'Cleo's gone': Terrifying moment mum found tent 'completely open'

·3-min read

The mother of missing four-year-old girl Cleo Smith has recalled the horrifying moment she woke to find the door of their tent wide open and her daughter missing.

The family had been camping at the remote Blowholes campsite at Macleod, north of Carnarvon in WA.

Mum Ellie Smith said she last saw Cleo at 1.30am on Saturday when she asked for a drink. After giving Cleo some water, she checked on her other daughter Isla, then went back to bed.

When the family woke up, Cleo wasn't there.

Ellie Smith and her partner Jake Gliddon
Ellie Smith and her partner Jake Gliddon woke up to find little Cleo missing. Source: ABC

Mum reveals last conversation with daughter 

Ms Smith revealed the last interaction she had with her daughter in an emotional interview with the ABC on Tuesday.

"I got her some water. She went to bed," she recalled.

"I checked on Isla, made sure Isla was ok. I got back in bed and that was it really, we went back to sleep, woke up to Isla wanting a bottle."

Ms Smith and her partner Jake Gliddon were sleeping on a blow-up mattress in a room next to the girls.

Tragically, when they woke up at 6am Cleo — along with her sleeping bag — was missing, with the door of the tent "completely open".

"As we passed the divider, I went into the other room and the zipper was open," the devastated mum said.

Cleo Smith, 4, is pictured.
Cleo Smith has been missing since the early hours of Saturday morning. Source: WA Police

"Cleo was gone and that was about it for Saturday morning until everything started."

Crews have spent days trying to find her. Rescue and search efforts on Tuesday were hampered by poor weather but they have since resumed.

The mum says she has "no idea" what happened to her daughter and there are a "million" possibilities that have run through her head.

"Everyone tells us they are searching every angle that we probably have thought of," she said.

"The worst part is, we can't do anything more. It's out of our hands so we feel hopeless and out of control.

"Everyone asks us what we need and what we need and all we need is our little girl home."

Insp Munday told Perth radio station 6PR police cannot rule out the possibility Cleo is alive.

"If she's left the area, that is probably our worst case scenario because that really paints a sinister picture with what's happened.

"It is a race against time. We're just trying to find answers."

SES crews pictured at Macleod, north of Carnarvon in the search for missing Cleo Smith.
SES crews at Macleod search for Cleo. Source: The Today Show

The campsite was heavily populated on the night Cleo disappeared, with detectives "tracking and tracing" the guests and continuing to comb through CCTV and dashcam footage provided by members of the public.

Police have also spoken to Cleo's biological father in Mandurah, south of Perth, as part of their investigations.

There is no suggestion he was involved in the girl's disappearance.

"It is just normal police practice that we speak to everybody involved in the family," Insp Munday said.

with AAP

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