Man arrested on suspicion of murdering 12-year-old NSW girl

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A girl prays at a candlelight vigil for slain Fox Lake Police Lieutenant Charles Joseph Gliniewicz in Fox Lake, Illinois, United States, September 2, 2015. Gliniewicz was also known as G.I. Joe. Authorities in northern Illinois expanded their search for three suspects in the fatal shooting of a 30-year police officer as local schools were closed on Wednesday and vigils for the officer were planned. REUTERS/Jim Young

A 31-year-old man will be charged with the alleged murder of a schoolgirl, who is suspected by police to have been killed in a domestic violence-related attack. The 12-year-old girl was found dead on Wednesday at around 5.45 a.m. at her Hunter Valley home in Aberglasslyn, a suburb of Maitland, NSW.

The man was arrested a couple of hours after the body was discovered and taken to Maitland Police station for questioning. The man is reportedly the girl’s mother’s partner.

The slain schoolgirl is the eldest of four siblings, and was discovered dead in her bedroom by family members in the early morning, the police said. Her mother and the siblings were reportedly present at home when the girl was murdered.

“The man is now in the process of being charged with murder,” Detective Superintendent Craig Jackson told reporters on Wednesday. Although the police have not yet revealed how the girl died, Superintendent Jackson said there were signs of violence at the crime scene, but they were unable to find a weapon.

When asked whether drugs were involved, Jackson said, “We’re very early into this investigation and I can’t confirm any of that at this point in time.”

A crime scene has been set up by detectives at the girl’s home and police have secluded off a large section of the Redgum Circuit with tapes.

The girl has been described by her classmates, who came to pay their last respects to her at the spot where she was found dead, as quiet by nature but “very nice.” Local children also left flowers at the scene.

“No matter how you look at this, it is nothing short of a tragedy. The message I would put out there to the community is: if you are experiencing domestic violence, if you know someone who is experiencing domestic violence, contact your local police,” the Daily Telegraph quoted Jackson as saying.

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