Cleo Smith search: Interstate agencies join push to find missing child last seen at Blowholes camp site

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Sarah StegerThe West Australian
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VideoWA Police are remaining open to the possibility four-year-old Cleo Smith was taken and flown out of the state

WA Police have issued a national appeal for information relating to the disappearance of Cleo Smith, who vanished from her family’s tent at a popular camp site north of Carnarvon on Saturday morning.

With the search for the four-year-old entering its fourth day, police say they can’t rule anything out, including that little Cleo was abducted and taken interstate.

Inspector Jon Munday sold Sunrise this morning that one of the scenarios investigators were considering was that “Cleo has been taken, and has been removed from the area”.

“It’s three days down the track now, she potentially could be anywhere,” he said before revealing authorities’ grave concerns had led them to notify interstate police agencies.

“We’re calling for the public’s assistance anywhere. We’re keen to get this messaging out nationally to anybody,” he said.

“She could be anywhere by now which is really concerning.

“That’s why time is really of the essence here and we’re throwing everything we can at it.”

Last night New South Wales Police Force asked Facebook users to “Please keep a look out for four-year-old Cleo Smith missing from Western Australia”.

The alert was shared with several pictures of Cleo as well as the pink outfit she was last seen in and her sleeping bag, which has also vanished.

Queensland Police Service told social media users that WA Police “asked us to share an appeal for information on missing four-year-old Cleo Smith”.

“She was last seen on Saturday at a camp site near Carnarvon in Western Australia. If you have any information please contact 131444,”

Victoria Police urged anyone who has seen the four-year-old to contact police immediately on 131 444.

“Western Australia Police Force are seeking assistance from the public the help locate Cleo who was last seen at 1.30am, Saturday 16 October 2021 at the Blowholes campsite in WA,” their Facebook post stated.

Cleo Smith has been missing since Saturday morning.
Camera IconCleo Smith has been missing since Saturday morning. Credit: Facebook/Ellie Smith

Strong winds forced search teams to put their desperate efforts to find Cleo on hold this morning, with gusts of 75km/h and heavy rainfall preventing volunteers and authorities alike from continuing the major land and air operation that has been under way since Saturday.

It comes after the marine arm of the large-scale land, air and sea search was “scaled back” as no sign of Cleo had been found in the water.

Insp. Munday this morning said Cleo’s disappearance was “really really concerning”, and described the complex case with many moving parts as “a mystery we’re trying to unravel”.

He said there were “quite a lot of people” at the Blowholes campground the night Cleo went missing and that police were “tracking and tracing all of those people at the moment”.

Cleo was last seen about 1.30am on Saturday in the tent her family was sharing at the Blowholes camp site in Macleod, about 70km north of Carnarvon.

Wild weather conditions have hampered the search this morning.
Camera IconWild weather conditions have hampered the search this morning. Credit: Phoebe Pin/The West Australian
Posters of Cleo Smith put up around Carnarvon.
Camera IconPosters of Cleo Smith put up around Carnarvon.

The little girl’s mum Ellie Smith and partner Jake Gliddon had put her to bed on Friday night before “interacting” with her again at 1.30am.

When they woke about 6.30am she was gone.

Cleo’s biological father Daniel Staines was interviewed by officers at Mandurah Police Station yesterday, where he provided a statement.

There is no suggestion he is involved in his child’s disappearance.

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