Authorities in Australia have arrested Justin Stein in connection to the death of 9-year-old Charlise Mutten, whose body had been discovered after a frantic search. The girl’s body had been stuffed in a barrel, and the barrel was left in brush near a river.

Authorities believe that Justin Stein murdered Charlise Mutten between the evening of Jan. 11 and morning the following day. It was Stein who had reported her missing Friday, Jan. 14.

Stein gave several inconsistent accounts of the girl’s disappearance, police say.

SW Police Deputy Commissioner David Hudson said Jan. 19. “Through electronic means, through GPS tracking, through CCTV tracking, we were able to establish certain facts in relation to the vehicle he was driving and those movements and also certain suspicious behaviour which escalated our scrutiny in relation to his potential involvement,” he said.

Justin Stein is the fiancé of Charlise Mutten’s mother, Kallista Mutten. Stein, Kallista Mutten, and Charlise had been staying at a wedding and party venue in the Blue Mountains. Charlise, who lived with her maternal grandmother, was on a two-week vacation from school.

The missing girl’s mother was taken to a local hospital soon after Stein filed the report. Police say that they will interview Kallista Mutten “when doctors allow.” Her medical condition has not been specified. 

On Tuesday, authorities made the horrific discovery of a young girl’s body in a barrel that had been left in Australia’s Blue Mountain bush land near Sydney. The body has not been formally identified as that of Charlise Mutten, but police say the remains are consistent with her description.

Authorities believe that her stepfather, Justin Stein, 31, who is described as having “significant mental-health problems,” drove around Sydney for five hours trying to figure out where to dump the body. He was apparently trying to walk through thick brush to the Colo River, then in frustration left the body in the brush.  

The working theory of the homicide detectives is that earlier Justin Stein bought five 20kg (44 lb) sandbags from a home hardware store, bought fuel for a boat, then tried to launch the boat from a dock within Sydney. That boat proved inoperable, so he abandoned that plan and began his five-hour search for an alternative hiding place.

Deputy Commissioner Hudson did not address the cause of the girl’s death prior to an autopsy. “What we are sure of,” he said, “is that the accused that we charged with murder was responsible for, firstly, placing her in the barrel, and then disposing of that barrel in the bushland where she was located.”

After Charlise Mutton was reported missing there was a massive search, including emergency service workers and volunteers, of a large area of the Blue Mountains under sometimes challenging weather conditions.

“Obviously, we start off these searches with a lot of hope,” Hudson said, “but, unfortunately, we always have in the back of our minds the worst and that’s why lessons from previous investigations have taught us that we don’t just need to conduct the missing persons search but also, in parallel to that, an investigative search, which revealed remains last night.”

The investigators uncovered the blue tarpaulin still in the stern of the boat that Stein allegedly wanted to use to dump the body in the harbor.

Justin Stein was arrested on Tuesday night in the Sydney neighborhood of Surry Hills and taken to a Surry Hills Police Station to be charged. The court has since denied his bail application.

The investigation continues. In the words of Deputy Commissioner Hudson, “We will not leave a stone unturned in the search for the truth of this matter.”

Charlise’s biological father, Scott Hensby, posted on Facebook, addressing Charlise, that he will “get answers for you.”