Cleo Smith's mother shares heartbreaking message to find her daughter

Forensic investigators scour Cleo Smith’s family home for evidence amid fears the abduction of the four-year-old may have been planned by a stalker – as mum posts fresh plea

  • Cleo Smith’s disappearance is now being treated as a likely abduction by police
  • Youngster vanished from tent she was sharing with family in Western Australia
  • Four-year-old could be ‘anywhere in Australia’ as police receive hundreds of tips 
  • On Saturday, police were seen at family home as taskforce cover ‘all avenues’

Forensic investigators have turned their attention to four-year-old Cleo Smith’s family home in a bid to cover ‘all avenues’ – as her mother shared another heartbreaking post on Instagram begging for Australians to help find her little girl.

Cleo vanished from a tent at a camping site near Carnarvon on the northwest coast of Western Australia on October 16 with police believing the youngster was abducted – rather than wandering away by herself.  

Police were spotted at the family home on Saturday, stating they are exploring ‘all possible avenues’ as part of their ongoing investigation. 

They are exploring the idea what whoever took Cleo from the tent may have visited the home beforehand – meaning the abduction was pre-meditated, West Australian reported. 

A green spray used to detect fingerprints was spotted on the fence line but police haven’t entered the house.

At the same time Cleo’s mother shared on her Instagram page: ‘Please come home to me. Any information big or small. Find my little girl.’ 

Four-year-old Cleo Smith vanished from a popular campsite on the northwest coast of Western Australia on October 16

Her shattered mother Ellie (pictured with her partner) has posted a number of times on Instagram, pleading for information about her little girl

There are mounting fears for little Cleo Smith’s (pictured with her mum Ellie and partner Jake Gliddon) safety after she went missing at a remote campsite

There is a $1million reward for information leading to the youngster’s return.

But despite the incentive some campers who were at the Blowholes campsite where little Cleo vanished a week ago have failed to identify themselves.

Police earlier said everyone staying in the area was a person of interest and needed to speak with officers so they could be eliminated as suspects.

Acting police commissioner Col Blanch confirmed investigators are ‘considering any possibility’ and that they are ‘hoping for answers from the community’.

Cleo was reported missing by her frantic parents around 6am last Saturday when they woke to find her and her sleeping bag missing.

She was sharing the tent with her mother, stepdad and baby sister Isla, who was still in her cot.  

She was last seen when she woke Ms Smith at about 1.30am to ask for a sip of water.

When Ms Smith got up again at about 6am to feed Cleo’s sister, she realised something was wrong.

Detectives have confirmed known sex offenders were in the area at the time Cleo vanished but there are currently no suspects.

Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

A timeline of Cleo’s mysterious disappearance: From the family’s arrival at the campsite to the fateful moment her mother realised she was gone

Criminal psychologist gives a profile of the monster who could have taken little Cleo 

Criminal psychologist Tim Watson-Munro, who has spent the past four decades analysing the minds of some of the worst criminals of our times: terrorists, mass murderers, sex offenders and torturers of children, said the real danger about these people is how easily they blend in.

‘The problem with a person like this is it could be anyone,’ he said.

‘It’s someone who can blend into a suburban lifestyle, he could be a father, he could be involved in community or sporting clubs.

‘If you met the offender he may appear very normal.

‘This is the danger about these people – their ordinariness. They can blend in very easily and generally they are well presented.’

Dr Watson-Munro said the kidnapper is most likely to be a ‘calculated’ man and a textbook psychopath driven by a sickening desire for ‘power and control’.

Criminal psychologist Tim Watson-Munro (pictured) has spent the past four decades analysing the minds of some of the worst criminals of our times: terrorists, mass murderers, sex offenders and torturers of children

‘We are talking about someone who is bad but not mad,’ he said.

‘To do something like that without any anxiety suggests they are psychopathic in their disposition because psychopaths have a very high threshold for anxiety.

‘Things that would make a normal person’s blood turn cold doesn’t bother them.’

Someone who could sneak into a tent and abduct a child in her sleeping bag as her parents lay next to her ‘is not somebody who is prone to nervousness’.

Police now believe an abduction took place because the zipper of the tent was found undone in the morning, even though Cleo is too short to reach it.

It can be the case that child predators and sex offenders are dishevelled, affected by drugs and alcohol or have below average intelligence, but in this case Dr Watson-Munro says ‘it’s very unlikely’.

‘In order to plan a crime like this you have to be at least average intelligence to get away with it. We are not looking at some bumbling imbecile,’ he said.

‘They are capable of forward planning both in terms of abducting the child and allowing themselves plenty of opportunity to get far away.’

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