Police believe 4-year-old Cleo Smith was abducted from remote WA campsite as a million dollar reward was offered



Police say they believe a four-year-old girl who went missing on Saturday from a campsite in a remote part of the state was abducted, with the Washington state government now offering a million dollar reward for information about his disappearance.

Reward will be offered for information that leads to the discovery of Cleo Smith, or the arrest or conviction of anyone involved in her disappearance.

The girl was last seen in her parents’ tent at a campsite north of Carnarvon on Saturday morning, with an extensive search of the air, land and sea so far having found no evidence of ‘she.

When her parents woke up later on Saturday morning, Cleo and her sleeping bag were gone and their tent was open.

“We hope to find Cleo alive, but we have serious concerns for her safety,” said Detective Superintendent Rod Wilde.

“Based on the information we have now gleaned from the scene, the fact that the search continued during this time … it leads us to believe that she was taken from the tent.”

“Anyone know what happened”

Acting WA Police Commissioner Col. Blanch said more than 100 officers have been assigned to help locate the girl.

However, no one has been asked about Cleo’s disappearance, nearly a week after her disappearance.

“His passing strikes at the hearts of Western Australians and I am here to reassure the community that all that can be done is being done,” he said.

ADF personnel joined police in the search for Cleo Smith.(ABC News: James Carmody)

“Someone in the community knows what happened to Cleo, someone has the knowledge that can help, and now there are a million reasons you need to come forward.

“The cooperation of the community is what we are looking for urgently.”

The acting commissioner said a significant amount of evidence had been gathered and needed to be examined.

“Hundreds of thousands of data points, hundreds of witnesses, hundreds of exhibits, we will methodically work on this information to get the answers we need,†he said.

“Our priority is to bring Cleo home.”

Crucial Info: First

Premier Mark McGowan has said it is crucial that anyone with information comes to authorities.

“I urge anyone who knows Cleo’s location, please provide this information to the police,†he said.

The campsite is located approximately 1000 kilometers north of Perth and approximately 70 kilometers from the Gascon town of Carnarvon.

Head of a woman in tears
Ellie Smith issued a tearful plea for help in finding her daughter.(ABC News: James Carmody)

Earlier this week, Cleo’s mother made an emotional appeal for information on the disappearance, saying she had no idea what had happened to her daughter.

Detective Superintendent Wilde said police were asking for information across the country, saying their search now extended beyond the borders of WA.

Search Australia Now

“We have been in contact with all jurisdictions in Australia, if anyone nationwide has any information that might be relevant contact Crimestoppers,†he said.

“We have the nation looking for Cleo.

“Today’s announcement means everyone has to look for Cleo.

“Look at the people who have been acting strangely since the 16th (October), look at the people who have been in this area… ask questions.

“We are keeping a very open mind in this investigation.”

A photo of Cleo wearing pink and purple pajamas.
Cleo Smith was wearing this patterned jumpsuit when she disappeared.(Provided: WA Police)

Officers released photos of the clothes she allegedly wore at the time and a replica of the sleeping bag she slept in in her tent.

Acting Commissioner Blanch said the search for the campsite would enter a new phase within the next 24 hours.


“The field search for a wandering person will end, the search for evidence and exposures continues,†he said.

“We will always keep people there, we will continue to do forensic research.”

Previously, Ms Smith had taken to social media to demand the safe return of her daughter and implore anyone with information to contact the police.

Meanwhile, the search for Cleo in the vicinity of the campsite was in full swing today.

Several kilometers on the only paved road leading to the camp, SES volunteers and ADF personnel were searching online.

Teams of ten stood a few yards apart, stretching tens of yards through the thick coastal scrub and marched in a straight line, looking for any element of interest.

Further down Blowholes Road towards the rugged coastline, the police-ridden section saddled again, using horses to resume traversing some of the area’s most difficult-to-access dunes.

A horse pictured next to a police truck on the side of the road
Horses were brought in to help police access rough terrain.(ABC News: James Carmody)

On top of a hill next to the lighthouse, two ADF men had their faces buried in screens monitoring the video stream from a military research drone looking from the sky for any sign of Cléo.

In Carnarvon, the primary school for four-year-olds, St Mary’s Star of the Sea Catholic School, made psychologists available to students and staff.

“The school community is praying for Cleo and her family,†the school said in a statement.



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