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‘Everybody at the campsite’ is a person of interest in Cleo Smith investigation, police confirm 

WA Police confirmed that everyone who was at the campsite where four-year-old Cleo Smith disappeared is a potential person of interest.

‘Our job is to eliminate everyone that has a trace at the campsite during that time,’ Deputy Police Commissioner Col Blanch said.

‘There have been hundreds of Crime Stoppers calls, primarily about suspicious persons in the area, and that’s what we’re responding to.

Commissioner Blanch was asked whether sex offenders identified as living in the area were the subject of investigation. 

‘Sex offenders would certainly be on the list of persons of interest.’ 

‘The process of any investigation is the process of elimination. We have to eliminate the fact of where that person was at the time of the offence, 

‘If we can prove they went there, they are off the list.’   

The press conference got off to an embarrassing start when Deputy Commissioner Blanch referred to the missing girl as ‘Chloe’ instead of Cleo.

The little girl’s disappearance is now being treated as a murder as police made the grim announcement they are looking for her body.  

As West Australian Premier Mark McGowan offered a $1million reward for any information relating to the discovery of the missing four-year-old girl, detectives confirmed they believe Cleo ‘has been taken’. 

‘Cleo disappeared from her family’s tent, despite an extensive search, we have not yet located her body,’ deputy police commissioner Blanch said. 

Australian Police Commissioner Paul Papalia said detectives were ‘hopeful’ they’d find Cleo alive, but admitted ‘we hold grave fears for her safety’.  

Authorities vowed to work ‘around the clock’ to find Cleo, with more than 100 police ‘and a whole nation’ looking for her.  

A $1 million reward has been offered for any information that brings Cleo home.  

Taskforce RODIA has been established to help piece together the events leading to and immediately after Cleo’s disappearance.  

The four-year-old Carnarvon girl has been missing for six days after she disappeared from a tent she shared with her mum, stepdad and baby sister on Saturday.

She was last seen when she woke her mum Ellie Smith up about 1.30am to ask for a sip of water. When Ms Smith got up again about 6am to feed Cleo’s sister Isla, she realised Cleo and her sleeping bag were gone. 

Friends of Cleo’s family said the smart four-year-old (pictured) ‘wouldn’t just wander’ away from the tent

The search for Cleo has entered a sixth day with crews continuing to scour the area

The search for Cleo has entered a sixth day with crews continuing to scour the area

The family had only arrived at the campsite about 6.30pm on Friday for a weekend getaway. 

Ms Smith has been visiting the Blowholes campsite since she was a little girl and Cleo was also familiar with the area. 

Mr McGowan previously said he, like everyone, was hoping for a happy outcome and that little Cleo would be reunited with her family sooner rather than later. 

‘To every officer and volunteer involved in search can I say thank you for your efforts on behalf of the Smith family,’ he said. 

‘To Cleo’s family and on behalf of West Australians, we are thinking of you at this difficult time.’ 

The four-year-old Carnarvon local has been missing for six days after she disappeared from a tent she shared with her mum, stepdad and baby sister in the dead of night on Saturday

The four-year-old Carnarvon local has been missing for six days after she disappeared from a tent she shared with her mum, stepdad and baby sister in the dead of night on Saturday 

Hopes are fast fading that Cleo will be found near the campsite as it becomes increasingly likely she was abducted

Hopes are fast fading that Cleo will be found near the campsite as it becomes increasingly likely she was abducted 

But hopes are fast fading that Cleo will be found near the campsite as it becomes increasingly likely she was abducted. 

There are concerns she ‘could be anywhere’ and could have travelled eight hours before police even arrived at the scene to assist with the search on Saturday morning. 

Search crews have vowed to continue scouring the campsite until they’re absolutely certain she’s no longer there.

‘Whilst time is not on our side… there have been instances in the past where even small children lost in remote areas still being found safe and well,’ acting Deputy Police Commissioner Darryl Gaunt said.

‘There’s been some rain that gives us hope that there’s water on the ground, those type of things which, you know, we take all of these things on as a positive, and we keep searching with every bit of energy that we have.’  

Police say they do not yet have any suspects in relation to Cleo’s disappearance.  

Little Cleo Smith's mother is holding out hope that the four-year-old will 'come home' to her

Little Cleo Smith’s mother is holding out hope that the four-year-old will ‘come home’ to her

Ms Smith made a harrowing statement about 6.20am on Thursday morning – exactly six days after she discovered her eldest daughter was missing.

‘I miss you. I love you. Please come home to me,’ the mother-of-two said.

Early on Thursday morning, she spoke publicly to share the missing child poster that was created by strangers and distributed widely across the nation.

The poster illustrates the red and grey sleeping bag that disappeared with Cleo along with a number to call police. 

She also shared a fresh picture of Cleo enjoying a Cornetto ice-cream in a leopard print jumpsuit. Her pink scooter was visible in the background.

‘My sweet girl, come home to me,’ Ms Smith captioned the photo. 

Cleo’s family have told detectives they will remain at the campsite, hopeful the little girl will wander back in.

Ellie Smith made a harrowing statement about 6am on Thursday morning - exactly six days after she discovered her eldest daughter was missing

Ellie Smith made a harrowing statement about 6am on Thursday morning – exactly six days after she discovered her eldest daughter was missing

All you need to know about Cleo’s disappearance  

Friday 6.30pm: Cleo and her family arrive at the campsite as the sun begins to set. They quickly set up their tent and get settled in, feeding both of the girls.

Friday 8pm: Cleo went to bed while her younger sister and parents stayed up for a little while longer.

Saturday 1.30am: Cleo woke up asking for a drink of water. Ellie tended to her and checked on Isla, who was in a crib right next to Cleo’s mattress in one room in the tent.

Saturday 6am: Ellie woke up to Isla wanting a bottle. She passed the divider that separated the two rooms in the tent and immediately noticed the zipper was almost entirely open. Cleo was gone.

Saturday ‘mid-morning’: Police and emergency services arrive to assist with the search, starting with local Carnarvon officers. 

Sunday: Cleo’s mum issues a desperate plea on Facebook to find her daughter. 

Sunday/Monday: Homicide detectives, bush trackers and more volunteers are brought in to assist with the search.

Monday: Police confirm Cleo’s grey and red sleeping bag also disappeared. They are yet to comment on whether there were marks that indicate it was dragged from the tent.

Police reveal they are not ruling out any possibilities relating to Cleo’s disappearance. 

Tuesday morning: Search is suspended due to wild weather. 

Daily Mail Australia confirms the ‘interaction’ Cleo had with her mother was ‘not sinister’ and simply the four-year-old asking for a sip of water. 

Tuesday midday: Search continues again as storm passes.

Tuesday 1.30pm: Cleo’s mum and stepdad, Jake, speak to the media for the first time since she disappeared, revealing key pieces of evidence, including:

– The tent they were staying in was left almost entirely open. Cleo and Isla were in the room nearest to the entrance, which was unzipped when Ellie woke up at 6am. Isla remained in her crib unharmed, but Cleo was gone

– Cleo is ‘not the sort of child to wander off’ and would have woken her parents if she needed anything, like when she woke hours earlier to ask for a sip of water

Wednesday: Police confirm reports a car was heard ‘screeching off’ from the campsite at about 3am. 

Assistant Commissioner Darryl Gaunt revealed there are ‘between 10 and 20’ known sex offenders in the Carnarvon area, but none are suspects into Cleo’s disappearance following inquiries. 

‘We don’t have any concerns about that,’ he said on 6PR Mornings.

‘I know part of the investigative strategies have included reaching and making inquiries into their whereabouts and movements, and this point in time we’re very comfortable where we sit with those inquiries.’  

Investigators confirm Cleo would be too short to open the tent zip by herself, stoking fears she was abducted 

Thursday 12.30pm local time (3.30pm AEST): WA Premier Mark McGowan says he has an ‘important announcement’ about investigation into Cleo’s disappearance 

 

Ms Smith appeared emotional during a media interview on Tuesday while Cleo’s stepdad Jake Gliddon sat silently beside her.

‘In the cases similar to this that I’ve worked on I’ve seen much more emotion from both parents. I think she’s working hard to keep it together,’ body language expert Traci Brown told Daily Mail Australia.

‘I heard her voice waiver a bit and that’s the only way I could tell real sadness is there. I think his stress response is to shut down so that’s what we’re seeing.’ 

She added the couple appeared to be ‘wired differently’ in terms of emotional responses, pointing out Mr Gliddon gave off a ‘heavy energy’ despite appearing stiff and less reactive. 

‘My guess is he’s the strong silent type,’ Ms Brown said.   

Both had their arms crossed, which was a sign the pair were facing ‘stress triggers’ as the pair exhibited ‘self-comforting behaviour’ during the interview.   

Body language experts have weighed in on the interview analysing the gestures, tone of voice and facial expressions of the couple

Body language experts have weighed in on the interview analysing the gestures, tone of voice and facial expressions of the couple 

Ms Smith has been left distraught since her four-year-old daughter Cleo (pictured) vanished from a campsite in Western Australia

Ms Smith has been left distraught since her four-year-old daughter Cleo (pictured) vanished from a campsite in Western Australia

Body language expert David Stephens from Critical Insights added people often cross their arms as a way to ‘self comfort’ in stressful situations.

‘The question we always need to ask of course, is why are they seeking comfort – what is it that has them worried?,’ he explained.

He added the gesture, tone of voice and facial expressions seen during the interview indicated truth-telling while mirroring the couple’s sadness and distress. 

Ms Smith’s voice faltered as she relayed the moment she unzipped the tent to discover her four-year-old was missing. 

‘Her gestures and illustrators, of which there are several, broadly match what she is saying, which is a good indication that she is being truthful,’ he said.  

The couple (pictured with their family) first appealed for help locating missing Cleo via social media on Sunday

The couple (pictured with their family) first appealed for help locating missing Cleo via social media on Sunday 

‘The pitch of her voice, her tone and facial expressions generally match what she is saying verbally, which indicates distress and sadness.’

While Ms Smith fought back tears, Mr Gliddon sat quietly by her side.

His twitching mouth and the licking of his lips was a sign he was preparing to talk but hesitated during the moment, Ms Brown pointed out.  

‘His hesitancy to speak comes down to the fact he is not Cleo’s biological father,’ she said. ‘He’s unsure of how to respond to the situation.’

Mr Stephens agreed noting that while Mr Gliddon showed genuine sadness Ms Smith was clearly the speaker of the couple.

‘He wants to say something but is not given the chance or is simply unable to verbalise it,’ he said. 

Cleo's stepdad Jake Gliddon was frantic when he discovered Cleo was gone, according to a camper on the scene who assisted with the search

Cleo’s stepdad Jake Gliddon was frantic when he discovered Cleo was gone, according to a camper on the scene who assisted with the search

‘The media obviously like to focus on the mother, so you don’t necessarily get a lot of the partner shots especially when it’s not the biological father in this case.’ 

Mr Gliddon was frantic when he realised Cleo was missing, according to a camper on the scene who assisted with the search.

He started dating Ms Smith two-and-a-half years ago, when Cleo was barely one. It’s understood he has raised Cleo as his own ever since.

‘You are incredible and the best dad Cleo could ask for,’ Ms Smith said in a tribute post to her partner last Father’s Day.

‘Thank you for stepping up and being her Daddy. We love you… our favourite man.’ 

A close friend of the couple said Mr Gliddon ‘absolutely adores Cleo [and] took her on as his own not long after she was born’.

‘He may be a stepfather but those kids mean the world to him… He’s a great dad.’   

Meanwhile, police have received information from people 'from around the world' adding police are treating the little girl's disappearance as a 'search and rescue mission'

Meanwhile, police have received information from people ‘from around the world’ adding police are treating the little girl’s disappearance as a ‘search and rescue mission’

Worrying map shows how far Cleo Smith may have gone before the desperate search even began – as new clue suggests she was snatched 

Cleo Smith could have been driven eight hours away from the campsite she was last seen at in the time between when she went missing and before police were called – as detectives investigate whether the four-year-old was abducted.

A map showing the possible roads she may have travelled on has suggested she could have reached as far as Tom Price just over eight hours north-east of the Blowholes camping ground near Carnarvon in WA where she vanished from.

Cleo may also have been driven south with the town of Kalbarri, five hours away, also a possible area she may have passed through, as is the suburb of Meekatharra, 670km south-east.

The Minilya Roadhouse is around 165km north of the campsite and is on the only northbound road away from Blowholes and records every vehicle that passes through.

It’s understood police are investigating the CCTV taken from the roadhouse. 

A map showing the possible roads Cleo Smith travelled in the time between when she went missing and police were called suggests the four-year-old could have been taken eight hours away

A map showing the possible roads Cleo Smith travelled in the time between when she went missing and police were called suggests the four-year-old could have been taken eight hours away

The missing four-year-old was last seen in the early hours of Saturday morning in a tent shared with her parents

The four-year-old girl, wearing pink pyjamas, was last seen by her parents at about 1.30am on Saturday in the family’s tent at the camping grounds.

By the time her mother Ellie Smith and step father Jake Gliddon woke up at about 6:30am, she was nowhere to be found – with the tent zip leaving the entrance open. 

It was at least another three hours before police were called with officers arriving ‘mid-morning Saturday’.

WA Police Inspector Jon Munday said little Cleo was too short to reach the zipper of the tent entrance, which was found hanging open by her mother at 6.30am.

He said the height of the zip opening on the tent was a major piece of evidence that could point to the possibility Cleo has been deliberately taken from the tent while her parents slept. 

‘The positioning of that zipper for the flap is one of the circumstances which has caused us to have grave concerns for Cleo’s safety,’ he said. 

Cleo had been inside the tent with her mother and stepdad but was gone in the morning with the zipper almost completely open

Cleo had been inside the tent with her mother and stepdad but was gone in the morning with the zipper almost completely open

‘There are circumstances around her disappearance that make it very concerning … like the fact that the zipper was allegedly up so high (and) the sleeping bag is missing.’

The family tent had several entry points that could be unzipped, with the one found open being at the front-facing area of the tent where the little girl had been sleeping. 

Campers have claimed they heard the sound of a car speeding off around 3am, with police revealing up to 20 sex offenders live in the Carnarvon area which is near the campsite where Cleo was last seen.

Investigators have disclosed that while there are currently no concrete suspects for Cleo’s disappearance, there are ‘groups they are interested in’.   

As each hour passes the situation grows more and more concerning for Cleo. 

But search crews have not given up hope of finding the little girl. 

WA Police Inspector Jon Munday said search crews would cast the net wider on Thursday. 

‘We will be here until we are satisfied that Cleo is not in this area, we have searched thoroughly all the high probability areas… we are now extended into the further reaches of the places where Cleo could have possibly walked herself,’ he told The West. 

Her shell-shocked parents fronted the media for the first time on Tuesday fighting back tears as they made a public appeal for information.

When Ellie Smith first realised her ‘delicate and funny’ daughter was missing from their family tent before the sun had even risen, she made a beeline for her old favourite spots to play. 

‘[Cleo] would never leave us. She would never leave that tent alone… She’s lazy when it comes to walking,’ Ms Smith said on Tuesday.

Top cop in Madeleine McCann case reveals the ‘real complication’ in Cleo Smith’s disappearance

A top detective who investigated the abduction of British toddler Madeleine McCann has weighed in on the eerily similar disappearance of Cleo Smith.

While there are ‘grave fears’ she was snatched, investigators are not ruling out the possibility she wandered off alone, with a massive land, sea and air search across the area entering its sixth day on Thursday as homicide detectives and missing persons specialists continue to scour the scene.

But UK cop Dr Graham Hill, who flew to Portugal to help in the desperate hunt for three-year-old Madeleine back in 2007, said there is one ‘real complication’ which suggests Cleo did not just wander off – the fact that her red and grey adult-sized sleeping bag is also missing. 

‘I would say it’s a remote chance that she’s got up, wandered off and taken her sleeping bag with her. I think that’s highly unlikely because there’d be some disturbance. You’d see where she dragged the sleeping bag and how far is a four- year-old child going to get in the dark?’ he told the West Australian.

The search for Cleo Smith (pictured) is now in its sixth day, with police not ruling out any scenarios - but also not identifying any potential suspects

The search for Cleo Smith (pictured) is now in its sixth day, with police not ruling out any scenarios – but also not identifying any potential suspects 

The disturbing worst-case scenario is backed up by a worrying new development revealed by police on Wednesday night.

WA Police Inspector Jon Munday said little Cleo was too short to reach the zipper of the tent entrance, which was found hanging open by her mother at 6.30am.

He said the height of the zip opening on the tent was a major piece of evidence that could point to the possibility Cleo has been deliberately taken from the tent while her parents slept. 

‘The positioning of that zipper for the flap is one of the circumstances which has caused us to have grave concerns for Cleo’s safety,’ he said. 

‘There are circumstances around her disappearance that make it very concerning … like the fact that the zipper was allegedly up so high (and) the sleeping bag is missing.’

Madeleine McCann (pictured) went missing in Portugal during a family holiday in 2007, with a child abduction expert who flew to Praia da Luz to help saying Cleo's disappearance had 'real complications' because of her missing sleeping bag

Madeleine McCann (pictured) went missing in Portugal during a family holiday in 2007, with a child abduction expert who flew to Praia da Luz to help saying Cleo’s disappearance had ‘real complications’ because of her missing sleeping bag 

Dr Hill – then a Surrey detective superintendent seconded to the UK’s new Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre – lent expert help to the hunt for Madeleine back in 2007.

An expert in the abduction and murder of children by sexual predators, he told her father Gerry that if Madeleine had been abducted – she would likely be dead.

In the majority of cases where a child is taken by a stranger, they are usually killed within three to six hours, with Dr Hill admitting ‘the statistics don’t lie’. 

Other campers claim they heard the sound of a car speeding off around 3am, with police revealing up to 20 sex offenders live near the campsite where Cleo was last seen five days ago.

Investigators have disclosed that while there are currently no concrete suspects for Cleo’s disappearance, there are ‘groups they are interested in’. 

Dr Hill said it’s vital for investigators to know who was near the campsite that evening – as a potential abductor would have noticed Cleo and decided to pounce.

‘When people abduct children, they have to see them in the first place. They have to know that they exist.  So if that little girl turned up at the campsite late last Friday. Was she running around whilst they put the tent up?’ he said.

‘Offenders only abduct children they know exist. They don’t wander around people’s tents at night in the hope they’re going to bump into a little child.’

The adult-sized sleeping bag Cleo was sleeping in has also disappeared, police confirmed

The adult-sized sleeping bag Cleo was sleeping in has also disappeared, police confirmed

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk