Missing Cleo Smith: prayers for a missing girl
Prayers have been held for missing daughter Cleo Smith as police attempt to identify a mysterious car seen leaving the area from which she disappeared.
A candlelight vigil was held in honor of four-year-old Cleo Smith who disappeared on a camping trip with her family in remote Western Australia.
Cleo was reported missing over a week ago after missing from Blowholes Campground, where she was camping with her family.
A vigil was organized for community members on Sunday evening by the Church of Christ Carnarvon.
A book of messages has been left for people to write messages of love and support for Cleo’s family, with the book to pass on to them.
It came after a significant development in police research, with investigators revealing on Sunday that they had been made aware of a car seen leaving the area shortly after Cleo was torn from her family’s tent at the isolated campsite.
Major Crime Division Detective Superintendent Rod Wilde told reporters on Sunday that a couple traveling together along the Northwest Coast Road saw a car leaving Blowholes Rd towards Carnarvon between 3 a.m. and 3:30 a.m. last Saturday.
Cleo’s family were staying at the Blowholes Coastal Campground in Macleod, which is accessed by the same road.
The girl was last seen around 1:30 a.m. when she asked for water and was reported missing around 6 a.m.
“We hope that the people in that vehicle will come forward and make themselves known to the police so that we can speak to them,” said Superintendent Wilde.
Witnesses were unable to give a detailed description of the car and the number of people inside.
“We think it’s a passenger vehicle… at this time of night it’s very dark there,” Inspector Wilde said.
“We want to talk to the driver and the people – if there was more than one person in that vehicle – to establish exactly what was going on and what they were doing.”
After a week of searching the rugged terrain looking for Cleo, police confirmed it was likely that she had been removed from the tent.
The tent’s zipper had been opened higher than it could have reached and her sleeping bag was also missing.
As the massive land, air and sea searches on and around the campsite are completed, locals and vacationers have been urged to stay tuned.
Detectives say there are several witnesses to the crime scene who have yet to come forward, believing people were staying at the campsite without identifying themselves.
They urge mystery campers to make contact.
A million dollar reward has been offered for any information helping to solve the mystery, and police have requested a dash camera, security footage or photos that could aid the investigation.
“Anyone knows something about this,” WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson told reporters on Sunday.
“Cleo just can’t disappear from this tent without a third party, another person, or people knowing it.
“If you know or suspect someone, you think their behavior has changed since this weekend, so bring that information.
“This is the kind of information that could open this case.”
He said there was no information that Cleo had been taken out of WA, but the police weren’t ruling out anything.
“We are doing everything we can,” he said.
“WA is the largest police jurisdiction in the world in terms of land mass, so it’s a very, very large geographic area, but at the same time we have been having very strict border controls in place for over 18 months now. .
“So I am convinced that we have carefully checked the main arteries and this is what kept Covid from entering.
“But at the same time, it’s a very big area and that’s why we want help from the community.”
Police searched the exterior of the family home in Carnarvon on Saturday, including dusting window sills for fingerprints, in a bid to find evidence of potential suspects hiding in the area in the days before Cleo’s disappearance.
Superintendent Wilde said this was standard procedure for such an investigation and his abduction was believed to be opportunistic.
He said hundreds of calls regarding the case had been made to Crimestoppers.
“We have 100 agents working on this,” he said.
When asked if he believed Cleo was still alive, Superintendent Wilde replied, “We are hopeful.”