Babysitter pays tribute to victim Grace

"RIP Grace McDonell (sic), you were such a beautiful sweet girl, always able to put me in a good mood, I will always love and miss you. taken from us way to early. My heart will forever be with you and your family, you will never be forgotten. "

Babysitter and former Newtown high school student, Melissa Paynter, paid tribute on Twitter on Saturday to her young charge - the first child victim to be identified after the Sandy Hook massacre.

According to her Twitter account, Melissa first learned of Grace's murder when she saw pictures of Grace's distressed parents outside the school.

"Just saw a mom I babysit for on the news, she can't find her daughter.... Please oh please god let her be okay!" she tweeted at 11.18am on the morning of the massacre.

But by 1pm her fears appeared to become reality, when she tweeted that Grace was among the 20 children killed when gunman Adam Lanza went on the rampage at the Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The Daily Mail reported neighbours describing little Grace as "utterly adorable" and full of life.

Friends neighbours described Grace McDonnell as having eyes that were so blue and hair that was so blonde that they thought she looked like a 'little doll'.

The Daily Mail reported that Grace's parents Lynn McDonnell, 45, a housewife, and Christopher, 49, a business executive, live with Grace's brother, 11-year-old Jack in a $500,000 detached home in Sandy Hook, Connecticut that is just one street away from where Adam Lanza lived.

Neighbor Dorothy Werden, 49, reportedly said to The Daily Mail: "I just choke up when I think about it. Grace was like a little doll. She was utterly adorable."

'I used to see her waiting for the school bus over the road from our house every day.

"She had blonde hair and blue eyes - she was like a little Barbie doll."

'When I saw Lynn and Christopher at the school with Lynn being held up by a nun, I knew things were not good. I can't imagine what they are going through."

This story Babysitter pays tribute to victim Grace first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.