Six days after her disappearance, the Western Australian Government has issued a $1 million reward for any information regarding the whereabouts of missing 4-year-old Cleo Smith.
Cleo is reported to have gone missing on Saturday morning, October 16 at the Blowholes campsite in Macleod, which is around 50km north of Carnarvon and about 960km north of Perth.
Cleo’s mother, Ellie Smith, claims that she gave her daughter some water at around 1am, but when she returned to check on her at 6am, she was missing.
“She would never leave us, she would never leave the tent. We hold hope that she’s here [near the campsite] because if I think about her being taken… a million other things cross our mind,” she said.
Search efforts have moved towards the idea that Cleo was abducted from her tent after WA Police reported her tent zipper was left higher than a four-year-old could possibly reach.
The $1 million will be given to anyone who can provide sufficient information that leads to the conviction or arrest of the individual who abducted Cleo.
“All Western Australians’ thoughts are with Cleo’s family during what is an unimaginably difficult time,” WA Premier Mark McGowan said.
“We’re all praying for a positive outcome. We want to ensure police have everything they need to solve this case and that’s why my government has no hesitation in supporting police with this reward offer.”
According to the Guardian, WA Police are now investigating reports of a car seen speeding away from the Blowholes campsite on Saturday morning.
“I know this is every Western Australian parent’s worst nightmare,” Western Australian Police Minister Paul Papalia said.
“I’ve been advised every available police resource is being directed into this investigation and I’ve reassured the Acting Commissioner the government will support the police with any request they make to help solve this crime.
“I’d hope most people would willingly come forward if they had information that could assist police, but if this reward motivates someone to help police bring Cleo home, then the government is more than happy to offer it,” he continued.
“I urge anyone who knows what happened to little Cleo to come forward with the information police need to find her.”