The mother of missing four-year-old Cleo Smith has made another emotional plea for her daughter’s return and shared heart-breaking photos of the little girl with her baby sister.
The post, shared to her Instagram story, starts with an image of the missing poster offering a $1 million dollar reward for any information on her disappearance — followed by photos of the missing toddler with her baby sister Isla Mae, saying ‘we all need her home’ and asking ‘where are you baby’, before calling her ‘the best sister ever.’
It comes as detectives revealed a car was seen turning south off Blowholes Rd, headed for Carnarvon, just after 3am on the morning Cleo vanished from her parents’ tent at a nearby camp site.
Detective Superintendent Rod Wilde of the Major Crime Division revealed the “very recent development” in the missing four-year-old’s case at a press conference in Perth on Sunday.
Supt Wilde said two people who were travelling together along the North West Coastal Highway in the early hours of Saturday, October 16 saw a car turn right off Blowholes Rd between 3am and 3.30am.
Cleo disappeared — possibly abducted — from her family’s tent between 1.30am and 6am that day.
The revelation follows a confirmation by police last week that they had received reports that campers had heard the sound of screeching tyres as a car left the campsite about 3am that morning.
The new witnesses, who were heading north on the North West Coastal Highway for work that morning, were unable to provide police with a detailed description of the vehicle or how many people were inside, but said the car’s headlights were definitely on when it turned south off Blowholes Rd.
“We want the person or persons who were in that vehicle to come forward and contact police,” Supt Wilde said.
“The time is not exact but we believe it to have been between 3am and 3.30am.
“We believe it was a passenger vehicle, not a truck.”
Gut-wrenching pleas pepper Ellie’s Instagram account, with previous emotional posts reading: “My Princess, where are you”, “I love you, I miss you” and “Please come home to me”.
On Friday police put a public call out for video and dashcam footage from anyone who had been within a 1000km radius of the campsite.
They are especially interested in any vision taken from:
- Motel check-ins and communal areas
- Service stations
- Truck stops and free camping areas
- Fast food outlets and bakeries
- Children’s clothing stores
- Pharmacies and cosmetic stores
- Camping stores
“We’ve been in touch with all jurisdictions around Australia,” Supt Wilde said.
“We want to get this information out there and if anyone Australia-wide has information that could be relevant to the investigation, we ask that they call Crime Stoppers.”
Acting police commissioner Col Blanch said an analysis of CCTV vision from a nearby shack had placed Cleo at the campsite on the night in question.
“This investigation is wide open,” Mr Blanch said.
“We will consider any possibility … we’re hoping for answers from the community.”
Anyone with footage that may assist the investigation can upload it via this link: https://wapf.au.evidence.com/axon/citizen/public/cleosmith