A boat and car have been seized as police grow increasingly desperate in the search for a young girl who went missing three nights ago from a lavish property surrounded by dense bushland.
Charlise Mutten, nine, was staying with her mother Kallista Mutten when she vanished on Thursday at a sprawling private wedding venue owned by the family of her fiancé, Justin Stein, who was interviewed by investigators on Saturday.
There is no suggestion the 31-year-old is in any way involved in the child’s disappearance.
NSW Police told Daily Mail Australia that ‘all lines of investigation’ remain open in the baffling case.
The girl was last seen on Thursday at the property, but she was not reported to police until 8.20am on Friday.
A full scale search began within hours and police now hold ‘grave concerns’ for her safety.
The missing girl is described as being ‘of Caucasian appearance, between 130cm and 140cm tall, of thin build, with brown hair and brown eyes,’ NSW police said.
‘It is believed she was last seen wearing a pink top with a round neck collar, a black knee-length skirt and pink Nike thongs.’
Investigators are now treating the manicured 12-acre property, including the residential buildings on it, as a crime scene.
Police divers scoured a pond at Wildenstein, which is run by Justin’s brother James Stein, on Saturday, 9News reported.
They also seized a white boat used on the property and analysed it for fingerprints.
The boat is also understood to be subject to ongoing forensic testing.
Police confirmed that homicide detectives are now investigating Charlise’s strange disappearance.
The police dog squad, PolAir, police rescue, divers and Blue Mountains local police are all involved.
Officers on off-road trail bikes have also been deployed across the property and are searching the surrounding area.
It still remains unclear how Charlise went missing, with hundreds of police and volunteers – including fully equipped SES and rural fire service members wearing backpacks – searching the dense surrounding bushland since Friday.
The search and rescue teams have not stopped since, working through Friday night and are expected to continue overnight on Saturday into Sunday.
Storms prevented a PolAir helicopter, which used thermal imaging technology, from searching overnight on Friday, but it was deployed again on Saturday.
It is understood the terrain is extremely challenging for searchers with tangled and dense undergrowth and steep cliffs.
Rural fire service volunteers have used ‘line searching’ tactics and marked out any items found in their painstaking search.
On Saturday police confirmed the distressed mum, Kallista, was being consoled by police.
‘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.
Police also confirmed her fiancé Justin Stein, 31, drove to Penrith to speak with investigators but there is no suggestion he is accused of any wrongdoing.
A red utility vehicle was seized for examination at Penrith on Friday.
NSW Police said no arrests had been made and that all lines of enquiry remained open.
The search and rescue command post was established at the Mt Wilson Rural Fire Service Station on Friday after Charlise was reported missing nearly a day after going missing.
The crews immediately began searching dense bushland around Mt Wilson, which is approximately 30km northeast of Blackheath.
It is understood search teams were checking tents and bins in the area.
NSW police sent out multiple geo-targeting text messages to all local 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. The police post was shared over 13,000 times in a few hours.
Police are appealing for anyone with information about her whereabouts to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Source: Thanks msn.com