In Australia, a 14-year-old girl has been charged with the murder of a 10-year-old girl in the northwest town of Gunnedah.
The teenager was refused bail in the case.
The age of criminal responsibility in Australia is set at 10— the age below which a child is deemed incapable of having committed a crime.
Forensic police officers spent a night looking for evidence on the property farm to determine the series of events that led to the murder.
The 10-year-old girl was found dead at around 7 in the morning after emergency services were called to a remote rural property where the body was discovered.
At the time, NSW Police reported that the 10-year-old girl had suffered “serious lacerations”.
“Officers from Oxley Police District established a crime scene and commenced an investigation,” police said. “A short time later, officers arrested a 14-year-old girl – who was known to the child – nearby.”
Reports said that the 10-year-old —who was a cousin of the accused 14-year-old— had marks carved into her body and suffered deep stab wounds.
The mother of the accused reportedly discovered the child’s body and called the police.
Police say the 14-year-old girl was known to the victim and have confirmed that despite attempts to revive her, the 10-year-old died at the scene.
Police authorities did not release the details of the girl’s injuries except to say they were “substantial”.
Police would also do not disclose the weapon used in the attack or the extent of the teenager’s injuries.
According to Seven News, the 10-year-old came from the regional NSW city of Orange and had been visiting the remote property outside Gunnedah for the school holidays.
Upon discovery of the 10-year-old’s body, officers from Oxley Police District established a crime scene and began investigating.
A short time later, police arrested the 14-year-old girl “nearby”. She was taken to Gunnedah Police Station and spent the day with medical experts and local detectives where she was later charged with murder.
Gunnedah’s mayor Jamie Chaffey, told news.com.au the tight-knit country town of around 10,000 people was resilient but would be “devastated” as news of the crime spread.
“It’s hard to talk about the details as it’s a police case, but because we are a small community and people know each other it will certainly touch a lot of people,” Chaffey said.
The councilor said he had not spoken directly with the families involved.
“I can’t imagine the pain the families are going through at this time and our thoughts and prayers go out to them,” he said.
But Chaffey had spoken with his fellow councilors and church representatives “who will be encouraging prayer time on Sunday … to pray for the families in this absolutely horrible situation”.
The councilor added that he encouraged anyone who was struggling with the news of the situation to reach out to Lifeline or to contact members of his council to assist them.
“We will be dealing with this for some time,” he said.
Councillor Chaffey said that Gunnedah residents were resilient and very supportive after the hardship of the drought and COVID-19, but this tragedy was “devastating”.