Stepdad of schoolgirl Charlise Mutten, nine, drove around for FIVE HOURS with her body stuffed in the back of a boat he was towing before dumping corpse near a river, police allege

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Missing schoolgirl Charlise Mutten's body was reportedly found inside a barrel A man has been charged after police noticed inconsistencies in his story Shocking new detail comes as man prepares to face court charged with murder Allegedly tried to get barrel to river, but couldn't drag it through dense bushlandDo you know more? Email Tita.smith@mailonline.com 

The stepfather accused of murdering missing schoolgirl Charlise Mutten allegedly drove around Sydney for hours with her body before dumping it in a river.  

The nine-year-old’s body was found on Tuesday night in scrub near the Colo River – an hour from where she disappeared on a private property in Mount Wilson, in the NSW Blue Mountains.

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Police will allege Justin Stein, 31, spent up to five hours driving around the Harbour City with Charlise’s body in a boat while he tried to figure out where to dump her, the Daily Telegraph reports.

It is understood detectives believe Charlise’s mother Kallista Mutten had left her daughter in the care of Stein last Tuesday night. 

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Charlise Mutten, 9, was initially believed to have last been seen on Thursday but was reported missing on Friday morning

Charlise Mutten, 9, was initially believed to have last been seen on Thursday but was reported missing on Friday morning

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Initial reports said Charlise had last been seen on Thursday before family members reported her missing from the property on Friday morning.

Police have since announced the last time Charlise was confirmed to be alive was around 7pm last Tuesday, and they will allege she was killed at some point within the next 24 hours.

Police revealed in a press conference on Wednesday they’d used CCTV to track down Stein and will allege he discussed buying sandbags and boat fuel before later travelling to the riverbed where his stepdaughter’s body was later found. 

‘(There were) a number of telephone conversations, to purchase a number of sandbags – 20 kilos sandbags from the hardware store – to fuel a boat and then try and float that boat on the water at one of the one of the docks in inner Sydney,’ Deputy Police Commissioner David Hudson said. 

Footage of the man’s arrest was released on Wednesday afternoon, showing as he walked from the car to the holding cell at Surry Hills Police Station with his hands cuffed in front of him. 

He wore a grey Everlast jumper and shorts which he was still dressed in when he fronted court on Wednesday morning. 

They’re still waiting to speak to the girl’s mother because she’s under guard at a hospital and ‘hard to approach’. 

The woman and her fiancé reported the victim missing to police on Friday morning, claiming they last saw her on Thursday afternoon. 

The accused appeared in Central Local Court on Wednesday from Surry Hills police station, where he is detained

The accused appeared in Central Local Court on Wednesday from Surry Hills police station, where he is detained


But the police fact sheet tendered in court on Wednesday indicates police believe there are contradictions to that timeline.

Police have alleged she was killed sometime between 7pm on Tuesday, January 11 and 10am Wednesday January 12.

There has been a significant delay in speaking with the girl’s mother because she remains in hospital under guard. 

‘The mother is currently under healthcare and is difficult to approach,’ Deputy Police Commissioner David Hudson said.

‘She’s under medical supervision, but when doctors allow, we will be talking to her.’

Mr Hudson said it was too early to speculate as to whether the accused had an accomplice.

‘At this stage, we have no evidence to support whether the accused acted alone… However it is still early days,’ he said.

There has been a significant delay in speaking with the girl's mother Kallista Mutten (pictured) because she remains in hospital under guard. 'The mother is currently under healthcare and is difficult to approach,' Deputy Police Commissioner David Hudson said

There has been a significant delay in speaking with the girl’s mother Kallista Mutten (pictured) because she remains in hospital under guard. ‘The mother is currently under healthcare and is difficult to approach,’ Deputy Police Commissioner David Hudson said

Footage of the man's arrest was released on Wednesday afternoon, showing as he walked from the car to the holding cell at Surry Hills Police Station with his hands cuffed in front of him

Footage of the man’s arrest was released on Wednesday afternoon, showing as he walked from the car to the holding cell at Surry Hills Police Station with his hands cuffed in front of him

Police were investigating a number of ‘anomolies’ they identified in the accused’s initial testimony, which included giving two separate versions of events in the lead up to the girl’s disappearance.

Mr Hudson said through tracking the movements of a car they seized via CCTV, they were able to establish certain facts as to the movements of the man charged.

‘Thursday afternoon, he purchased a number of sandbags from a hardware store,’ he confirmed, adding that petrol was also used in an attempt to float a small boat which was later deemed inoperable.

‘We then tracked the individual back to the location where we found the body.’ 

The child’s doting grandparents, who have fulltime custody of her in Coolangatta on the Gold Coast, have been notified. 

More details about the girl’s death and final moments are expected in the coming days after her post-mortem results are shared with detectives. 

The 31-year-old accused, who was arrested shortly after the body was found inside a Surry Hills unit, faced court on Wednesday morning.



The 31-year-old man was arrested at an apartment in Surry Hills on Tuesday night. He will face court on Wednesday

The 31-year-old man was arrested at an apartment in Surry Hills on Tuesday night. He will face court on Wednesday

Police made the grisly discovery near the Colo River in Sydney's west on Tuesday night. A child's remains, which are yet to be identified, were found in a barrel

Police made the grisly discovery near the Colo River in Sydney’s west on Tuesday night. A child’s remains, which are yet to be identified, were found in a barrel

He did not apply for bail and it was formally refused. Neither he nor the girl can be identified for legal reasons.

His lawyer asked the court for a 12 week adjournment to seek a mental health assessment, noting he’s been on ‘long term medication’. 

Police will allege he tried to get the barrel to the river but couldn’t drag it through the dense bushland and left it abandoned in scrub nearby. 

The barrel has now been seized and will be forensically examined further, police said. 

An eyewitness also told Daily Mail Australia they had seen a car leaving the property she was last seen at in the early hours of Friday morning. 

The one hour drive from Mt Wilson to the Colo River follows Mt Wilson Road to the Bells Line of Road then via one of two routes to reach the river.

Driving past houses and equestrian properties, the road becomes a dirt track as it enters the Wollemi National Park.

Comleroy Road to Upper Colo is a winding and often steep and treacherous dirt road which crosses through the flowing Colo River past the remote Wheeny Creek campground.

A man has been charged with murder after a nine-year-old girl disappeared in the Blue Mountains. Emergency crews are seen in Colo River near the Blue Mountains

A man has been charged with murder after a nine-year-old girl disappeared in the Blue Mountains. Emergency crews are seen in Colo River near the Blue Mountains

Pictured: Police vehicles moving down the driveway at Mount Wilson, in the NSW Blue Mountains

Pictured: Police vehicles moving down the driveway at Mount Wilson, in the NSW Blue Mountains 

RFS volunteers (pictured) were deployed to the area to search for the nine-year-old and have been combing bushland

RFS volunteers (pictured) were deployed to the area to search for the nine-year-old and have been combing bushland

A road posted with a sign warning ‘Protect children! Please drive carefully’ goes past the Upper Colo Anglican Church and local rural fire brigade headquarters.   

The victim’s ‘shattered’ father, who also cannot be identified, shared an emotional tribute on Wednesday morning, hours after learning of her death.

‘Goodbye beautiful girl… We will get answers for you baby, and we will honour you properly,’ he said.

‘You have captured the hearts of the nation and the world, and now those hearts are breaking with mine.’

Her father vowed this ‘would not be the end of [her] or [her] story’ in his statement.

‘This doesn’t happen. Kids need to be safe. What is wrong with people?’ 

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