Police in Australia fear a missing four-year-old girl may have been kidnapped from a campsite in the outback.
Cleo Smith disappeared in the dark of night wearing just her pink pajamas, her parents awoke to find her missing – a massive search and rescue operation began yesterday.
Cleo’s family was living at the Blowholes campsite near MacLeod, about 50 miles north of Carnarvon, Western Australia.
Cleo was last seen at 1.30 a.m. – and when her mom and dad woke up at 6 a.m., the girl was nowhere to be found.
“We are deeply concerned for Cleo’s safety, we are leaving no stone unturned,” WA Police Inspector John Munday told TODAY.
Police said it was reported that a sleeping bag was also missing from the campsite, but that it “is not at liberty to provide further details at this point”.
However, the inspector said nothing was being ruled out including the possibility of her kidnapping.
“Everything is on the table, we are watching everything,” he said.
“We are trying to paint a picture of who was here during the window of opportunity.”
Earlier today, her mother Ellie Smith renewed the call to find her little girl, begging someone with information to call the police.
“It’s been over 24 hours since I last saw the sparkle in my little girls’ eyes,” she said.
“Please help me find him! If you hear or see anything please call the police.”
The search continues as darkness descends on the outback – but police have had to halt air and sea efforts in Western Australia until light returns.
Police are scanning dashcam and CCTV footage and have been sent information about Cleo within a 600-mile radius.
Inspector Munde said that while the atmosphere was harsh – the current weather could allow one to “escape from the elements”.
“We’re very confident that if Cleo is here, we’ll find her,” he said.
Cleo was last seen in a bright pink pajama suit with her blue and pink flowers and butterflies printed on it.
And his disappearance was described by his mother as ‘very unusual’.
Search and rescue teams, helicopters, police officers and locals are on the hunt for Cleo.
Social media posts requesting help in locating Cleo have also been shared thousands of times.
Eddie Smith, chairman of Carnarvon Shire, said the family were famous local people and part of the tight-knit community, reports West Australian.
He said, ‘Everyone is hoping for the best.
Blowholes Campground – also known as Point Qubba – is known for its views of the blowholes, where jets of water jut out through narrow gaps in the rocks.
The campsite’s tourism page describes it as accessible by bitumen road – and locals are urged to bring fuel, food and water with them.
“There are no facilities or shops nearby”, reads one.
Campsite pitches are powerless and it is recommended that it is only suitable for those who are “self-sufficient”.
And the only contact with the outside world is the daily visit of a ranger who attends to check the registration.
Another tourist site has warned that “big sharks” are often seen approaching shore near blowholes.
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