Little Cleo, a blonde with hazel eyes, is just over one meter tall. She disappeared five days ago while sleeping at a campsite in Macleod, 900 kilometers from Perth, with her mother and stepfather. At 1.30 a.m. she got up to ask for water. It was the last time Ellie saw her daughter. It was when she woke up, some five hours later, to feed Cleo’s sister that they realized she was not there”. The little girl and her sleeping bag were gone.
“Cleo was on a mattress and the baby was in a crib next to her. There was a separation and then there was us on an inflatable mattress,” explains the mother while holding a recent photo of the little girl in her hands. The tent where Cleo slept was open. This detail worries the police and has set off alarm bells. She is not tall enough to open it.
More than 100 officers and soldiers are searching for Cleo.
When they realized that the girl was missing, they went out to look for her in the area. More than 100 agents, soldiers and volunteers are searching for Cleo by land, sea and air. “We have the best investigators on the case. We are leaving no stone unturned,” says Inspector Jon Munday.
They are even scouring the countryside and the coast with drones, a search against the clock for the past five days. Officers have already questioned about 20 suspects in the area and are tracking all the people who have been camped out since Saturday. But they have found no trace of the minor. “We are hopeful that we will find Cleo alive, but we are very fearful for her safety,” said Detective Rod Wilde. He believes the minor has been abducted.
In the last few hours posters with Cleo’s picture have been hung on the roads in case anyone has seen her and can give clues to the police. Photos have been posted on social networks and details of how she was dressed on the day of her disappearance. “She was sleeping in a red and black sleeping bag and was wearing lilac pajamas with blue and yellow patterns,” her mother says.
Authorities are also not contemplating the possibility that the little girl went missing. “I would say it’s a long shot that she got up, wandered off and took the sleeping bag with her. You would see where she dragged the bag,” explains one of the officers involved in the search.
Concern is growing as the days go by without a trace of Cleo and the whole country is in shock. The government has even offered one million dollars to anyone who provides information to find Cleo. It is the largest reward Australia has ever offered. “All the thoughts of the citizens of the state are with Cleo’s family. Everyone is praying for a positive outcome,” wishes Mark McGowan, Premier Western Australia. “Every hour that passes with a four-year-old girl in this situation is very very worrying,” Munday sentences.
Her mother, in tears, pleads for her daughter to come home. “I miss you, I love you, come home” . Ellie Smith and her partner Jake Gliddon have launched an appeal to find the girl. “Everyone is asking us what we need and what we need is our little girl home.” Her mother describes Cleo as a sweet,delicate person with a big heart. She wants to wear a princess dress every day”.