'Grave concern': Police confirm sinister new detail about Cleo Smith's tent

·4-min read

Authorities have revealed a concerning new detail in Cleo Smith's disappearance, admitting there's evidence that suggests the four-year-old wouldn't have been able to open the tent herself.

WA Police revealed on Wednesday that the family's tent zipper was found open at a height Cleo wouldn't have been able to reach.

The family had been camping at the remote Blowholes campsite at Macleod, north of Carnarvon in WA when they woke on Saturday morning to find Cleo missing.

Cleo has been missing since Saturday morning. Source: WA Police
Cleo has been missing since Saturday morning. Source: WA Police

"[The] positioning of that zipper of the flap is one of those circumstances that has caused us to have grave concerns for her safety," Inspector Jon Munday said on Wednesday.

"We are hopeful that Cleo is still alive and we're operating on the premise that she is still is alive, so we're going to keep searching until we find her."

Police shut down conspiracy theory that Cleo was never at campsite

No members of the public reported seeing Cleo at the campsite before her disappearance and police have no suspects at all in relation to her disappearance.

But Inspector Munday shut down the idea that Cleo was never at the site, saying based on "technological evidence" they are satisfied she was with her family on Friday night before she went missing.

"The account given to us by Cleo's parents, there is nothing to indicate to us that that account is anything but accurate and truthful," Inspector Munday said, adding they will continue searching for the little girl.

camp
Cleo was with her family at a campsite when she disappeared in the early hours of Saturday morning. Source: WA Police

"Our focus with the search, at this point in time, is to keep searching until we can put our hand on our heart and say that Cleo is not within a search area.

"We're just going to keep going until we have answers."

Homicide detectives are assisting local police and investigators have spoken to up to 20 registered sex offenders in the Carnarvon area.

Detectives are also re-examining nearby shacks along the coastline.

However, Inspector Munday admitted it is possible people could have left the area before roadblocks were put in place.

Authorities have revealed a concerning new detail about the tent Cleo was in before she went missing.  Source: WA Police
Authorities have revealed a concerning new detail about the tent Cleo was in before she went missing. Source: WA Police

"Potentially there are people out there who were at the campsite or in the vicinity that we don't know about," he said.

"We are hopeful that Cleo is still alive and we're operating on the premise that she is still is alive, so we're going to keep searching until we find her."

Police investigating new 'screeching tyre' claim

WA Police have confirmed on Wednesday they are looking into reports from other campers about a loud car and 'screeching' of tyres on the night she disappeared.

Cleo's mother Ellie Smith and her partner Jake Gliddon were sleeping on a blow-up mattress in a room next to Cleo and her baby sister Isla.

Cleo Smith's mother Ellie Smith and her partner Jake Gliddon, holding a photo of Cleo.
Cleo Smith's mother Ellie Smith and her partner Jake Gliddon spoke about her disappearance from a police truck at Blowholes campsite. Source: AAP

Ms Smith last saw her daughter at 1:30am when she asked for a drink.

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 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.

Detectives have also spoken to Cleo's biological father who lives in Mandurah, south of Perth. There is no suggestion he was involved in the girl's disappearance.

with AAP

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