The disappearance of a Cleo Smith from a WA campsite is “extremely concerning” and police say a search has yet to turn up any answers.
The four-year-old girl was last seen at about 1.30am on Saturday near the Blowholes Campground at Macleod, about 50km north of Carnarvon.
Watch the video above for more on the search efforts
WA Police, various SES crews and Carnarvon locals on Sunday continued the desperate search for a second day.
A full land search also took place on Saturday before police scaled back efforts overnight until it was safe to resume on Sunday.
On Sunday afternoon, WA police Inspector Jon Munday said police are “going as hard as we can” in the race to find Cleo.
He didn’t rule out the possibility Cleo was taken.
“That’s the reason by going hard as early as we possibly can and we are throwing as many different things at this as we possibly can,” he said.
“We’ve gathered a lot of information and a lot of intelligence from things like dashcams, CCTV cameras around the place, CCTV at roadhouses … we are trying to paint a picture of who was around here during the window of opportunity between the early hours of Saturday morning and 6am … as to who was around and what leads that can give us.”
Munday said he was “fairly confident” police were able to get the identities of all the people who were in the campsite at the time she disappeared, as well as gathering intelligence from dashcams and CCTV cameras in the vicinity to “paint a picture of who was around here”.
Up to 60 caravans and tents are estimated to have been set up at the popular campsite during the recent school holidays.
According the The West Australian, police were on Sunday searching cars and caravans inside the campsite where little Cleo went missing.
“We are greatly concerned for the safety of Cleo and we aren’t leaving anything to chance or ruling anything out,” Munday said early on Sunday afternoon.
“We are going as hard as we can for as long as we can.”
Munday said detectives from Perth and Geraldton had arrived at the search area and despite the harsh environment, the weather was so far “conducive to someone surviving exposure to the elements”, but there were still no answers or major breakthroughs in the search.
He added that it had been “reported that there is a sleeping bag missing” but was “not at liberty at this point to divulge what else we believe might be missing”.
“At this point in time, we’ve been really heartened about the amount of information that coming in from the public. There’s been information put up at various roadhouses and towns sort of probably within a 1000km radius of here, we are getting information back from that which is fantastic,” Munday said.
“But no, unfortunately we haven’t had any major breakthroughs … we are throwing everything we can at this to try and get a breakthrough, but unfortunately no at this point in time, we don’t have any answers as to where Cleo is.”
Some land resources continued the search overnight before the rescue mission resumed at first light on Sunday with the aid of marine and air assets.
Land, air and sea crews are continuing to lead the search up and down the coastline and around the campgrounds where Cleo’s family had been staying.
Cleo was last seen around 1.30am on Saturday inside her family’s tent.
When the family woke around 6am on Saturday, the four-year-old had vanished.
She was last seen wearing a pink and purple one-piece pyjama suit.
Cleo’s mother, Ellie Smith, took to Facebook on Saturday to ask for help, adding that it was “very, very unusual for Cleo” to go missing”.
Carnarvon community bands together
State Emergency Service crews from Carnarvon, Shark Bay, Kalbarri and Geraldton are searching the harsh area near the Blowholes campsite.
Locals from the tight-knit Carnarvon community and other campers have also joined the search.
“Carnarvon SES would like to acknowledge the overwhelming response from the community with offers of support and assistance,” Carnarvon SES shared in an update on Facebook on Sunday.
“All requirements for the teams are covered as they continue to work today.
“Rest assured we will reach out to the community when and as the need arises
Shopfronts and buildings in Carnarvon were littered with posters asking anyone with information to contact police.
Tens of thousands have taken to Ellie’s original Facebook post to show their support for the well-known Carnarvon Shire family.
Thousands shared Facebook post to raise awareness while others joined the search along the coast.
Ellie took to Facebook late on Saturday night to provide an update and a desperate plea.
“It’s been over 24 hours since I last seen the sparkle in my little girls eyes!” Ellie said.
“Please help me find her! If you hear or see anything at all please call the police!“
Earlier on Saturday, WA Police requested every newsroom in the state to urgently broadcast details of the search.
At this stage, they aren’t ruling anything out – including the terrifying possibility Cleo was taken.
Carnarvon Shire president Eddie Smith told The West Australian the community was rocked by what was happening to the well-known local family.
“Everybody is hoping for the best,” he said.
“The community is deeply concerned. Everyone is trying to jump onboard and do what they can to help and we are all praying for a positive outcome.
“It is a terrible feeling but I just implore everyone to remain positive and keep positive and keep thinking like that.
“I think we are looking at about 15C or 16C at night at the moment so it’s not too bad.”
Cleo’s disappearance comes shortly after the disappearance of a young boy – who is yet to be found – at Fernhook Falls in Western Australia’s Great Southern region.
The Blowholes Campground – also known as Point Quobba – is known for its views of the Blowholes.
Jets of water are shot into the air as water from ocean swells are shot up and out of narrow holes in the rocks.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police immediately on 131 444.
– with AAP
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