Before becoming the scene of Charlise Mutten’s disappearance, the Wildenstein estate was known as one of Australia’s premier wedding venues.
Before becoming the scene of the disappearance of schoolgirl Charlise Mutten, the Wildenstein estate in NSW’s Blue Mountains was best known as one of Australia’s premier wedding venues.
For the past five years, the 12.5-acre, multimillion-dollar estate has been the nuptial destination for everyone from AFL great Buddy Franklin and model and former Miss Universe Jesinta Campbell, to Channel 9 presenter Julie Snook and actor Hugo Johnstone-Burt.
The lavish venue features cool-climate gardens — which interior designer and event planner James Stein Jr, who runs the property, credits his father — and artwork including La Paloma urns, sculptures in bronze and marble, are scattered all over the grounds.
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The decision to turn the Stein family’s more than two-decade-old weekend getaway into a wedding and event venue is the product of Stein Jr’s nuptials in 2015.
“People saw our photos and started asking if we offered weddings at the property,” he previously said. design files.
Twelve months later, Campbell, in custom Vera Wang, and Franklin wed in an intimate garden ceremony Nov. 4 and put the exclusive location on the map.
Last year, Snook and Johnstone-Burt tied the knot at the location, with Snook dazzling in a custom Velani dress.
Over the past week, however, the destination has become the base of an extensive police, SES and RFS search, with emergency services scouring the bush around the Mt Wilson estate where a nine-year-old girl was staying with her mother Charlie Mutten and her mother. engaged.
The girl usually lives with her grandmother in Coolangatta, Queensland, but spent two weeks with her mother during school holidays.
She was reported missing from the estate at 8:20 a.m. last Friday, January 14, and on Tuesday a body believed to be hers was found in a barrel about an hour’s drive away, near the Colo River.
Her stepfather Justin Laurens Stein, 31, was arrested at a unit in Surry Hills at 8.30pm on Tuesday night and charged with murder after refusing to be formally interviewed by investigators.
News.com.au is not suggesting that police are alleging anyone other than Justin Laurens Stein was involved in the girl’s disappearance and alleged murder.
Charlise Mutten’s Last Hours
Detectives allege Stein drove around Sydney for five hours with Charlise’s body in the back of his boat as he tried to work out where to dump her on the night of January 11, according to an exclusive report by The Daily Telegraph.
Homicide detectives retraced Stein’s steps after he allegedly bought five 20kg sandbags from Bunnings, refueled his boat and attempted to launch it from an inland Sydney dock.
They also reportedly found a blue tarp on the back of the boat, which was unusable.
Police allege Stein ended up leaving the heavy barrel containing Charlise’s body in dense bush after struggling to dump it into the Colo River.
The barrel was found on Tuesday evening, after a full-scale investigation was launched last week.
Ms Mutten reportedly reported Charlise missing at 8.20am on Friday January 14, although police were told she was last seen on Thursday afternoon.
Deputy Commissioner Dave Hudson told reporters that while investigators still don’t know exactly what happened, they were “certain” of a number of facts. He said police allege the accused placed the girl’s body in the barrel.
“Things will be rolling out over the next week to find a cause of death, purpose of death, and trying to identify exactly what happened so the remaining family has some comfort there- inside,” he told reporters.
Deputy Commissioner Hudson also revealed that police would allege in court that the alleged killer had telephone conversations with the child’s mother before the body was discovered.
“[There were] a number of phone conversations with the girl’s mother, to buy a number of sandbags, 20kg sandbags from a hardware store, to power a boat, and then trying to float that boat on water on one of the quays in central Sydney,” he said. .
Police allege they were then able to track his movements, using GPS and CCTV, to where police began the search yesterday afternoon.
Ms Mutten is currently under medical supervision, with Deputy Commissioner Hudson saying she has been ‘difficult’ to approach and contact.
He said that although the investigation is ongoing, at this stage there is no evidence to support anything other than that the defendant acted alone.
“However, the investigation is still in its early stages,” he said.