A Facebook post announcing the engagement of Charlise Mutten’s alleged killer Justin Stein and her mum Kallista Mutten has been inundated with death threats.
A Facebook post announcing the engagement of Charlise Mutten’s alleged killer, Justin Laurens Stein, and her mother, Kallista Mutten, has been inundated with hundreds of death threats and violent messages.
After a desperate five-day search, police on Wednesday confirmed their worst fears for the missing nine-year-old, whose body was discovered in a barrel in bushland northwest of Sydney.
Stein was charged with murder shortly after, but major questions still hang over the case. Police have so far been unable to interview Charlise’s mother, who remains under medical supervision and who police claim has been “difficult to approach”.
“At this stage we have no evidence to support anything else than the accused acted alone, however it’s still early days in the investigation,” NSW Police Deputy Commissioner David Hudson told reporters on Wednesday.
“We don’t have a motive at this stage. What we have is human remains. We believe it’s the missing nine-year-old girl and we have an individual we (will allege) is responsible for that murder.”
In the time since Stein’s arrest, a December 2020 Facebook milestone announcing his engagement to Ms Mutten has been shared upwards of 50 times and attracted close to 2000 comments, littered with photos of nooses and messages telling the 31-year-old to “rot in hell”.
“Guess who is coming to get you? Everyone c**t!” wrote one man.
“Hope you get bashed and stomped on every day in prison you piece of sh*t,” wrote another, while another commented, “I hope you only know pure hell for the rest of your days!”
“Unfortunately that probably won’t happen!” they added. “What a broken world! That poor precious girl deserved so much better in this world! Rest easy little one, no one will ever hurt you again.”
“Monster! Hope you rot in jail,” commented one man.
“RIP little one. Condolences to her grandmother. Absolutely heartbreaking. Hope you never see the outside world again. You piece of sh*t,” said another.
A milestone post announcing the couple were in a relationship – less than a month before their engagement – attracted similar comments.
Social media posts show the couple shared a whirlwind romance, with Ms Mutten, also 31, commenting on photos that her fiance was “absolutely gorgeous”.
She also shared a photo of the “cute church near his family’s home” where she planned to marry Stein, the same month the couple became engaged.
Charlise usually lives with her grandmother in Coolangatta, Queensland, but was spending two weeks during the school holidays with her mother and stepfather.
Detectives allege Ms Mutten left Charlise in Stein’s care at the luxury Blue Mountains property where they’d been holidaying last Tuesday night, according to The Daily Telegraph. About 7pm that night is the last time Charlise was confirmed to have been alive.
Ms Mutten has previous run-ins with the law that were unrelated to the current investigation.
Last week, it was revealed Ms Mutten was jailed in 2017 for dangerous driving causing death and driving with an illicit drug in her system.
In 2017, Ms Mutten told the Lismore District Court she had used the drug ice before she got behind the wheel of a car and tried to recklessly overtake a semi-trailer on the Tweed Valley Way at Condong in September 2016.
The manoeuvre caused her to lose control of the car and crash, resulting in the death of her passenger Karen “Kaz” Bunch after three weeks on life support.
At the time, Ms Mutten admitted to the court she was “two to three points a day” of the drug ice.
News.com.au is not suggesting Ms Mutten is a current drug user.
Stepdad’s alleged phone call with mum
Deputy Commissioner Hudson also revealed on Wednesday that police will allege in court that Stein had held phone conversations with Ms Mutten in the lead up to the body being discovered.
“[There were] a number of telephone conversations with the girl’s mother, to purchase a number of 20kg sandbags from a hardware store, to fuel a boat and then try and float that boat on the water at one of the docks in inner Sydney,” he said.
Police will allege they were then able to track his movements, through GPS and CCTV, back to the location along the Colo River where police commenced the search on Tuesday afternoon.
Detectives will also allege Stein drove around Sydney for up to five hours with Charlise’s body in the back of his boat while he tried to work out where to dump her, according to The Daily Telegraph.
Homicide detectives allegedly found a blue tarpaulin in the back of the boat, which was inoperable.
Stein ended up hiding the heavy barrel containing Charlise’s body in dense bushland, police will allege in court, after struggling to dump it in the Colo River.
– with Ally Foster