A former drug addict mother, stepdad on parole and doting grandmother who ‘struggled’ after letting the missing nine-year-old travel to Sydney to reconnect with her family
– By Brittany Chain for Daily Mail Australia
As Christmas passed and school holidays dragged on, missing schoolgirl Charlise Mutten’s doting grandmother agreed to let the nine-year-old visit her mother in Sydney.
The summer trip was the perfect opportunity for mother and daughter to reconnect after Covid-enforced border closures and a jail stint had driven them apart.
Charlise lives with her grandmother, Deborah Mutten, in Coolangatta on the Gold Coast and attends a local primary school south of the border, where she’s known as a spritely and cheerful student.
Deborah shared a sweet photo just two weeks ago on January 5. With the ocean as a backdrop, Charlise leaned back and kissed her beaming grandmother on the cheek.
Five days later, after Charlise had already made the trip to NSW to see her mother, Deborah confessed to a friend she was ‘struggling’.
Deborah shared a sweet photo just two weeks ago on January 5. With the ocean as a backdrop, Charlise leaned back and kissed her beaming grandmother on the cheek
‘A bit of silly business was needed to lift the mood,’ she said alongside a photo of herself using a comedic Snapchat filter.
‘Struggling a bit to be quite honest.’
Then, on January 14, she learned her beloved granddaughter had vanished while in the temporary care of her daughter, Kallista Mutten.
Now Charlise’s disappearance puts a halt on what should have been a chance for Ms Mutten to bond and reconnect with her daughter after so many missed moments.
Ms Mutten was jailed in November 2017, when Charlise was just five, after she was convicted of dangerous driving occasioning death and driving with an illicit substance in her system.
It’s understood Charlise was handed over to her grandmother to care for her at the time.
The court heard Ms Mutten was an ice addict and using two to three points every day when she swerved off the road and into the Tweed River, killing her passenger and friend, 53-year-old Karen ‘Kaz’ Bunch.
After the crash, Ms Mutten checked herself in to a rehab facility, but relapsed and began using again, the court heard.
She was also expelled from a clinic at Logan in Queensland after she threatened a fellow resident with violence.
It’s unclear if Ms Mutten ever regained full time custody after her stint in jail.
Stein comes from a wealthy family who moved to the Blue Mountains from Perth around the time he was born.
They own and operate the Wildenstein estate where Charlise was last seen – which is known as an exclusive wedding venue – as well as a jeweler in the Queen Victoria Building in Sydney’s CBD.
Charlise’s biological father – who has not been named – is ‘absolutely shattered’ the nine-year-old is missing, a friend said on Tuesday.
He, along with his family and friends, are hopeful she’ll be found safe and unharmed.