By Laura Kemp • 21 October 2021 • 18:01
$1 million reward for information on missing girl dubbed “Australian Maddie MacCann”. Image - WA Police
Australian police have offered a $1 million reward for information about a missing four-year-old girl dubbed the “Australian Maddie MacCann” who officials suspect was abducted from a tent at a remote coastal location.
Four-year-old Cleo Smith has been missing for six days and was reportedly last seen at 1:30am on Saturday, October 16, at the Blowholes Shacks campsite near the town of Carnarvon, about 560 miles north of the Western Australia state capital, Perth.
Initially, the assumption had been that Cleo had wandered from the tent which led the search to focus on the ocean.
However, rescuers are preparing to end the land search at the campground and police have now admitted that they “imagined” that if Cleo was in the area she would have been located by now.
“That leads us to believe she was taken,” deputy police commissioner Col Blanch said.
“Cleo disappeared from her family’s tent, despite an extensive land, sea and air search, we have not yet located her body.”
Police also now say the zip on the tent was opened by someone taller than the child.
“The positioning of that zipper for the flap is one of the circumstances that has caused us to have grave concerns for Cleo’s safety,” said Western Australia Police Inspector Jon Munday said.
Police Minister Paul Papalia said detectives were “hopeful” that they would find Cleo alive, but admitted “we hold grave fears for her safety.”
Authorities will be working “around the clock” to find Cleo, with more than 100 police officers “and a whole nation” looking for the young girl.
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Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features.
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