Charlise Mutten's heartbroken cousin has broken her silence to pay tribute to the 'sweet, innocent' girl allegedly murdered by her stepfather and dumped in bushland.
The nine-year-old was found in a barrel on Tuesday night in scrub near the Colo River - an hour from where she disappeared on a private property in Mount Wilson, in the NSW Blue Mountains.
Her mother Kallista Mutten's fiancé Justin Stein, 31, has been charged with murder and was formally refused bail in court on Wednesday morning.
Charlise's cousin, Mellese, has spoken out about the tragedy in an emotional post on a Facebook group which had been dedicated to finding the previously missing school girl.
Charlise Mutten (pictured) was found dead near Colo River on Tuesday
The woman, who is related to the allegedly slain child's biological father, said she was 'absolutely devastated' by the turn of events.
'She was my cousin. A sweet sweet girl, innocent with a long life ahead!' she wrote.
'Seeing (your) face everywhere hurts.
'After wondering where you went for years and asking about you to now seeing this my heart is in pieces.'
The woman said her little first cousin was named after her and she felt 'honoured' by the gesture.
She added that the pair used to have 'so much fun' together and the family still have 'so many questions' about how she met her death.
Lashing out at relatives, the woman said she had been told by family members to suppress her thoughts about the situation and 'not say anything' but she shall be 'silenced no more'.
'I have been made to be silenced and I shall not stand for that!'
The nine-year-old's cousin issued a heartbreaking message on Facebook paying tribute to the young girl
Mourners comfort eachother at a vigil for Charlise outside Tweed Heads Public School on Wednesday
'I am beyond proud to have known you in this life and to have you apart of my family as well as being my only girl cousin!
'I will never be quiet about you and I will let the world know you are my family, my cousin and my blood.'
The shattered relative said the family were 'so lucky' so many people have been committed to finding Charlise as she vowed to get to the bottom of how the nine-year-old met her death.
'We will get answers! 'I'll always remember you and I hope justice gets served!'
Meanwhile, hundreds of devastated mourners gathered outside the Tweed Heads Public School in northern NSW on Wednesday night to hold an emotional candlelit vigil for the student.
Many of the young mourners held candles as they stood outside the gates adorned with countless bunches of flowers, pink balloons, cards and photos of Charlise.
Police will allege Stein spent up to five hours driving around the Harbour City with his fiancé's daughter's body in the back of a boat while he tried to figure out where to dump her, the Daily Telegraph reports.
It is understood detectives believe Charlise's mother left her daughter in the care of Stein last Tuesday night - the last time she was confirmed to be alive.
Police will allege she was killed within the following 15 hours.
Charlise Mutten, 9, was initially believed to have last been seen on Thursday but was reported missing on Friday morning. Police will now allege she was killed on the Tuesday night, three days before her mother called 000
Charlise's mother Kallista Mutten's fiancé Justin Stein (pictured) has been charged with murder
The schoolgirl, who was under the fulltime custody of her grandparents in the Gold Coast, was spending the holidays with her mother and stepfather at the Blue Mountains property when she was reported missing on Friday.
Homicide detectives retraced Stein's steps using CCTV after he allegedly bought five 20kg sandbags from Bunnings, fuelled up a boat, then tried to launch it from an inner-Sydney dock.
After finding the boat was inoperable, police will allege he then tried to dump the barrel containing Charlise's body in Colo River but was unable to roll it in due to the weight of the sandbags.
It is alleged he instead left her in bushland, where she was later discovered.
A blue tarpaulin was also found in the back of the boat. The barrel has now been seized and will be forensically examined.
Police revealed in a press conference on Wednesday they will allege Stein discussed buying sandbags and boat fuel before later travelling to the riverbed where his stepdaughter's body was later found.
The accused appeared in Central Local Court on Wednesday from Surry Hills police station, where he is detained
'(There were) a number of telephone conversations, to purchase a number of sandbags,' Deputy Police Commissioner David Hudson said.
Footage of Stein's arrest was released on Wednesday afternoon, showing the moment he walked from a car to a holding cell at Surry Hills Police Station with his hands cuffed in front of him.
He wore a grey Everlast jumper and shorts which he was still dressed in when he fronted court on Wednesday morning.
Ms Mutten reported Charlise missing to police on Friday morning.
The police fact sheet tendered in court on Wednesday indicates police believe she may have been killed several days