The Western Australian government has offered a reward of 1 million Australian dollars (US$750,000) for information that leads to one’s whereabouts. Four year old girl missing for six days in the remote coastal area.
Cleo Smith disappeared from her family’s tent at the Blowholes campsite in MacLeod, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of the city of Carnarvon, in the early hours of Saturday, according to Western Australian Police.
Since then, search teams have been scouring the rough terrain and the surrounding sea, but so far they haven’t found any trace of the child or his black and red sleeping bag.
Police now believe that she was abducted.
“Given the information we have now received, the fact that the search has been ongoing for this period and we have not been able to locate him … leads us to believe that he was taken to the tent,” said Major Crime of Western Australia Police Division Superintendent Rod Wilde said in a news conference Thursday.
“We thought we’d be able to figure it out given the amount of resources and the extensive search.”
The day before, detectives said they had “serious concerns” for Cleo’s safety, as they believed the zipper used to open the tent was too high for her to reach.
With few clues to move forward, Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan and Police Minister Paul Papalia on Thursday offered a reward for information leading to Cleo or the arrest and conviction of the person or people involved in her disappearance. declare.
They said they are “praying for a positive outcome.”
Papalia said, “I expect that most people will volunteer if they have information that can assist the police, but if this reward inspires someone to help the police bring Cleo home, So the government is more than happy to introduce it.”
On Tuesday, Cleo’s distraught mother, Ellie Smith, and Smith’s partner, Jake Glidden, made a public appeal for help in finding the girl.
Smith told CNN-affiliated 9 News: “We have a lot of families that help us, support us. But you know, like everybody asks us what you need, we really need our little girl.” Is required.”
Smith described her daughter as beautiful and delicate with “the biggest heart.”
“Every day she wants to wear a princess dress,” she said. “She’s so sweet—everything you want in a little girl.”
she disappeared into the night
Smith last saw his eldest daughter, Cleo, inside the family tent at 1:30, when the girl asked for a drink of water. Both went back to sleep.
When Smith woke up the next morning at 6:00 a.m. to feed Cleo’s younger sister, the 4-year-old was missing.
“Cleo was on a mattress, our little one was in a cot right next to her, we had a split, and then we were on a blow-up mattress,” Smith told 9 News.
“(In the morning) I went to the other room, the zip was open and Cleo was gone … the tent was completely open, it was about 30 centimeters (11.8 inches) away from being open.”
Smith and Gliddon are from Carnarvon and are familiar with the McLeod area, according to 9 News. The family said that when they learned that Cleo was missing, they searched nearby places they used to visit as children.
When it became clear that she had disappeared, they called the police.
The search team focused first on the water, then switched to land, exploring the many beach shacks at the campsite. Nothing was found.
Bad weather hampered the search for several hours on Tuesday. On Wednesday, rescue personnel from the State Emergency Service (SES) scanned an area of 4 square kilometers (2.5 sq mi) where Cleo was last seen.
Drones were sent over rough seas from nearby reefs and SES employees searched the area on foot, vehicles and quad bikes.
At a news conference on Wednesday, WA Police Inspector John Munday told reporters that police would not stop searching until they were convinced Cleo was no longer in the search area.
“It’s disappointing and it’s depressing,” Munde said.
No suspects have come forward in the case, and Munde said police had no reason not to believe what Smith and Glidden told them.
“We have nothing to indicate that that account is anything other than accurate and true,” Munde said. He said that all the registered sex offenders in the area have been questioned.
Munde said that the police have not given exemption in any case and are solely focused on finding Cleo.
“We’re not taking anything off the table,” he said. “We are exhausting all opportunities and all possibilities.”