Police reveal cause of schoolgirl Charlise Mutten’s death

A post mortem has revealed young schoolgirl Charlise Mutten died from a gunshot wound.

The body of the nine-year-old was discovered in a barrel by the Colo River northwest of Sydney last Tuesday after she was reported missing from a property at Mt Wilson the previous week.

The Gold Coast girl had been visiting her mother and her fiancee, Justin Stein.


Stein, 31, has been charged with Charlise’s murder and remains behind bars.

Homicide Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty, today described the alleged murder as an “unimaginable and egregious” act.

“I can confirm that the cause of death for Charlise was that she suffered a fatal gunshot wound, and that’s how she died,” he said.

Police believe Charlise was killed at the Mt Wilson property sometime between late Tuesday, January 11 and in the early hours of Wednesday, January 12.

It’s alleged her body was then placed into a barrel, which was found dumped in bushland about an hour away.

“The search for evidence is ongoing,” Detective Supt Doherty said.

“The inquiry and evidence and information we’ve received to date suggests the murder happened at Mount Wilson at the property”.

“I can now also disclose that plastic barrel was from that location, from the property as well, so it’s a high probability that the murder happened there”.

A small calibre firearm is believed to have been used in the alleged murder, which remains at large.

NSW Police have also confirmed that Charlise’s mother has been ruled out as a suspect in the investigation.

“The evidence and information we have is that we are treating her as a witness,” Detective Supt Doherty said.

“There’s no information or evidence at this stage that puts her at the property at the time of the murder”.

CCTV footage of a red ute and boat, belonging to Mr Stein, has since been released in the hopes the community may be able to help put all the pieces together.

“People may have remembered suspicious activity and it’s important to help investigators in this matter,” Detective Supt Doherty said.

“Remember we’re highly motivated because we’re working on behalf of Charlise.

“We’re trying to provide answers to her family and deliver justice on her behalf more importantly”.


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