Cleo Smith: Desperate search at Blowholes campsite in Carnarvon for missing girl to go until last light

Phoebe Pin & Briana FioreThe West Australian
VideoA desperate search for a missing girl at the Blowholes campsite in Carnarvon will continue until last light this evening.

A desperate search for a missing four-year-old girl who vanished from her family’s camp site north of Carnarvon is expected to continue through the night.

Police said part of the land search operation for Cleo Smith would not stop but that other land, marine and air assets would be suspended at last light until it was safe to resume tomorrow morning.

Cleo was last seen about 1.30am this morning in the family tent at Blowholes campgrounds and shacks about 70km north of Carnarvon. She was reported missing when her parents woke around 6am and realised she had vanished from their shared tent.

In a Facebook post that tonight has been shared more than 21,000 times, Cleo’s mum Ellie Smith said her daughter was last seen wearing a bright pink pyjama suit with blue florals and yellow butterflies,

Ms Smith described her daughter’s disappearance as “very unusual”.

“Please if you see anything unusual or suspicious call the police,” she said. “We are currently searching high and low with police, SES and locals.”

Police are treating Cleo’s disappearance as a search and an investigation, and at this stage cannot rule anything out.

It is understood the family are familiar with the area and often go there to camp.

The Blowholes north of Carnarvon.
Camera IconThe Blowholes north of Carnarvon. Credit: Stephen Scourfield/The West Australian

The campgrounds were quiet at sunset last night, with many people still in the area walking up and down the coast as part of the search.

Carnarvon shire president Eddie Smith said the tight-knit community was deeply saddened by the news and was doing what it could to help.

He said the family were well-known locals and that other campers in the area had joined the search.

“Everybody is hoping for the best,” he said.

“The community is deeply concerned. Everyone is trying to jump onboard and do what they can to help and we are all praying for a positive outcome.

“It is a terrible feeling but I just implore everyone to remain positive and keep positive and keep thinking like that.

“I think we are looking at about 15C or 16C at night at the moment so it’s not too bad.”

Almost every shopfront in Carnarvon contained posters asking anyone with information to contact police, with signs also spotted as far south as the Overlander Roadhouse 250km away.

Police and SES land, sea and air search crews were deployed to the area and spent the day searching up and down the coastline and around the camping area.

Coral Coast Helicopter Services said it was also helping with the search.

The area is a popular camping spot but can be dangerous for unsuspecting tourists.

Missing girl Cleo Smith.
Camera IconMissing girl Cleo Smith. Credit: Facebook/Supplied

A tourism page describes the blowholes as having “powerful ocean swells” and “jets of water” that can sometimes erupt as high as 20m in the air. Another site warns that the area has “large sharks” that frequently come close to shore.

However, it has also been described as generally safe to go swimming.

Anyone with information should immediately contact police on 131 444.

Another site warns that the area has “large sharks” that frequently come close to shore.

However, the area has also been described as generally safe to go swimming.

Anyone with information has been urged to immediately contact police on 131 444.

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