A $1 million reward is being offered by police for information connected to the disappearance of Cleo Smith, a 4-year-old Australian girl who vanished Saturday from a tent in a West Australian campsite.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, family members reported Cleo missing on Saturday morning from Blowholes Campground in Macleod, where she was staying in a tent with her family.
Cleo’s family told authorities that they woke up to find her missing at around 6 a.m. on Saturday. They reportedly last saw at around 1:30 a.m. that morning.
Police previously announced that they are not ruling anything out at this point. Shortly after, Cleo’s mother, Ellie Smith, sat down with ABC News and explained what happened before her daughter vanished.
“I got her some water. She went to bed,” Smith said. “I checked on Isla (youngest daughter), made sure Isla was ok. I got back in bed and that was it really, we went back to sleep, woke up to Isla wanting a bottle.
“As we passed the divider, I went into the other room and the zipper was open. Cleo was gone and that was about it for Saturday morning until everything started.”
“She would never leave us, she would never leave the tent,” Smith said.
On Tuesday, a new detail emerged in the case that caused concerns to heighten that Cleo may have been abducted.
Western Australia police stated a zipper on the tent that Cleo slept in was up too high for a 4-year-old to reach. Inspector Jon Munday announced that authorities were gravely concerned for the missing child’s safety after discovering the zip was opened.
“The positioning of that zipper for the flap is one of the circumstances that has caused us to have grave concerns for Cleo’s safety,” Munday said on Wednesday. “That tent has been thoroughly examined by our forensic team and I believe it has been seized and I would imagine that would make its way down to Perth at some point.”
“Given the information now that we’ve gleaned from the scene, the fact that the search has gone on for this period of time and we haven’t been able to locate her … it leads us to believe that she was taken from the tent.”
Have you seen Cleo?
4 year old Cleo was last seen at 1:30am, Saturday 16 October 2021, in a tent at the Blowholes campsite in Macleod (50km north of Carnarvon).
— Perth Police (@PerthPol) October 19, 2021
The reward is being offered by the Premier of Western Australia, Mark McGowan, for information that leads to Cleo, or for the arrest or conviction of any suspects in the case.
“It’s a very sad situation, a very difficult situation,” McGowan said. “I just urge anyone who has any knowledge of the location of Cleo, please provide that information to police and ensure that we can provide some certainty and information to Cleo’s loved ones and hopefully bring Cleo back safe and sound.”
So far, searchers have found no sign of Cleo. Check back for updates.
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[Featured Photo: Cleo Smith/Police Handout]