A boat and car are seized as police grow desperate in search of a young girl who went missing three nights ago from a lush estate surrounded by thick undergrowth.
Charlise Mutten, nine, was staying with her mother Kallista Mutten when she disappeared Thursday at a sprawling private wedding venue owned by the family of her fiancé, Justin Stein, who was questioned by detectives on Saturday.
There is no suggestion that the 31-year-old is involved in any way in the child’s disappearance.
Charlise and Kallista, who live in Queensland, were on holiday in Sydney and were at the Stein family’s exclusive Wildenstein estate on Mt Wilson in Sydney’s Blue Mountains.
NSW police told Daily Mail Australia that ‘all lines of inquiry’ remain open in the mind-boggling case.
The girl was last seen at the property on Thursday, but was not reported to police until 8:20 a.m. Friday.
Within hours, a large-scale search began and police are now “seriously concerned” for her safety.
Charlise Mutten, nine, was staying with her mother Kallista Mutten when she disappeared Thursday at a sprawling private wedding venue owned by the family of her fiancé, Justin Stein, in Sydney’s Blue Mountains.
The ailing mother Kallista Mutten was comforted by aid workers on Saturday
NSW police released two photos of Charlise as the search for her intensified on Friday. She is described as a white with brown hair (photo, Charlise Mutten)
The missing girl is described as “white in appearance, between 130 and 140 cm tall, of thin build, with brown hair and brown eyes,” the NSW Police Department said.
“It is believed she was last seen wearing a pink crew-neck top, black knee-length skirt and pink Nike thongs.”
Investigators are now treating the 12-acre manicured property, including the residential buildings on it, as a crime scene.
Police divers searched a pond near Wildenstein on Saturday, which is run by Justin’s brother James Stein, 9News reported.
They also seized a white boat used on the property and analyzed it for fingerprints.
The boat is also subject to ongoing forensic testing.
NSW Police divers searched for hours on Saturday in a pond on the Wildenstein property on Mt Wilson
Kallista Mutten’s fiancée Justin Stein went to Penrith on Friday to speak to NSW police
In Penrith, police seized a red commercial vehicle linked to the individuals of interest for investigation
Police have confirmed that homicide detectives are now investigating Charlise’s strange disappearance.
The Police Dog Brigade, PolAir, Police Rescue, Divers and the Blue Mountains Local Police are all involved.
Officers on off-road trail bikes have also been deployed over the site and are searching the area.
It’s still unclear how Charlise went missing, with hundreds of police and volunteers – including fully equipped SES and rural firefighters carrying backpacks – searching the dense surrounding bushland since Friday.
The girl was reported missing at 8:20 a.m. Friday from a home on Mt Wilson, 37 miles northwest of Richmond (photo, police and detectives at the scene Friday)
The NSW Police Department sent a geo-targeted text message to all local residents in the area on Friday evening informing them of Charlise’s disappearance.
The search and rescue teams have not stopped since, operating through Friday evening and are expected to continue Saturday to Sunday.
Storms prevented a PolAir helicopter, which used thermal imaging technology, from searching Friday night, but was deployed again on Saturday.
Obviously the terrain is extremely challenging for seekers with tangled and dense undergrowth and steep cliffs.
Rural fire service volunteers used “line-finding” tactics and marked all items found during their painstaking search.
The sprawling 12-acre property where Charlise stayed with her mother Kallista belonged to the family of her fiancé Justin Stein
The property, called Wildenstein, by the Stein family is run by Justin’s brother James
On Saturday, police confirmed that the ailing mother, Kallista, was being comforted by police.
“For any parent this is a harrowing scenario so yes she is quite upset so we are offering her support,” Acting Superintendent John Nelson said.
Police also confirmed that her fiancé Justin Stein, 31, was driving to Penrith to speak to investigators, but there is no suggestion that he is charged with any wrongdoing.
A red company car was seized for investigation in Penrith on Friday.
NSW Police said no arrests had been made and all lines of investigation remained open.
The search and rescue command post was established Friday at the Mt Wilson Rural Fire Service Station after Charlise was reported missing almost a day after she went missing.
The crews immediately began to search dense bushland around Mt Wilson, about 30 km northeast of Blackheath.
Charlise Mutten (9) was missing on Thursday, but her disappearance was only reported to the police on Friday
It is clear that search teams checked tents and bins in the area.
The NSW Police Department sent multiple geo-targeted text messages to all local residents in the area Friday and Saturday evening informing them of Charlise’s disappearance and asking for help.
They also asked social media users to widely share the photo of the missing girl. The police post was shared more than 13,000 times in a few hours.
Police are calling on anyone with information on her whereabouts to call Crime Stoppers at 1800 333 000.