Charlise Mutten’s mother has been revealed to be expecting a baby with the nine-year-old’s alleged killer.
The shocking revelation comes after the schoolgirl’s stepfather Justin Stein, 31, was charged with her murder and denied bail on Wednesday.
Kallista Mutten, 31, left her daughter in his care last Tuesday, and court documents show detectives allege Stein killed her in the following 15 hours.
Detectives haven’t had the opportunity to ask Ms Mutten key questions about the alleged events after the reportedly pregnant mother suffered a ‘medical episode’ and collapsed one day into the search for her daughter.
Social media posts have revealed she and Stein shared a whirlwind romance, announcing they were in a relationship about a year after Ms Mutten, a former ice addict who has served jail time, walked free from prison in 2019.
Stein drove approximately 200km towing a boat loaded with a plastic barrel carrying the remains of the nine-year-old over a circuitous five-hour trek, police allege.
The mother of nine-year-old Charlise Mutten (pictured) has been revealed to be expecting a baby with the schoolgirl’s alleged killer
Charlise’s mother Kallista Mutten, 31, (pictured) left her in Stein’s care last Tuesday, and court documents show detectives allege Stein killed her in the following 15 hours
Police allege Charlise Mutten, 9, who arrived to holiday at the Wildwood mountain estate was murdered and her body encased in a barrel which was towed for hours in a boat before being dumped on a lonely riverbank in dense bushland
The barrel allegedly lay under a blue tarpaulin in the boat towed by Stein’s red Holden ute from the Blue Mountains to Bunnings at Marsden Park, a nearby BP petrol station, and then on to two Sydney boat ramps.
Attempts to dispose of the schoolgirl’s remains in the water are said by police to have been thwarted by Stein’s inability to launch the motor boat taken from his family’s luxury Blue Mountains property.
In the end, after failing to start the boat and take the barrel now also weighted down with sand to sink into deeper water, Stein allegedly took off for the Colo River.
On the afternoon of Thursday, January 13, on a river bank around 80km northwest of Sydney, police say the 31-year-old pulled up his ute in bushland.
Stein then allegedly tried to drag the heavy barrel to the river’s edge and roll it in, but the weight of the sand prevented him doing so and finally he was forced to abandon it in the scrub.
Police allege Justin Stein, 31, towed a boat behind his ute which had Charlise Mutten’s body inside a barrel on board as he tried to dispose of the remains
Stein’s red Holden ute (above, after it was seized by police) allegedly towed a boat with the barrel of Charlise’s remains from Mount Wilson to Marsden Park and two Sydney boat ramps
Charlise’s remains lay in the barrel on the riverbank for five days as emergency workers searched fruitlessly for the missing girl around Mount Wilson, 65km further west.
That was until the afternoon of Tuesday, January 18 when police, acting on GPS data, located the barrel in the bush and made the gruesome discovery of Charlise’s decomposing remains.
Meanwhile, Detectives have been frustrated in their attempts to speak to the mother in recent days as Kallista Mutten remains at Katoomba Hospital.
She is said to be in the care of doctors and ‘difficult to approach’, meaning police still had no conducted a formal interview with her.
This is how the tragedy unfolded from the moment police allege Justin Stein murdered his new fiancee’s daughter who had come to holiday with them at the Stein family’s grand country estate, Wildenstein.
Nine-year-old Charlise Mutten’s remains were placed inside a barrel and put in a boat which was towed 200km on a circuitous trek before she was dumped in scrub on the Colo River
Charlise Mutten, 9, who lives fulltime with her grandparents, Deborah and Clint Mutten in the Queensland border town of Coolangatta, arrived at Wildenstein during the Christmas-New Year school holidays.
Owned by the wealthy antique dealer Stein family for two decades, Wildenstein was operated as a wedding venue by Justin’s older brother James and his husband Keegan Buzza.
Ms Mutten had on Facebook shared a photo of the church where she planned to marry Stein, writing ‘cute church near his family’s home’ next to a photo of the chapel. It was in that same month the pair announced their engagement.
In November 2020, Ms Mutten showed her affection for Stein by commenting on a selfie photo he posted on Facebook.
‘Mmmm yup,’ she wrote. ‘Absolutely gorgeous.’
In one loved-up December 2020 photo, Ms Mutten, 31, could be seen leaning in to kiss Stein as the pair lay in bed together.
It appears the pair kicked-off their relationship after Ms Mutten was released from jail in 2019 after serving a two-year jail term for dangerous driving causing death and driving under the influence of drugs.
Justin Stein had stayed in a shack on the five-hectare property in past years and Charlise came to spend a vacation there with her biological mother.
Police seized a boat from the Wildenstein property (above) where Charlise was staying with her mother and Justin Stein on holiday before she was allegedly murdered
Justin Stein allegedly called Kallista Mutten (above) as he bought bags of sand, boat fuel and then unsuccessfully tried to launch the vessel with the barrel from two different boat ramps
Police (above) at the Colo River where Justin Stein allegedly dumped Charlise’s body in a barrel five days before the nine-year-old’s decomposed remains were found
Kallista Mutten had relinquished guardianship of Charlise after developing a methamphetamine addiction, failed attempts to undergo rehabilitation and a two year prison stretch for killing a female friend she drove into a river while high on ice.
Police allege that between 7pm on Tuesday, January 11 and 10am on Wednesday January 12 – when Kallista Mutten is said to have been absent from Wildenstein – Justin Stein murdered Charlise.
But it would take two days for police and the community to be aware that anything was amiss with the little girl, whose remains were placed into a plastic barrel.
On Thursday, January 13, Justin Stein left the Wildenstein property at Mount Wilson in his Holden Colorado, police say, towing a boat carrying the barrel with Charlise’s body inside.
A blue tarpaulin is believed to have been draped over the barrel in the boat.
According to GPS data detectives later obtained from Stein’s mobile phone and his ute, he allegedly made the approximately one hour 20 minute journey to Marsden Park Bunnings.
Justin Stein (above in custody) was arrested a week for Charlise’s alleged murder after police found inconsistencies in accounts of his whereabouts leading up to the girl’s disappearance
Police say Justin Stein went to Marsden Park Bunnings (above) and bought five 20kg bags of sand which he allegedly later placed in the barrel with Charlise’s body to weight it down
Next stop was BP Marsden Park where he allegedly bought boat fuel in an effort to launch the vessel carrying Charlies’s body in the barrel secreted under a blue tarpaulin
Charlise Mutten, 9, was holidaying away from Queensland at the luxury Stein family estate at Mount Wilson when she vanished and became the subject of a futile search to find her alive
At Bunnings, Stein bought five 20kg bags of sand and made a phone call to Kallista Mutten, police allege.
He then allegedly made a three minute drive to the BP service station at Marsden Park, where he filled up the boat with marine fuel and called Kallista Mutten again.
At some point, Stein must have emptied the bags of sand into the barrel to weight it down.
From the BP, it is at 40 minute drive to Five Dock boat ramp on the Parramatta River in inner western Sydney, where he is said to have failed to launch the motor boat, because it was ‘inoperable’.
Stein again allegedly called Kallista Mutton and discussed his futile attempt to float the vessel and is then believed to have made the hour-long 60km drive to Windsor boat ramp.
Kallista Mutten (above) having a medical episode at the Wildenstein estate before being taken off to Katoomba Hospital where she remains and police wait to formally interview her
Kallista Mutten and Justin Stein (above, left) had a whirlwind romance before becoming engaged and inviting her daughter Charlise Mutten (above right) on the tragic trip to Mount Wilson
Police vehicles and officers on foot made their way down the driveway to Wildenstein this week for another round of interviews as the mystery of Charlise’s whereabouts deepened
The boat was still unable to be started and from the Windsor ramp, on the Hawkesbury River, it is a 24km drive north to the Colo River via the Putty Road.
To veer off the road into dense bushland along the river requires driving onto dirt roads, such as Upper Colo Road and Lower Colo Road, both narrow dirt tracks which are difficult to traverse, even without towing a boat.
There is no mobile phone reception along these roads and in the area around Colo River Park jetty.
It is alleged Stein tried to drag the barrel from the boat and dispose of it in the Colo River.
Because it was heavy with sand, police say he failed to drag the barrel very far and abandoned it in scrub on a river bank on Thursday afternoon.
Wildenstein’s next door neighbour John Haitzler (above) said his wife Carole was reading at 4.30am when she saw a vehicle with its lights off coming down the driveway from the house
Emergency services volunteers gathered for another futile day looking to find Charlise alive when in face her body lay inside a barrel on a river bank 65km away
Charlise (above) with her grandmother Deborah Mutten who learnt the tragic news this week that the adored granddaughter for whom she was fulltime carer had died
Windsor boat ramp where Justin Stein is believed to have allegedly tried to launch the motor boat carrying the barrel with Charlise Mutten’s body and kilos of sand inside
Around 4.30am on Friday, Mount Wilson resident Carole Haitzler was reading a book in bed when she heard the sound of a vehicle on the driveway of the neighbouring property, Wildenstein.
She got out of bed and went to the window from which she could see the shadow of a vehicle without its headlights on moving along the driveway.
Almost four hours later a person, believed to be Kallista Mutten, dialled Triple-0 to report that Charlise was missing from the Wildenstein property.
When police arrived, Ms Mutten was present at the estate without the company of her fiance and during an informal round of police questions she had ‘a medical episode’ and was taken to Blue Mountains Hospital at Katoomba.
Police began to search Wildenstein and then a wider search of the Mount Wilson and Mount Irvine areas was initiated, with SES and RFS volunteers calling in to participate.
On Friday afternoon, Stein drove his ute to High Street, Penrith and entered Penrith Police station and spoke with detectives.
SES and police search the Hawkesbury River where it is believed Justin Stein allegedly tried to launch a boat carrying a barrel in which Charlise Mutten’s remains had been placed
A pair of flippers, a swimming cap and goggles believed to have belonged to enthusiastic swimmer Charlise were posted in tribute at Tweed Heads Public School
Using GPS data, police went to the Colo River on Wednesday afternoon and made the gruesome discovery of Charlise Mutten’s five-day old remains in a barrel on the bank
Children wept and embraced at a memorial vigil for Charlise as they remembered their schoolmate as ‘very funny’, ‘kind’ and a ‘sweet and lovely’ kid who brightened up the classroom
Police seized his parked ute and impounded it, towing it away to a location for forensic examination; officers also seized the motor boat from Wildenstein estate.
For five days, emergency services workers searched steep terrain around Mount Wilson looking for Charlise, with police warning by day five – the morning of Tuesday, January 18 – that the girl would by now be ‘lethargic’ and immobile.
A convoy of detectives and uniformed police drove every day to Wildenstein, inside which they are believe to have interviews relatives of Justin Stein.
As volunteers searched in vain in the Mount Wilson bush for Charlise, detectives were pursuing their own leads.
The sprawling Wildenstein estate (above) where Charlise Mutten came for a holiday and ended up inside a barrel in a lonely riverbank grave in bushland
The jetty at Colo River Park near where Charlise Mutten’s remains were dumped in a barrel, police allege, by her mother Kallista Mutten’s fiance, Justin Stein
Police were investigating a number of ‘anomalies’ they claimed to identify in the accused’s initial statements, which included allegedly giving two separate versions of events in the lead up to the young girl’s disappearance.
NSW Police Deputy Commissioner David Hudson said through tracking the movements of a car they seized via CCTV, they were able to establish certain facts in relation to the vehicle he was allegedly driving and of his movements.
‘Through electronic means, through GPS tracking, through CCTV tracking, we were able to establish certain facts in relation to the vehicle he was driving and those movements,’ Mr Hudson said.
While Kallista Mutten was in hospital, Justin Stein had travelled to Sydney and was staying at a housing commission apartment block on Riley Street in the inner Sydney suburb of Surry Hills.
On Tuesday afternoon, a flurry of activity among police near the house saw detectives racing in cars from Mount Wilson down the highway to Penrith.
Justin Stein was staying at this Surry Hills Housing Department block (above) when police arrested him on Tuesday night and charged him with murder
Stein, 31, has been refused bail and asked that he be held in protective custody in prison as he awaits his next court appearance on a charge of alleegdly murdering 9-year-old Charlise
The court heard on Wednesday that Justin Stein (above, depicted by a court artist) is on a heavy dosage of antipsychotic drugs which he has been taking for years to treat a mental health disorder
Sometime between 3pm and 5pm, police are believed to have set off for the Colo River using GPS tracking co-ordinates and located the barrel and its grisly contents.
Around 8.30pm, detectives went to Riley Street, Surry Hills and arrested Stein, who was taken back to the Surry Hills Police Centre and charged with Charlise’s murder.
On Wednesday, Stein appeared in Central Local Court where he did not apply for bail and it was formally refused.
His barrister told magistrate Robert Williams that while on remand in prison, Stein needed supplies of Quetiapine and Risperidone which he had been taking in high dosage for many years to treat ‘mental health problems’.
The antipsychotic medications are used to treat bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and autism.
The court heard that Stein wanted to be placed in a protection wing in prison for his own safety as he awaited his next appearance, in Penrith Local Court in March.