Major blow in Cleo Smith search as $87k GoFundMe shut down

·3-min read

There is a chance Cleo Smith's potential abductor could have travelled without being captured on a security camera.

Since the four-year-old's disappearance, investigators have combed through CCTV footage, trying to piece together how she disappeared from the Blowholes campsite on the coast of Macleod, about 950km north of Perth in Western Australia.

Police believe there is a chance Cleo was abducted from the Blowholes campsite on October 16.

Now, The West Australian has reported there is a chance her potential abductor travelled from the camping ground to Carnarvon, about 75km south of the campsite, without being seen on a single camera.

£Investigators have established several routes between the campsite and Carnarvon without any cameras, allowing for someone to travel undetected.

Photos of Cleo Smith who has been missing for more than two weeks in Western Australia.
Cleo Smith was last seen on October 16 at the Blowholes campsite, north of Carnarvon. Source: AAP

Police have appealed for a driver who was last seen leaving the campsite some two hours after Cleo was last seen by her family to come forward.

However, the driver has not come forward to police, nor have there been any suspects named.

Everyone at the camping ground on October 16, including campers and volunteers in the search, had their personal items forensically tested, according to The West Australian.

DNA tests were also conducted after those who were there on the night of the supposed abduction were interviewed by detectives.

The road out of the Blowholes campsite where Cleo Smith went missing.
It may have been possible for Cleo Smith's potential abductor to evade security cameras while driving away from the campground. Source: Google Maps, file

WA Police told The West Australian this was “standard forensic procedure”.

Last week, police confirmed there had been more than 200 potential sightings of Cleo, however none of them proved to be fruitful.

It was reported on Monday WA Police searched through more than 50 cubic metres of rubbish “from roadside bins as far north as Minilya to as far south as Geraldton”.

The rubbish was transported to Perth, where forensics officers and recruits spent two days sifting through it in an effort to assist the investigation.

WA Police officers search through rubbish in the search for missing Cleo Smith.
Police searched through 50 cubic metres of rubbish for signs of missing Cleo. Source: WA Police

Cleo's GoFundMe shut down

The GoFundMe set up to help with the search for Cleo is no longer taking donations.

In an update, Bill Kent, who set up the fundraiser said Cleo's mother Ellie Smith and her stepfather, Jake Gliddon, had asked for the donations to stop.

"We will no longer be taking any donations to the go fund me (sic) towards bringing Cleo home, this has been a request made by Ellie and Jake," Mr Kent said. 

"Thank you all so much for your kindness & generosity and fingers crossed for some good news soon."

The GoFundMe raised $87,059 and all money raised was going towards the search effort, with any left over money going to Ms Smith and Mr Gliddon.

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