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Cleo Smith latest: Police search family home for signs of stalker as pilot drops detail over hunt for missing girl

POLICE searching for missing Cleo Smith have revealed they are looking for "a body" as they believe she "was taken" from her tent as her parents slept.

The four-year-old vanished from her family's remote campsite in Western Australia on Saturday morning.

Today deputy police commissioner Col Blanch revealed that investigators are searching for the child's remains.

He said: "Cleo disappeared from her family's tent, despite an extensive land, sea and air search, we have not yet located her body."

The law enforcement chief said that if the little girl had left her tent by herself then she would have been found by now

"That leads us to believe she was taken," Mr Blanch added.

Read our Cleo Smith live blog below for the latest updates..

  • Joseph Gamp

    ‘Extensive land, air and sea search’

    More than 100 cops, soldiers, volunteers and local Aboriginal bush trackers are currently involved in an “extensive land, sea and air search”.

    Members of the homicide squad joined the search for the girl at the weekend.

    Police fear that Cleo could have been snatched and driven eight hours before police even reached the camp site on Saturday.

    They said the child “could be anywhere.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    Pilot first on scene says Cleo probably vanished before search started

    A pilot who was one of the first people to begin the search for missing Cleo Smith says the four-year-old was probably gone from the area long before police arrived on the scene.

    Justin Borg received a desperate call from Cleo’s parents on Saturday morning, pleading for him to help find a missing preschooler.

    Mr Borg’s team spent the whole day scouring the landscape, but saw nothing that shed any light on Cleo’s disappearance.

    He told the Western Australian: “We were just running out the block of possibilities asking ‘where do we look next? We were pretty sure she wasn’t in the area when we conducted our second search. When we go and search for somebody, if they are in the area you find them really quick. Especially if you are talking abnormal colours.”

    Mr Borg said the Pink jumpsuit that Cleo was wearing when she disappeared would have stood out starkly against the landscape.

    “We flew at a height where we were just glancing over the country side. And then when we found nothing on the broad area search, we started a more slow and thorough search,” he continued.

    “We made sure we looked under every rock, every tree, and every bush with the chopper.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    Mapped: Four key places Cleo Smith could be

    THIS chilling map shows four key places "Aussie Maddie" Cleo Smith could have been taken as cops probe 20 sex offenders in the area where she went missing.

    Cleo may have been driven eight hours away from the campsite where she was last seen, cops suggested as they piece together the four-year-old's whereabouts.

    The map shows young Cleo could have reached Tom Price – just eight hours north-east of the Blowholes camping ground in Western Australia where she was staying with her family before she vanished in the early hours of Saturday morning.

    Another suggestion is that Cleo was taken to the town of Kalbarri – some five hours away – and may have passed through the suburb of Meekatharra, which is 670km south-east.

  • Joseph Gamp

    ‘Please come home to me’

    Mum-of-two Ellie made another heartbreaking statement – seven days after her daughter vanished.

    She said: “I miss you. I love you. Please come home to me.”

    As the search moves nationwide, the family will stay at the campsite in the faint hope Cleo wanders back.

    Inspector Jon Munday said yesterday that a new piece of information suggests the child was kidnapped.

    He told reporters that the child was too short to reach the zipper to open the tent on her own.

    This rules out the theory that Cleo left the campsite on her own in the early hours of the morning.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Cleo’s disappearance gains national interest

    Cleo Smith’s disappearance has drawn national attention, with many Australians taking to social media to express their anguish for her family.

    Her mother, Ellie, has described waking at 6 am to find the tent unzipped and her oldest daughter missing.

    In an interview with local media Wednesday, she urged Australians to help “bring our little girl home”.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Investigators are 'looking for Cleo's remains'

    On Thursday deputy police commissioner Col Blanch revealed that investigators are searching for the child's remains.

    He said: "Cleo disappeared from her family's tent, despite an extensive land, sea and air search, we have not yet located her body."

    The law enforcement chief said that if the little girl had left her tent by herself then she would have been found by now.

    "That leads us to believe she was taken," Mr Blanch added.

    He later said police are keeping an open mind and would not comment further on whether it was likely the girl has been "buried in the area."

  • Joseph Gamp

    Cops admit they’re searching for a body

    POLICE searching for missing Cleo Smith have revealed they are looking for “a body.”

    The four-year-old vanished from her family’s remote campsite in Western Australia on Saturday morning.

    Cops say they believe she “was taken” from her tent as her parents slept.

    But today deputy police commissioner Col Blanch revealed that investigators are searching for the child’s remains.

    He said: “Cleo disappeared from her family’s tent, despite an extensive land, sea and air search, we have not yet located her body.”

    The law enforcement chief said that if the little girl had left her tent by herself then she would have been found by now

    “That leads us to believe she was taken,” Mr Blanch added.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Police refuse to speculate if Cleo ‘buried in the area’

    Deputy police commissioner Col Blanch said: “Cleo disappeared from her family’s tent, despite an extensive land, sea and air search, we have not yet located her body.”

    “The law enforcement chief said that if the little girl had left her tent by herself then she would have been found by now.”

    “That leads us to believe she was taken,” Blanch added.

    He later said police are keeping an open mind and would not comment further on whether it was likely the girl has been “buried in the area”.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Heartbreaking moment Cleo’s Smith’s best pal pleads for her to come home

    THIS is the heartbreaking moment Cleo Smith’s best friend pleaded for the “abducted toddler” to come home because “she needs to stay with her family”.

    Lenaya “Naya” Forbes posed beside a drawing she made for her pal who vanished from her family’s remote campsite in Western Australia last Saturday morning.

    “I still miss her,” little Naya told 7News. “And I reckon she got taken from the tent.

    “I still miss her cause she’s lost and I want her to come back.”

    Read the article in full here.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Top cop says Cleo Smith ‘may have KNOWN her abductor’

    MADELEINE McCann top cop Jim Gamble has said missing Cleo Smith likely would have known her abductor who may be someone who was following the family ahead of their trip.

    Mr Gamble – who was the senior child protection officer in the UK investigation into the Maddie case – explained the chance of the girl being taken away silently by a total stranger in the middle of the night was low.

    Mr Gamble told The Sun Online he fears this delay could make things difficult for cops as key evidence such as footprints or tire tracks may have been accidentally destroyed or lost during the initial search.

    And he explained the police will be being looking “backwards and forwards” to piece together what happened before the disappearance that may lead them to the potential abductor.

    He suggested that if Cleo has been taken – it is unlikely it was by somebody who she hadn’t met her before.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Police refuse to speculate if Cleo ‘buried in the area’

    Deputy police commissioner Col Blanch said: “Cleo disappeared from her family’s tent, despite an extensive land, sea and air search, we have not yet located her body.”

    “The law enforcement chief said that if the little girl had left her tent by herself then she would have been found by now.”

    “That leads us to believe she was taken,” Blanch added.

    He later said police are keeping an open mind and would not comment further on whether it was likely the girl has been “buried in the area”.

  • Joseph Gamp

    How long has Cleo been missing?

    Today marks the eigth day since Cleo’s family reported her missing from the family’s tent.

    Her mother Ellie Smith says she awoke last Saturday morning to find the tent entrance zipped open, and Cleo and her sleeping bag missing.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Cleo may have ‘known’ her abductor (continued…)

    The top cop also added the “pivotal point” of the case was the fact her sleeping bag was missing from the campsite.

    He explained you would expect the bag to be left in the tent if little Cleo had wandered off alone.

    “On a campsite you can hear a pin drop in the middle of the night,” Mr Gamble told The Sun Online.

    “If you drag out a child – even if they have their sleeping bag over their head – the child will begin to scream.

    “To get the child out of the tent without drawing any attention is a really difficult thing to do.”

    Read more here.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Top cop says Cleo Smith ‘may have KNOWN her abductor’

    MADELEINE McCann top cop Jim Gamble has said missing Cleo Smith likely would have known her abductor who may be someone who was following the family ahead of their trip.

    Mr Gamble – who was the senior child protection officer in the UK investigation into the Maddie case – explained the chance of the girl being taken away silently by a total stranger in the middle of the night was low.

    Mr Gamble told The Sun Online he fears this delay could make things difficult for cops as key evidence such as footprints or tire tracks may have been accidentally destroyed or lost during the initial search.

    And he explained the police will be being looking “backwards and forwards” to piece together what happened before the disappearance that may lead them to the potential abductor.

    He suggested that if Cleo has been taken – it is unlikely it was by somebody who she hadn’t met her before.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Cleo’s biological father was questioned

    Cleo’s biological father Daniel Staines has also been spoken to as part of standard police procedure but he is not a suspect.

    Daniel lives more than 600 miles south of where his daughter was last seen.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Cleo’s mum posts heartbreaking picture

    CLEO Smith’s distraught mum has posted a heartbreaking picture of her missing daughter begging her to “please come home.”

    The four-year-old disappeared from her family’s remote camp site in Western Australia on Saturday morning.

    Police now fear the little girl was snatched from her tent, admitting they are looking for “a body.”

    Her mum Ellie today posted a picture of the child holding an ice cream along with the caption: “My sweet girl. Come home to me.”

    She added: “If anyone sees anything at all please call the police.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    Top cop says Cleo Smith ‘may have KNOWN her abductor’

    MADELEINE McCann top cop Jim Gamble has said missing Cleo Smith likely would have known her abductor who may be someone who was following the family ahead of their trip.

    Mr Gamble – who was the senior child protection officer in the UK investigation into the Maddie case – explained the chance of the girl being taken away silently by a total stranger in the middle of the night was low.

    Mr Gamble told The Sun Online he fears this delay could make things difficult for cops as key evidence such as footprints or tire tracks may have been accidentally destroyed or lost during the initial search.

    And he explained the police will be being looking “backwards and forwards” to piece together what happened before the disappearance that may lead them to the potential abductor.

    He suggested that if Cleo has been taken – it is unlikely it was by somebody who she hadn’t met her before.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Police refuse to speculate if Cleo ‘buried in the area’

    Deputy police commissioner Col Blanch said: “Cleo disappeared from her family’s tent, despite an extensive land, sea and air search, we have not yet located her body.”

    “The law enforcement chief said that if the little girl had left her tent by herself then she would have been found by now.”

    “That leads us to believe she was taken,” Blanch added.

    He later said police are keeping an open mind and would not comment further on whether it was likely the girl has been “buried in the area”.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Missing sleeping bag

    Not only was there no sign of Cleo when her parents woke, but her red and black sleeping bag was also gone.

    Experts question whether she would have taken it with her if she had simply wandered off on her own.

    Police released a photo of a similar bag, along with Cleo’s distinctive pink pyjamas.

    They urged local residents to check their bins in case evidence had been dumped inside.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Cleo abducter ‘may have stalked family’ (continued…)

    Maddy McCann top cop Jim Gamble says a “pivotal point” of the case was the fact her sleeping bag was missing from the campsite.

    He explained you would expect the bag to be left in the tent if little Cleo had wandered off alone.

    “On a campsite you can hear a pin drop in the middle of the night,” Mr Gamble told The Sun Online.

    “If you drag out a child – even if they have their sleeping bag over their head – the child will begin to scream.

    “To get the child out of the tent without drawing any attention is a really difficult thing to do.”

    He explained: “If it is someone they know – and potentially trust – a child would be much more compliant.

    “If a child is shocked out of their sleep by movement by someone they don’t know they are much more likely to cry out – no question.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    Cleo abducter ‘may have stalked family for days’

    MADELEINE McCann top cop Jim Gamble has said missing Cleo Smith likely would have known her abductor who may be someone who was following the family ahead of their trip.

    Mr Gamble – who was the senior child protection officer in the UK investigation into the Maddie case – explained the chance of the girl being taken away silently by a total stranger in the middle of the night was low.

    The police were called around three hours after she was found to be missing as the family had hoped the girl was just hiding nearby – searching the area with other campers.

    Mr Gamble told The Sun Online he fears this delay could make things difficult for cops as key evidence such as footprints or tire tracks may have been accidentally destroyed or lost during the initial search.

    And he explained the police will be being looking “backwards and forwards” to piece together what happened before the disappearance that may lead them to the potential abductor.

    He suggested that if Cleo has been taken – it is unlikely it was by somebody who she hadn’t met her before.

  • Joseph Gamp

    ‘A million reasons you need to come forward’

    Australian authorities on Thursday offered Aus$1 million (US$750,000) for information leading to the discovery of a missing four-year-old girl feared abducted from a remote campsite last weekend.

    Cleo Smith disappeared from her family’s tent in Western Australia during the early hours of Saturday, sparking an extensive air, sea and ground search.

    But after six days of fruitlessly combing in the area surrounding the Blowholes campsite — a coastal tourist spot about 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) north of Perth — police said they were “urgently seeking” public assistance.

    “Someone in our community knows what happened to Cleo. Someone has the knowledge that can help,” Western Australia police deputy commissioner Col Blanch said.

    “Now there’s a million reasons why you need to come forward.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    WA Police ‘confident of finding Cleo alive’

    Detective Superintendent Rod Wilde said the investigation now “leads us to believe that she was taken from the tent”.

    “We are hopeful that we will find Cleo alive.

    “But we hold great fears for her safety,” he added during a press conference.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Cleo’s biological father was questioned

    Cleo’s biological father Daniel Staines has also been spoken to as part of standard police procedure but he is not a suspect.

    Daniel lives more than 600 miles south of where his daughter was last seen.

  • Joseph Gamp

    WA Premier says disappearance is ‘heartbreaking’

    Western Australia premier Mark McGowan said in a Facebook post: “It’s absolutely heartbreaking.”

    “We are all praying for a positive outcome,” he added

    Source: Read Full Article