“My wife would pick her up from school … as soon as she got home, she would race up the stairs and confide in myself.”

Asked by Crown prosecutor Nicholas Marney about Charlise’s relationship with her mother, the grandfather said it was “very loving” and “unconditional”, and their strong bond “was always there”.

“Charlise would cry at times saying that she missed her mother,” he said. “She looked forward to communicating with her.”

He said Charlise would video call her mother, but there were “always three people there”, including Stein.

Asked by the prosecutor if Charlise ever expressed an opinion about Stein, the grandfather said: “She said that she really liked Justin, and she asked me if … I thought that he would be a good dad”.

Charlise Mutten was found dead in a barrel by the Colo River.

Charlise Mutten was found dead in a barrel by the Colo River.Credit: Facebook

Mutten Snr said Charlise “cried herself to sleep” when a planned visit to see her mother was cancelled in Easter 2021 due to Kallista Mutten being hospitalised for mental health issues, but was “happy and excited” when it was rescheduled for December 2021, and packed her favourite toys.

“I was under the impression that she’d be staying with her mother, her [mother’s] fiancé Justin Stein, and Justin Stein’s mother,” he said, adding this was at Wildenstein, which was also a wedding venue.

“I was told that there would be times, as a getaway, they would be staying at a holiday venue on a river.”

Mutten Snr said Charlise had called him once while she was away to show off her new haircut, and as she played with a little dog.

“She was in very good spirits and happy,” he said. “She told me she loved me.”

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He said he had emailed Stein about Charlise “a week before her murder”, asking that she have a COVID-19 test so that she could fly home on January 18, but received no reply.

The grandfather said police contacted him around January 14 to inform him Charlise was missing, and he was later told when her body had been found.

Under cross-examination, Stein’s barrister Carolyn Davenport, SC, asked Mutten Snr whether he was concerned about sending the girl to a potentially “questionable” environment.

“No, I was under the impression that both had cleaned their act up,” he replied.

Asked by Davenport whether his daughter’s mental health issues manifested into delusions, when things happened “in her mind not in reality”, he replied: “At times, yes.”

Asked whether he had any reassurances Kallista Mutten was not taking drugs, he pointed to the “regular” calls between the trio which seemed “quite amicable, normal, if not a little bit immature”.

The jury has been shown photographs, believed to be the last taken of Charlise, including in a pool at the Riviera Ski Gardens caravan park where Stein had a holiday cabin, and peering through a door.

The trial continues before Justice Helen Wilson.

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