HomeCleo Smith updates: Mum Ellie Smith and Jake Gliddon targeted by trolls

Cleo Smith updates: Mum Ellie Smith and Jake Gliddon targeted by trolls

Just days after little Cleo Smith went missing, her mum and stepdad had to deal with another horrific reality.

Cleo Smith’s parents have become the target of sick online trolls, as the desperate search for the missing four-year-old continues into its 14th day.

Western Australia Police have ruled out mum Ellie Smith and stepdad Jake Gliddon as suspects in the little girl’s disappearance, saying they have been “nothing but helpful”.

But this hasn’t stopped the couple being subject to vile accusations online.

The majority of comments left on Ms Smith’s Facebook page are messages of hope and support.

But Mr Gliddon’s page 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 five days 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.”

He told the publication that the people “sitting behind their keyboards” should just leave the family alone, adding there was “no right way to act when your child is stolen from you”.

Police clear parents as suspects in search

Police searched Ms Smith and Mr Gliddon’s house for a third time on Wednesday, 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.”

The couple have also vehemently denied having any involvement in the four-year-old’s disappearance.

“No way – we love our daughter and want her home,” Ms Smith told Seven’s Flashpoint program.

“There is no way that either myself or Jake could have done anything to hurt our daughter.

“She’s been taken from our family, from somewhere she’s meant to feel safe.”

Cleo was last seen in the early hours of Saturday, October 16 where her family was camping at the Blowholes beachside campground in Western Australia’s Gascoyne region.

Ms Smith said Cleo 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.

A major focus of the police investigation 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 the day Cleo vanished.

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

More than 200 possible sightings of Cleo

More than 200 possible sightings of Cleo Smith have been reported to West Australian Police since she vanished almost two weeks ago but all proved “unfruitful”, the lead investigator on the case has revealed.

“I want to thank the public for calling that information in and that’s been national as well – so there’s been some of those in other states,” Detective Superintendent Rod Wilde told reporters on Thursday.

“Other policing jurisdictions have helped us and been there, and followed those leads through for us. We’re very grateful for that.”

The Australian Federal Police have now joined the search for Cleo.

Earlier this week, the Prime Minister revealed the AFP were using “very advanced capabilities” that were “leading edge” and it has since been reported by 7 News that it involves a reconnaissance spy plane.

WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson was asked about it during a press conference on Thursday, with a reporter querying the use of a plane almost two weeks after Cleo vanished.

“Obviously it’s a big police operation and in any such operation of this scale we reach out to police forces, not only across Australia, but indeed across the world,” Mr Dawson said.

“The AFP will, like others, assist us with whatever they can. We will accept any opportunity to expand any capability.”

Anyone with information about Cleo’s disappearance is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

– with NCA NewsWire


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