Police forensics search Cleo Smith’s family home for signs of a stalker

A twist in the search for four-year-old Cleo Smith, who police fear may have been abducted while camping in remote Western Australia, has led forensic police to shift their attention to her family home.

WA investigators, who are now exploring whether she was stalked in the days before she disappeared, have forensically examined the family home for signs of a stalker.

Cleo Smith with her father Jake Gliddon.Credit:Facebook

It’s been eight days since Cleo vanished without a trace from the family’s shared tent near Carnarvon’s Quobba Blowholes campground, 50 minutes from where they lived and more than 950 kilometres north of Perth.

It has left Cleo’s mother Ellie Smith and father Jake Gliddon devastated.

Ms Smith has again pleaded on social media to “find my little girl” – multiple posts with images of Cleo, Crime Stoppers numbers and the offer of a $1 million reward have been shared more than 145,000 times. “My sweet girl come home to me,” she begged on Instagram.

The police forensic team spent hours dusting for fingerprints along the front fence of the family’s Carnarvon residence and taking photographs in the backyard.

Detectives from Taskforce Rodia, charged with finding Cleo, told Nine radio 6PR in WA that there were between 10 and 20 registered sex offenders in the area.

On Sunday, Detective Superintendent Rod Wilde said his officers were speaking to everyone from in and around the campsite on the night Cleo disappeared.

“So it’s really a matter of tracking everyone down [and] giving us an exact picture of what it was like overnight on that Friday into the Saturday morning,” he said.

The case has been likened to the unsolved disappearance of William Tyrrell from his foster grandmother’s home in Kendall, NSW, in 2014, with detective Wilde saying he was speaking to those investigators.

“It’s a very rare event, a child going missing in these circumstances. So, we do speak to our counterparts and share information all the time,” he said.

He said while there had been a lot of information coming from the public, he repeated a call for any CCTV and dashcam footage from homes and cars within a 1000-kilometre radius of where Cleo was last seen.

“If people do have some information they’re sitting on and think ‘you know, I’m not sure if it’s relevant or not’, please just call and give us that information and let us judge if it is relevant,” he said.

The local church will continue to hold vigils.

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