Cleo Smith: Major search launched after four-year-old disappears from Australian campsite in middle of night

Police have said that her red sleeping bag was also missing

Shweta Sharma
Monday 18 October 2021 15:26
Comments
Cleo Smith: Major search launched after four-year-old disappears from Australian campsite in middle of night

The search for a four-year-old girl who went missing from her family’s tent at a campsite in Australia entered the third day on Monday as the police appealed for help from locals.

Cleo Smith was last seen at 1.30am on Saturday before she went missing from a tent while her family was camping at the Blowholes Campground in Macleod, near Carnarvon, about 900km north of Perth. The family said they woke up at 6am to find her gone and raised the alarm.

The police on Monday said they will “leave no stone unturned” as they urged members of the public to come forward

The search was expanded to air and sea over the weekend as authorities deployed tourism helicopters, drones and jets to locate the missing girl, calling her disappearance “extremely concerning.”

Western Australia police commissioner Chris Dawson said they are not leaving anything to chance. He said the environment in the region was hard and it is a “very unusual situation where we don’t know where Cleo is.”

“Police are not ruling anything in or out. Police are conducting an extensive search of the area,” he told reporters on Monday.

“We’ve brought in forensic trained investigators from our homicide and major crime divisions as well. We’re keeping all avenues open. We just want any information concerning Cleo.”

On Sunday, Cleo’s mother Ellie Smith took to social media to plead for help sharing her pictures. “It’s been over 24 hours since I last seen the sparkle in my little girls eyes! Please help me find her,” she posted.

She said they woke up at 6am to find her gone from their shared tent which was “very very unusual for Cleo.”

The Smith family is now using the help of local Aboriginal bush trackers to find Cleo, according to the Daily Mail.

Inspector John Munday said they have not reached any breakthrough but gathered a lot of information and intelligence from dashcam and CCTV footage around the area, reported The Age.

He said the red sleeping bag she was sleeping in also missing but he was not at liberty to divulge what other items police believed might also have disappeared.

“Every hour that goes by with a four-year-old out in this environment ... is very, very concerning,” Mr Munday said. “That is why we do just hold grave fears.”

The locals of the area have been asked to check their bins for her sleeping bag.

Authorities expanded the search by deploying 22 State Emergency Service (SES) and local volunteers, police, helicopters, drones, planes, and boats to find Cleo. Overnight sea search on Monday continued with an Australian Maritime Safety authority jet.

The marine search covered three nautical miles south of the campsite and one nautical mile both off-shore and to the north of campsite.

“We’re looking anywhere, a four to six-year-old, up to 5.2km from the last known position,” Mr Munday said.

“As you can understand it’s a very big area ... when you take into the context of the terrain and the landscape, a very formidable area for a four-year-old to walk, let alone for someone to search,” he added.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in