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Charlie Mutten's disappearance IS being treated as suspicious
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Charlie Mutten’s disappearance IS being treated as suspicious

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Detectives are treating the disappearance of missing nine-year-old girl Charlise Mutten as a possible homicide – with officers today spending five hours scouring the property she disappeared from.  

The school student was last seen on Thursday afternoon at a sprawling five-hectare property in Mount Wilson, in the Blue Mountains – which is owned by the family of her mother Kallista’s fiance, Justin Stein.

After the young girl – who usually lives with her grandmother in Queensland but was visiting her mum for the holidays – was reported missing at 8.20am on Friday morning, officers roped off the popular wedding venue and declared it a crime scene. 

Asked directly if police believed her disappearance was suspicious on Monday, Police Area Command Acting Superintendent John Nelson would only say detectives were ‘not discounting any scenario’. 

The search was tonight hampered by heavy rain, forcing SES and RFS volunteers to wind up their search ahead of what would be Charlise’s fifth night missing in the mountains. 

Charlise Mutten, 9, was staying with her mother Kallista Mutten when she disappeared on Thursday at a sprawling private wedding venue owned by the family of her fiancé, Justin Stein

Charlise Mutten, 9, was staying with her mother Kallista Mutten when she disappeared on Thursday at a sprawling private wedding venue owned by the family of her fiancé, Justin Stein

Charlise Mutten, 9, was staying with her mother Kallista Mutten when she disappeared on Thursday at a sprawling private wedding venue owned by the family of her fiancé, Justin Stein

Pictured: Detectives and police cars entering the scene. Investigators told reporters to leave the scene

Pictured: Detectives and police cars entering the scene. Investigators told reporters to leave the scene

Pictured: Detectives and police cars entering the scene. Investigators told reporters to leave the scene

Dramatic footage captured by Daily Mail Australia showed police cars and a large number of detectives on foot swooped on the retreat about 11.30am on Monday. 

Investigators ordered the media to ‘leave, now!’ from outside the gates on Monday morning – moments after plain clothes child protection squad officers drove into the property.

A police bus followed by unmarked police cars rolled through the gates as a uniformed officer stood guard.

They stayed at the property for five hours before leaving that afternoon. 

Rescue teams spent Monday scouring dense bushland, fire trails, murky ponds and rivers in 30 degree heat following a promising development on Sunday. 

Rural Fire Service volunteers found a ‘very small and barefooted’ footprint along a trail just kilometres away from where Charlise was las seen, with NSW Police Chief Inspector Gary Sims also told reporters ‘certain items’ had been found.

But Inspector Sims said the items ‘unfortunately haven’t led to anything that gives us a definite indication of her location’.

Doubt now hangs over the description of what Charlise was last seen wearing, which had been widely broadcast as a pink top, black knee-length skirt and pink Nike thongs.

Neither Charlise’s mother Kallista Mutten, nor her stepfather, Justin Stein, have been able to tell police definitively what the schoolgirl was wearing when she was last seen on the verandah of the Wildenstein property last Thursday afternoon.

More than 90 Rural Fire Service officers have now been deployed in groups of seven to ten across Mount Irvine and Mount Wilson to search for Charlise, and items of the clothing she was wearing when she vanished.  

Charlise Mutten (pictured) went missing on Thursday afternoon. Search teams have been scouring the scene for four days

Charlise Mutten (pictured) went missing on Thursday afternoon. Search teams have been scouring the scene for four days

Charlise Mutten (pictured) went missing on Thursday afternoon. Search teams have been scouring the scene for four days

Charlise Mutten was last seen on Thursday afternoon. She was reported missing on Friday

Charlise Mutten was last seen on Thursday afternoon. She was reported missing on Friday

Charlise Mutten was last seen on Thursday afternoon. She was reported missing on Friday 

Picture: The sprawling five-hectare Mount Wilson property where Charlise Mutten went missing

Picture: The sprawling five-hectare Mount Wilson property where Charlise Mutten went missing

Picture: The sprawling five-hectare Mount Wilson property where Charlise Mutten went missing

NSW RFS Commander Peter Bennett told Daily Mail Australia the search parties had reached the ‘saturation point’ of available officers from four different stations at Chifley, Macarthur, Hawkesbury and the Blue Mountains.

He described the search areas as ‘inhospitable’ and the task as ‘exhausting’. 

He said his officers were on the lookout for traces of Charlise ‘or anything unusual’.

Around ten groups of firies will each search an area of 10km on Monday.

‘It’s pretty thick scrub,’ he said, ‘walking in line through that is exhausting.’ 

Ms Mutten is not believed to have given a formal interview yet, despite expectations she would be spoken to today. 

Five police cars entered the scene on Monday morning (pictured)

Five police cars entered the scene on Monday morning (pictured)

Five police cars entered the scene on Monday morning (pictured)

The search for nine-year-old Charlise started on Friday and went over the weekend

The search for nine-year-old Charlise started on Friday and went over the weekend

The search for nine-year-old Charlise started on Friday and went over the weekend

RFS volunteers (pictured) found footprints on a nearby fire trail. Police found also 'certain items' relating to the search

RFS volunteers (pictured) found footprints on a nearby fire trail. Police found also 'certain items' relating to the search

RFS volunteers (pictured) found footprints on a nearby fire trail. Police found also ‘certain items’ relating to the search

Kallista collapsed and was taken to hospital shortly after her daughter was reported missing. There is no suggestion she or her fiancé were involved in her daughter’s disappearance.

Searchers who set off to comb vast areas of bush have been encouraged to call out Charlise’s name as they conduct line searches.  

Neighbours told detectives they saw a car with no headlights driving away from the area at 4.30am on Friday. 

That evening, police impounded a vehicle in Sydney’s west.

Acting Superintendent John Nelson said: ‘A 31-year-old man from this location has been helping us with our inquiries.’

Pictured: Charlise as a toddler with her mother Kallista. The youngster normally lives with her grand mother in Queensland

Pictured: Charlise as a toddler with her mother Kallista. The youngster normally lives with her grand mother in Queensland

Pictured: Charlise as a toddler with her mother Kallista. The youngster normally lives with her grand mother in Queensland

A distressed Kallista Mutten is consoled by emergency workers on Saturday

A distressed Kallista Mutten is consoled by emergency workers on Saturday

Kallista Mutten pictured smiling with her daughter Charlise

Kallista Mutten pictured smiling with her daughter Charlise

Her distressed mum Kallista Mutten (pictured, left and right, with Charlise) was consoled by emergency workers on Saturday

Police divers searched the waters of the Hawkesbury River on Saturday (pictured) and seized a boat, which is being scanned for fingerprints

Police divers searched the waters of the Hawkesbury River on Saturday (pictured) and seized a boat, which is being scanned for fingerprints

Police divers searched the waters of the Hawkesbury River on Saturday (pictured) and seized a boat, which is being scanned for fingerprints

Police divers searched the waters of the Hawkesbury River on Saturday and seized a boat, which is being scanned for fingerprints.

Following her daughter’s disappearance, Ms Mutten collapsed and was taken to hospital. Mr Stein spoke to police on Friday. 

‘For any parent this is a distressing scenario, so yes she is quite distressed so we’re providing her with support,’ acting superintendent John Nelson said. 

The nine-year-old is described as being of Caucasian appearance with brown hair and blue eyes, and is between 130 and 140 centimetres tall.

Kallista Mutten's fiancé Justin Stein (pictured) went to Penrith on Friday to speak with NSW police

Kallista Mutten's fiancé Justin Stein (pictured) went to Penrith on Friday to speak with NSW police

Kallista Mutten’s fiancé Justin Stein (pictured) went to Penrith on Friday to speak with NSW police

Storms prevented a PolAir helicopter, which used thermal imaging technology, from searching overnight on Friday, but it was deployed again on Saturday

Storms prevented a PolAir helicopter, which used thermal imaging technology, from searching overnight on Friday, but it was deployed again on Saturday

Storms prevented a PolAir helicopter, which used thermal imaging technology, from searching overnight on Friday, but it was deployed again on Saturday

She was last seen wearing a pink round-neck shirt, knee-length black skirt and pink Nike thongs.

Storms prevented a PolAir helicopter, which used thermal imaging technology, from searching overnight on Friday, but it was deployed again on Saturday. 

Rural fire service volunteers have used ‘line searching’ tactics and marked out any items found in their painstaking search.  

NSW Police sent out multiple geo-targeting text messages to all residents in the area on Friday and Saturday evening to inform them of Charlise’s disappearance and request help.

They also asked social media users to share the missing girl’s photo widely.

Police are appealing for anyone with information about her whereabouts to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Charlise is described as being of Caucasian appearance with brown hair (pictured, Charlise Mutten

Charlise is described as being of Caucasian appearance with brown hair (pictured, Charlise Mutten

Charlise is described as being of Caucasian appearance with brown hair (pictured, Charlise Mutten

TIMELINE OF CHARLISE MUTTEN’S DISAPPEARANCE

January 13: Charlise Mutten, nine, was last seen wearing a round-neck pink top, knee-length black skirt and pink Nike thongs when she disappeared from Wildenstein, Mount Wilson, north-west of Sydney. 

January 14: Charlise was reported missing at 8.20am. Police flocked to the 12.5-acre wedding venue and established a crime scene.

Neighbours told detectives they saw a car at 4.20am on Friday, with no headlights on.

Investigators seized a Holden Colorado ute on High Street in Penrith for forensic testing.

Her mother Kallista Mutten, 31, collapsed and was taken to hospital.

Ms Mutten’s fiancé Justin Stein, whose family owns the lavish property, spoke with police in Penrith. 

January 15: Homicide detectives took over the search.

Police divers seized a boat in the Hawkesbury River and scanned it for fingerprints. The boat will also be kept for forensic testing.

Investigators continued to scour fire trails in dense bushland surrounding the property. 

January 16: RFS volunteers found ‘very small and barefooted’ prints along a fire trail.

‘Certain items’ have been uncovered by detectives, but police have not been able to determine the schoolgirl’s whereabouts.

January 17: A convoy of five police vehicles and detectives on foot entered the property around 11.30am.

One detective ordered media to ‘leave, now!’ from outside the gates of the five hectare wedding venue retreat

A police bus followed by unmarked police cars rolled through the gates as a uniformed officer stood guard. 

Earlier, plain clothes child protection squad officers drove into the property. 

Ms Mutten will be questioned by police.

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Source: Daily Mail

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