Footscray girl, 12, charged with murder of a 37-year-old was ‘prostituting herself to older men’ and was a ‘time bomb everyone knew was going to go off’
A 12-year-old girl accused of the alleged stabbing murder of a 37-year-old woman had done sex work for older men and was a “time bomb that everyone knew would go off, and it did,” local youth workers said. Police.
Emergency services were called to an apartment complex on Barkly Street in Footscray on Thursday, November 16, where an elderly woman was reportedly stabbed to death at 2am.
Samantha Cafaro, a youth worker, kept an eye on the girl and understood that she was selling her body to older men.
‘What we had heard in so many words [was] that she sold herself to older men for money. When I first heard it, it was hard to believe,” she said on the ABC program on Monday evening at 7.30 pm.
Ms Cafaro said she had called the police seven times over the course of a year to report the situation, but each time she was told that “they can’t do anything, they can’t approach her and they can’t to prevent’.
Ms Cafaro’s boss, Les Twentyman, said the girl seemed like a “time bomb” waiting to explode.
Youth worker Samantha Cafaro had contacted Victorian police seven times over the course of a year to get help for a 12-year-old girl now accused of murdering an elderly woman
Emergency services were called to an apartment complex on Barkly Street in Footscray, where they found a 37-year-old woman who had reportedly been stabbed to death on November 16.
Ms Cafaro told the ABC: ‘This child has been abandoned at every step leading up to the most horrific crimes in the most horrific circumstances and now two lives have been lost.’
With enough help and the right care plan, Ms. Cafaro believes they could have gotten the girl back to school and prevented the older woman’s death.
Ms Cafaro reported the girl to Mr Twentyman in November 2022, after which they desperately tried to get her the help she needed.
Mr Twentyman has worked with young people in Melbourne’s western suburbs for 30 years and said Victoria’s police, mental health and child protection services are seriously under-resourced.
“It’s tragic, it was a time bomb that everyone knew was going to go off and it did… If everyone had done their part, this crime might not have happened,” he said.
Ms Cafaro last saw the girl a week before the alleged murder and since then, government authorities have remained tight-lipped about the evolving situation.
Ms Cafaro’s boss, Les Twentyman, said the girl was a “time bomb” on a path to self-destruction, and that despite selling her body, police would not help
The incident took place outside the former Royal Hotel pub, which is now considered a hostel and several sources claim the girl had done sex work.
A Victorian Government spokesperson said its thoughts were with those affected by the “horrific situation” but no further comment could be made due to the active police investigation.
Victorian Minister for Children and local representative for the area in the Legislative Council, Lizzie Blandthorn, also declined to comment on the matter.
The 37-year-old’s alleged murder took place outside the former Royal Hotel pub, which is now a hostel.
An altercation reportedly broke out on the upper floors, where apartments are now located.