UPDATE: The Western Australian government has offered a $1 million reward for information on missing girl Cleo Smith.
Cleo’s mother delivered an urgent plea on Instagram this morning as Western Australian (WA) Police have revealed a worrying new clue in the disappearance of Cleo Smith, six days after she disappeared from her tent. At the same time, there have been new comments from an investigator on the Maddie McCann case giving advice on how the investigation should proceed.
WA Police continue to search for the missing 4-year-old who was last seen around 1.30am on Saturday October 16 in a tent at the Blowholes Campsite.
While updating reporters on Wednesday Inspector John Munday aired concerns over the opened tent and the height of the zipper.
“The tent certainly has multiple entries,” he said.
“One of the major circumstances that has given us the cause for alarm for Cleo’s safety is the fact that one of those zippered entryways 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.”
Inspector Jon Munday provides an update on the search for missing four-year-old Cleo.
— WA Police Force (@WA_Police) October 20, 2021
Cleo was last seen sleeping in a red and black sleeping bag and was wearing a pink/purple one-piece sleep-suit with a blue and yellow pattern. Grave concerns are held for Cleo’s safety as WA Police explore all possibilities. WA Police have utilised the assistance of SES personnel, drones and aircraft to locate the missing child.
The latest developments from WA Police come as an expert in the behaviour of adults who sexually abuse children and men who abduct and murder children and who also worked on the Maddie McCann case commented on the ongoing investigation.
The Founder and first head of Behaviour Analysis at the UK Child Exploitation Online Protection Centre Graham Hill told The Western Australian, police need to eliminate suspicion among the family first.
“That needs to be done very quickly,” he said.
“As difficult as that is when parents have a missing child, you have to do it, because statistically, we know that children get hurt by people that know them.
“And also, you have to eliminate the suspicion around the parents before you can move on and do other lines of inquiry.”
Cleo’s mother, Ellie Smith took to Instagram on Thursday morning, October 21, in an urgent plea for her daughter to come home.
View this post on Instagram
Smith also made a plea on Facebook shortly after Cleo’s disappearance for any information on her missing daughter.
WA Police are urging anyone with information to contact them on 131 444.