HomeCleo Smith abduction: Campers speak about ‘terrifying’ disappearance

Cleo Smith abduction: Campers speak about ‘terrifying’ disappearance



Cleo Smith’s mum has spoken of her heartbreak for her missing daughter, as the search for the four-year-old enters its third week.

The mum of missing four-year-old Cleo Smith has shared another heartbreaking plea for information on her daughter’s whereabouts.

The search for Cleo has now entered its 16th day, with Ellie Smith putting out another call on social media for help bringing her daughter home safely.

“Every day is getting harder without my shining bright light,” Ms Smith wrote on Instagram.

“Today she’s missed Halloween with her family -her cousins, aunties uncles nannas and pop but most of all her parents and baby sister.

“She needs us and we need her. She is loved, she is happy, she loves dressing up whether it be a princess or a doctor. I just want her to come home.”

Ms Smith urged anyone who has seen Cleo or knew of anyone acting suspiciously to please call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

“I need my baby girl home, please I beg you!” she said.

It comes as a family who camped just metres away from where the four-year-old disappeared provided fresh insight into how the horrific situation unfolded.

Queensland couple Rob and Kira Prince were camping with their five children at Western Australia’s Quobba Blowholes just 100m away from where Cleo was believed to be abducted on October 16.

The couple have been blogging their trip around Australia on their Our Aussie Adventure social media pages.

In an Instagram post, the couple shared the “terrifying” experience of hearing about Cleo’s disappearance, especially as they have four-year-old children of their own.

“This camp was beautiful with both rugged cliff faces with powerful waves and lagoon-like beaches and the blowholes were absolutely incredible,” the post read.

“Unfortunately our stay here was scarred by the disappearance of Cleo Smith from a tent less than 100m from our site.

“With 4 year olds of our own this was truly terrifying and heartbreaking. It is a day we will never forget – for all the wrong reasons.”

They said they moved on from the area once the campsite closed, but said “emotionally we are very much still there longing for a positive outcome for Cleo and her family”.

The family told The West Australian that they had spoken with the police a number of times regarding Cleo’s disappearance.

The investigation into the suspected abduction has now entered its third week, with the four-year-old last seen in the early hours of Saturday morning on October 16.

Ms Smith, said her daughter woke up at 1.30am asking for water before going back to bed.

Her mum woke up at about 6am to find the tent unzipped and Cleo missing. The police were called just before 6.30am.

Police quickly ruled out the possibility the four-year-old could have wandered out of the tent on her own, saying the zipper on the tent was up so high there was no way she could have opened it by herself.

A major focus of the police investigation now revolves around a report from two people who said they saw a car turn right off Blowholes Rd onto North West Coastal Highway, heading towards Carnarvon, between 3am and 3.30am on the day Cleo vanished.

A $1 million reward has been offered for information that leads to the girl being found.

Police have been doorknocking on homes North Plantations, about 5km out of Carnarvon, Nine News reports.

The reasons for the visits have not been revealed but authorities have been employing a number of different tactics to help with their search.

Officials conducted more drone searches at the Blowholes campsite where Cleo was last seen.

Top cop blasts ‘disgusting’ Cleo theories

On Saturday, the police officer leading the investigation into the four-year-old’s disappearance blasted the “disgusting” trolls who have been hounding the missing child’s parents since her disappearance.

Western Australia Police previously announced that mum Ellie Smith and stepdad Jake Gliddon had been ruled out as suspects in the investigation, yet the couple have still been the subject of horrific accusations and theories online.

Homicide Detective Superintendent Rod Wilde condemned the online attacks, confirming once again that Ms Smith and Mr Gliddon were not suspects.

“They have been copping some very disgusting behaviour online and comments and everything else like that,” Perth Now reported him saying.

“We want to make it clear – they are not suspects in this investigation. They have been helping us.”

Supt Wilde also revealed Cleo’s biological father had been ruled out as a suspect, saying he was “nowhere near the area” when she went missing.

While the majority of comments left on Ms Smith’s Facebook page have been messages of hope and support, it is a different story for Mr Gliddon’s page, which has become a hotbed for trolls to voice their vile accusations against the couple.

Despite other users reporting the comments, many of them have remained on the page, with some now more than a week old.

One commenter said the couple should be subject to a polygraph test to “clear your names”, while others accused them of withholding information from the police.

Another person accused the couple of not looking sad enough during media appearances.

Some of the more sickening comments suggest Mr Gliddon and Ms Smith may have intentionally harmed Cleo.

A family friend, who did not wish to be named, branded the comments an “utter disgrace”.

“Most of the Facebook comments are being made by parents themselves and I think that’s disgusting,” he told Perth Now.

“Just imagine if it happened to them and they had to read all these horrible comments during undoubtedly the hardest time of their lives.

“The police have cleared Jake and Ellie from being suspects. I have known them for years and I can tell you they are the best people I know and my heart aches for them.”

It comes after police searched Ms Smith and Mr Gliddon’s house for a third time last week, saying it was “standard practice” as part of eliminating everyone who was at the Blowholes Campground in Macleod on October 16 as a suspect.

“We must do a thorough investigation,” Acting WA Police Commissioner Col Blanch told 6PR radio.

“The parents have been nothing but helpful. We’ve worked very closely with them; they’ve let us into their home, they’ve let us into their cars, their phones – everything.

“Our job is to eliminate everyone that was at that campsite, and that is a systematic and thorough approach in doing so in any investigation. That really is the focus of the investigation at the moment.”




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