Current 4yo Cleo Smith Abduction - MEDIA FILES - *No discussion

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Dec 27, 2016
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
This thread may be used to post all media related content. To include press, photographs and maps.

4yo Cleo Smith was last seen at 1.30 a.m. and she was not in her family’s tent when they woke up at 6 a.m. Saturday at Camp Blowholes in Macleod, about 50 kilometers north of Carnarvon. Police now believe Cleo has been abducted with the Premier of WA pledging a $1 million reward for information that leads to resolution.




The key times included:

  • Just before 6.30am the first car with two officers was sent to the scene under priority two, with lights and sirens going, arriving at 7.10am;
  • 6.41am a second vehicle was sent, followed by a third at 7.44am;
  • 7.26am a protected forensic area was set up at the scene;
  • 7.33am police requested a drone operator attend;
  • 8am some family and friends arrived to help with the search. Meanwhile, detectives visited the family home, then went to the Blowholes and began stopping vehicles close to the search area;
  • 8.09am a local company helicopter arrived to help with the search;
  • 8.11am SES team requested and they arrived just over an hour later;
  • 8.24am Inspector Jon Munday arranged to leave Geraldton to take command in Carnarvon. Police air wing and volunteer search and rescue were also contacted;
  • 8.34am police set up a roadblock at the Blowholes;
  • 9.30am detectives sat with Ms Smith and remained with her all day; and
  • 11am homicide detectives were deployed.

Please feel free to post but as this is a no discussion thread, comments will be deleted or moved at discretion.


Dec 27, 2016
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Some aerial footage.


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Dec 27, 2016
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
'following discussions with Council in 2014 and 2015 on the provision of a permanent Caretakers Dwelling at the Blowholes Camping area to establish a presence and improve management of the Reserve, the conversion of sea containers to a Class 1 dwelling as a cost effective approach was suggested. A subsequent allocation of funds was then provided in the current 2015/16 budget, and quotations were called for a contractor/registered builder to undertake the fit-out and siting of the dwelling using converted sea containers due to their durability and portability, as opposed to in-situ construction of a dwelling onsite. With the internal fit-out works completed, planning approval was granted by Council in January 2016 for the caretakers dwelling, and a building permit issued on 8 th February 2016. Site clearing works, with an area of 20m x 20 m (400m2 ) removing approximately a metre of sand from the top of the dune was then performed by the Shire on the 16th and 17th March 2016 to establish the caretakers building, within the Reserve 39666 that has a designated purpose of ‘Rubbish Site’. The caretakers dwelling site is opposite the Blowholes waste/dump station disposal site and west of/adjacent to the existing, but dis-used Blowholes rubbish disposal area. These works are illustrated in the following Figure 1 and Figure 2 below.'



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Dec 27, 2016
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Detectives are seeking dashcam, CCTV or any other footage within a 1000KM radius of the Blowholes campsite near Carnarvon but only as far south as Lancelin. Upload at the evidence portal here:

The specific footage requested is that recorded between 6pm on Friday 15 October and 6pm on Sunday 17 October 2021.
Detectives are seeking all footage between these parameters and are particularly interested in:
• Motel check in and communal areas
• Service stations
• Fast food outlets and bakeries
• Truck stops and free camping areas
• Children’s clothing stores
• Pharmacies and cosmetic stores
• Camping stores



Dec 27, 2016
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs


Cleo and her family arrived at Blowholes campsite about 6.30pm on Friday night for a quick weekend trip.

Cleo’s mum Ellie used to visit regularly when she was a child and later confirmed her four-year-old was familiar with the area.

Her stepdad Jake Gliddon got straight to work setting up their two-bedroom tent, two mattresses and baby Isla’s cot, which was in a room with Cleo.

The family ate dinner together and Cleo was in bed no later than 8pm, her mum later revealed.

While nobody else physically saw Cleo at the campsite, Superintendent Rod Wilde, who is in charge of the taskforce, said police determined she was definitely there via CCTV footage from a nearby shack.

It is not known if that camera caught any other movements during the timeframe Cleo disappeared.

The family were all asleep in the tent when Cleo stirred about 1.30am to ask her mum for a sip of water. Ms Smith quickly settled the four-year-old and, after her drink, she went straight back to sleep.

She didn’t wake again until about 6am, when a restless Isla woke up for her bottle. As soon as Ms Smith entered the section of the tent where Isla and Cleo were sleeping, she realised her eldest daughter was gone.

The red and grey sleeping bag that Cleo had been sleeping in was also missing, while Isla was unmoved in her cot next to the mattress.

She woke Mr Gliddon up, telling him ‘Cleo’s gone’ and together they alerted nearby campers and the search began.

First, they checked around the tent and Ms Smith then checked anywhere she used to play as a kid, hopeful that Cleo was hiding. In the back of her mind, she knew it was unlikely. Cleo never wandered and would not have left the tent of her own accord, the distraught mother later confirmed.

Police didn’t arrive on the scene until mid-morning. It’s unclear exactly what time they were called, but by the time they arrived a full scale search was already underway.

Some campers had sent personal drones up to the skies while others were searching on their motorbikes. Ms Smith and Mr Gliddon had taken their car out to look as well.

Ms Smith revealed on Facebook that Cleo was missing in a distraught and lengthy post.

Meanwhile, the search at the campsite continued as Inspector Jon Munday said cars leaving the campground were being searched for the child.

‘We are trying to paint the picture of who was around here during the window of opportunity between the early hours of Saturday morning and 6am Saturday and what leads that could give us,’ he said.

A GoFundMe was set up to cover the costs of private helicopters which had cancelled bookings to help in the search for Cleo.

Homicide detectives were brought in to assist with the land search for Cleo on Monday as wild theories emerged online about what happened.

Her biological father Daniel Staines spent nearly three hours in Mandurah Police Station on Monday, 1,000km south from where Cleo disappeared, after voluntarily coming in to give a statement.

He was almost immediately ruled out of having any involvement in Cleo’s disappearance.

Some of the initial wild theories included that she had been swept out to sea with the tides, fallen down a ‘drop hole’ toilet in the ground or fell off a cliff
Several people claiming to be mediums came forward to claim Cleo had been abducted. One woman insisted a ‘green rusty tin door’ is crucial to finding the four-year-old after seeing it in a vision.

‘May I please have a map ASAP,’ the woman who claims to be a professional medium said on social media.

‘Green rusty garage tin door needs looking into.’

The search in and around Blowholes campsite was temporarily suspended due to wild weather in the area, causing further concerns about Cleo’s safety if she had wandered off in the area.

But by Tuesday afternoon, Cleo’s mum and stepdad provided an update that offered the first indication that it was more likely than not that the four-year-old had been abducted.

The zipper leading to Cleo’s room in the tent was completely opened from the top, which she wouldn’t have been able to reach.

Body language expert David Stephens from Critical Insights said the couple appeared to be trying to keep it together during the interview.

He said the gesture, tone of voice and facial expressions seen during the interview indicated truth-telling while mirroring the couple’s sadness and distress.

Ms Smith’s voice faltered as she relayed the moment she unzipped the tent to discover her four-year-old was missing.

‘Her gestures and illustrators, of which there are several, broadly match what she is saying, which is a good indication that she is being truthful,’ he said.

‘The pitch of her voice, her tone and facial expressions generally match what she is saying verbally, which indicates distress and sadness.’

While Ms Smith fought back tears, Mr Gliddon sat quietly by her side.

Mr Gliddon was frantic when he realised Cleo was missing, according to a camper on the scene who assisted with the search.

He started dating Ms Smith two-and-a-half years ago, when Cleo was barely one. It’s understood he has raised Cleo as his own ever since.

A close friend of the couple said Mr Gliddon ‘absolutely adores Cleo [and] took her on as his own not long after she was born’.

‘He may be a stepfather but those kids mean the world to him… He’s a great dad.’

Detectives revealed up to 20 sex offenders live near the campsite where Cleo was last seen.

Assistant WA Police Commissioner Darryl Gaunt said detectives have been making inquiries about their whereabouts but officers believe that none were involved.

They also confirmed they are investigating nearby campers’ claims they heard the sound of ‘screeching’ tyres in the early hours of the morning.

Thursday was the most significant day in the search for Cleo thus far.

After her mum issued yet another public plea, WA Premier Mark McGowan called a midday press conference in which it was revealed police believe Cleo was abducted.

A $1million reward was offered for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of anybody involved in Cleo’s disappearance.

Following an extensive land, sea and air search, police admitted they ‘imagined’ that if Cleo was in the area she would have already been located.

‘That leads us to believe she was taken,’ deputy police commissioner Col Blanch said.

Mr Blanch also let slip that they’d been searching the campsite ‘for a body’. But throughout the rest of the conference, authorities maintained they hoped to find Cleo alive and vowed to work ‘around the clock’ to bring her home.

The search at the campsite shifted away from looking for the little girl in ‘high probability’ areas to places that Cleo could have walked herself.

Ms Smith, who is a local in the area and has frequented the Blowholes Campground many times said she looked for Cleo in places she would have hid as a child.

Investigators also plan to revisit nearby shacks along the coastline.

Meanwhile, police have received information from people ‘from around the world’ adding police are treating the little girl’s disappearance as a ‘search and rescue mission’

The land, sea and air search for little Cleo was scaled back on Friday as investigators dedicated more of their time to the abduction theory.

‘Given the information now that we’ve gleaned from the scene, the fact that the search has gone on for this period of time and we haven’t been able to locate her… it leads us to believe that she was taken from the tent,’ Detective Superintendent Rob Wilde said.

Nothing has been ruled out, including the possibility that Cleo may have been taken by someone known to her.

Cleo’s parents are keeping a lone gut-wrenching vigil at the campsite where the four-year-old was likely abducted six days ago.

Police have blocked public access to the tourist attraction, which has been declared a crime scene, meaning only Cleo’s parents and search workers are still left behind at the campsite.

When speaking about the grief Cleo’s parents are feeling, Mr Wilde said it ‘doesn’t get any worse’.

‘We know that. We really feel for the parents,’ he said.



All Australian
Jan 21, 2019
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
Other Teams
East Perth
There were choppers in the search group before police arrived.



Norm Smith Medallist
Mar 5, 2017
AFL Club
West Coast
Front page of today's Perth's Sunday Times newspaper (The Sunday version of the West Australian Newspaper).

Screen Shot 2021-10-24 at 9.56.17 am.png


Dec 27, 2016
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
The morning Cleo vanished, while it was a big moon at 75% visibility at 1.30am it had set by 2.38am according to Geoscience Australia, so rather than illuminated until dawn, was actually in the black dark.

Howling winds, rocky terrain and a soundtrack of thundering swell — these are the eerie conditions missing four-year-old Cleo Smith would have faced at the time she vanished from her family’s tent in the middle of the night.



Dec 27, 2016
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Easy to locateSign on highway 24km north of Carnarvon.
Entrance easy to get throughYes
Initial ImpressionBush campsite
Easy to leave if not bookingNo booking required.
Boom gateNo
Daily rates$11 at time of review.
Weekly ratesN/a
Long term ratesN/a
Metered powerN/a
Guest information sheetNo
Map of parkNo
Fees for air-conditionersNo
Pets allowedYes
Fees for pets / bondNo
Opening hoursCaretaker or ranger visits.
Staff friendlyYes
Staff knowledgeableN/a
Tourist info availableNo
Office neat & tidyN/a
Charges reasonableYes
Shop or just officeN/a
Pay PhoneNo
EFTPOS / Credit cardsN/a
Late check outN/a
Site info
Site sizeVaries
Power accessN/a
PrivacyDepends on numbers
Big RigsYes
Drive through sitesYes
Night lightingN/a
Non-powered sectionGenerators Ok
BinsYes (during peak season)
Drinking waterNone closest is Carnarvon
Camp Kitchen
Cooking facilitiesN/a
Shared fridgeN/a
Under coverN/a
Hot waterN/a
Clean ?N/a
Ironing facilitiesN/a
Enough washersN/a
Enough dryersN/a
Clean ?N/a
Toilets / Showers
Disabled facilitiesYes
Piped musicNo
Paper dispensers
Paper used
Shower hooks / seats
AppearanceNew toilets
Insect problemsVaries with season
Hot waterNo
Hand dryerNo
Clean ?Yes
Gardens / LawnsBush campsite
PoolSea. Beware of stingrays and sharks.
Daytime noiseUsually quiet
Night time noiseUsually quiet
Shelters & seatsShelters
TV roomN/a
TV receptionSatellite
Mobile receptionYes with antenna
Public transportNo
Shopping nearbyNo. 60Km to town.
Dump pointYes
Vehicle storageN/a
Boat rampBeach launching



Dec 27, 2016
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs

Police offer new hope Cleo is still somewhere in WA
In an exclusive interview the veteran cop investigating the disappearance of Cleo Smith has revealed why he believes the four-year-old is more than likely still in Western Australia.

'It is understood that not everyone who camped at Blowholes on October 15 had registered and paid
Supt Wilde said there were also people camping at other spots nearby along the coast.
He revealed that Cleo’s family did not notice anyone suspicious hanging around at the camp site when they arrived.
It is understood that not everyone who camped at Blowholes on October 15 had registered and paid online as required.'

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