Carla La Tella

News

Tue, 18 Jan, 2022

Man charged with murder of missing 9-year-old

Man charged with murder of missing 9-year-old

Image: NSW Police 

A man has been charged with murder after nine-year-old Charlise Mutten disappeared from the Blue Mountains last Thursday.

Police have arrested a 32-year-old at a unit in Surry Hills, in central Sydney, at about 8:30 pm on Tuesday evening, and he is due to appear in Central Local Court late on Wednesday.

NSW Police established Strike Force Buena to investigate Charlise's disappearance.

Last Friday morning she was reported missing, officers last night carried out a search at Colo River, about an hour from the Blue Mountains. It is unclear if anything was found.

The young girl was a student from Tweed Heads Public School, who lived with her grandmother in Coolangatta, Queensland. She was holidaying in the Blue Mountains with her mother, Kallista Mutten.

The pair were staying at a wedding and function venue when she disappeared last Thursday afternoon. Ms Mutten reported her daughter missing the next morning but police haven't revealed whether she was formally interviewed since she was hospitalised for a medical condition.

NSW homicide detectives joined the investigation on Monday. Volunteers helping with the search were instructed to call out Charlise's name loudly and told to flag any evidence with police before touching it.

They were also told to search for anything out of the ordinary including footprints or bike tracks. A large-scale search had been underway in the area since late last week, with a hundred emergency services staff on the ground and in the air.

Police divers spent hours searching the Hawkesbury River in Windsor, with Rural Fire Service (RFS) volunteers also joined the search.

On Monday morning police searched a cubby house on a neighbouring property but found nothing.