The search for missing nine-year-old Charlise Mutten in rugged bushland in the NSW Blue Mountains has entered its fifth day.
Charlise was reported missing on Friday morning, with her parents telling police they last saw her on Thursday at a property at Mount Wilson, 20 kilometres north of Katoomba.
More than 100 police and emergency personnel – including dog units, homicide detectives, rescue choppers and the SES – are scouring terrain RFS volunteers described as “extremely rugged with very thick bush in parts” for the schoolgirl.
A stretch of the Hawkesbury River was also searched, after police on Saturday seized a white boat from the property where Charlise disappeared.
The ABC is reporting that Charlise’s mother, Kallista Mutten, was interviewed by police on Monday.
They are also reportedly investigating whether a car was seen leaving the Mount Wilson property without its headlights on, early on Friday. Neighbours have reported seeing a car leave the property at 4.30am – just hours before Charlise was reported missing.
Charlise lives with her grandmother in Queensland and was on a family holiday in Mount Wilson. Ms Mutten has told police her daughter disappeared on Thursday – although she did not report her missing until Friday morning.
Acting Superintendent John Nelson told the Nine Network officers were working closely with Charlise’s family, including her mother.
“For any parent, it’s a very distressing scenario. She is quite distressed and we are providing her with support,” he said.
Police are treating the nine-year-old’s disappearance as suspicious.
On Sunday, Chief Inspector Garry Sims said there were grave concerns for her safety, but police believed she could survive this time in the bush.
“There’s water in the bush so we are hopeful Charlise will be able to sustain herself until we find her,” he said.
Charlise is Caucasian, between 130 centimetres and 140 centimetres tall, and thin. She has brown hair and brown eyes.
It is believed she was wearing a pink top with a round-neck collar, a black knee-length skirt and pink Nike thongs.