A man who allegedly shot his fiancée’s nine-year-old daughter while she was staying with him at a Blue Mountains property will face a murder trial within weeks.

Justin Stein has pleaded not guilty to murdering Charlise Mutten, whose January 2022 disappearance sparked a major search effort.

A trial date of May 6 was confirmed during a Supreme Court hearing today.

Charlise Mutten, 9, is currently missing from Mt Wilson.
Charlise Mutten’s body was found northwest of Sydney following a desperate five-day search in 2022. (NSW Police)

A five-day search of bushland ended after Charlise’s body was found in a barrel dumped near the Colo River northwest of Sydney.

Police later said an autopsy found she had died of a gunshot wound.

According to court documents, Charlise was murdered between 7pm on January 11, and 10am on January 12, 2022, at Mount Wilson, in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney.

She was reported missing on January 14.

The young girl’s tragic fate sparked an outpouring of grief, including from then prime minister Scott Morrison.

“You hope for the best, you pray for it, but it doesn’t always occur,” Morrison said at the time.

Vigils were held outside the gates of Tweed Heads Public School, where Charlise had been a student.

“Charlise was a much loved member of our school who brightened all our days, every day,” the school said in a statement.

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