictured: police assess evidence at the crime scene
A schoolmate of a 14-year-old girl accused of murdering her 10-year-old cousin has remembered her as 'real weird'. Pictured: police assess evidence at the crime scene
Police officers and SES crew members trawl through a paddock next to the farmhouse where the 10-year-old was found on Thursday
Police officers and SES crew members trawl through a paddock next to the farmhouse where the 10-year-old was found on Thursday
'She was real weird, she pretended to be other animals and stuff like that, used to eat stuff off the ground,' the boy told The Daily Telegraph. 
'I always thought that was just who she was, that she was just like that.
'(She would) pretend to be other animals, she would hiss at people, crawl around, eat food off the ground… random bits of food.'
Meanwhile, the mother of the accused allegedly told police her daughter had begun  acting oddly recently, according to the paper. 
The teenager's case came before Tamworth Children's Court on Thursday. The girl was not in the courtroom and did not apply for bail. 
She will spend at least a month in custody on remand.
Forensic police spent much of Thursday scouring the property for evidence and were expected to remain for days. 
SES crew members and police are expected to be at the scene for the coming days scouring the property for evidence
SES crew members and police are expected to be at the scene for the coming days scouring the property for evidence
Gunnedah in northern New South Wales is more than 430km from Sydney and has a population of just 13,000
Gunnedah in northern New South Wales is more than 430km from Sydney and has a population of just 13,000
Pictures taken on Thursday showed police officers and SES crew members trawling through a paddock next to the farmhouse. 
The 10-year-old girl was found dead sometime after 7am on Wednesday.  
The teenager's mother left the house at about 6.30am with another child to complete farm duties.
She returned 30 minutes later to find her niece with serious lacerations. 
The 14-year-old was found on a neighbouring property at 8.30am.    
The teenager was arrested and taken to Gunnedah Police Station where she spent the day with medical experts and local detectives.
She was charged with murder on Wednesday night.
The 10-year-old had travelled to stay with her cousin during the school holidays. 
Gunnedah Mayor Councillor Jamie Chaffery told Daily Mail Australia the community's prayers were with the family.
Two police officers peer over data at the paddock next to wear the 10-year-old girl was found
Two police officers peer over data at the paddock next to wear the 10-year-old girl was found
The 10-year-old girl was found at about 7am on Wednesday when paramedics arrived. Pictured: police and SES at the scene
The 10-year-old girl was found at about 7am on Wednesday when paramedics arrived. Pictured: police and SES at the scene
'They're dealing with this devastation of losing a young member of the family,' he said.
'The community has been through so much through three years of drought and COVID-19 but we are resilient and supportive of each other to get through the tough times.'
Councillor Chaffery said the community will be devastated by the 'tragic event'.
'We will be there to support each other and we will support the family,' he said.
'Those members of our community that will need support, we encourage them to reach out to Lifeline or Headspace.
'We appreciate the thoughts of the people reaching out from the broad areas across NSW that are offering their thoughts and prayers.'
The family of the 14-year-old have lived at the property more than a decade ago and are said to be well-respected in the Gunnedah community.  
The teenager will return to court in September.

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 injured 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 

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