ON THE day Robert Xie was charged with murdering the Lin family, someone left a bunch of flowers on the doorstep of the North Epping house in which they lived.
Aside from this offering of sympathy, the house has been effectively frozen in time since the night in July 2009 when Min ''Norman'' Lin, 45, and his wife Yun Li ''Lily'', 43, along with Lily's sister Yun Bin ''Irene'' Yin, 39, and two boys who cannot be named, were killed.
Their car still sits in the driveway, overrun by weeds. Inside, a picture of the couple still hangs on the wall.
The family's shoes sit in the hallway, where they would have been left on the night Mr Xie allegedly cut the power to the house and bludgeoned the family to death.
Mr Xie and his wife, Min Lin's sister Kathy, had run the family's successful Epping newsagency since the killings and, last Thursday, locals looked confused when they found the store closed.
''We knew it had to be a family member. I'm so glad … thank God,'' said a regular customer who did not want to be named.
A family friend said: ''It is good but it's so sad … The whole area is very fond of both sides of the family.''
Min and Kathy Lin's parents, Yang Fei Lin and Feng Qin Zhu were expected to fly into Sydney yesterday for a reunion with their granddaughter, the girl who was orphaned after the killings.
They were visiting family in China when Mr Xie - with whom their granddaughter was living - was charged.
The media assembled at Sydney Airport failed to catch a glimpse of the Lin grandparents, who were said to have returned to the Beck Street house were Mr Xie had been living with Kathy Lin, their son, and the orphaned Lin daughter.
The blinds at the house remained drawn throughout the day. Three cars were parked in the driveway but the white weatherboard home was in silence.
Kathy Lin, appeared briefly at the front door but slammed it shut without offering a word.
A Chinese couple pulled up and got out to take photos of the house. They did not know the Lins, the woman said, adding: ''We just wanted to come to see the house of evil.''