Father of missing child Cleo 'speaks with police' in major development

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The biological father of missing four-year-old girl Cleo Smith has spent three hours speaking with police on Monday. 

It’s been three days since the child vanished from a remote campsite in Western Australia and so far there are no signs of what happened to the little girl, despite an exhaustive land, sea and air search.  

Seven News reported that Daniel Staines was at work this morning before he was asked to come into Mandurah Station to give a statement.

He did so willingly with his parents by his side and there is no suggestion he has anything to do with his daughter’s disappearance. 

© Provided by Daily Mail (
© Provided by Daily Mail (

The child was last seen by was last seen at about 1:30am by her mother Ellie Smith in bright pink pajamas about 1.30am on Saturday inside their shared tent at Blowholes campsite, north of Carnarvon.

Cleo’s parents had an ‘interaction’ with the youngster in the middle of the night, but she was nowhere to be seen when they woke up at 6am and her grey and red sleeping back was also missing.

Detectives have not ruled out anything in relation to her disappearance – and are exploring theories she may have been abducted, as marine search teams are scaled back after almost 72 hours scouring the water. 

Police are urging anyone who was in the area from Friday all the way through to Sunday, to try and remember if they may have seen anything unusual or suspicious.

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‘We are really interested in anybody who was at The Blowholes campsite from Friday the 15th of October through to Sunday,’ Inspector John Munday who is leading the police search told reporters on Monday.

‘You don’t even have to have stayed here, even if you just passed through. We need to speak to you… so we can track and trace where people were.

‘And if anybody has any dashcam footage or any footage at all of the area we really would be interested in those people coming forward.’       

Authorities have also released aerial footage of the campsite as they combed through the remote bushland in search of the missing girl amid growing fears the child may have been snatched. 

The camp ground is located 75km from Carnarvon and 875km from Perth with nothing but bushland and scrubs in between.

The recreation site is bordered by the ocean on one side and desolate, rugged terrain on the other. 

© Provided by Daily Mail (
© Provided by Daily Mail (

One of the theories was that young Cleo may have wandered off towards the water and was washed away by the rising tide.

But exhaustive marine searches have so far found no evidence she entered the water.

‘The searches we have done for this marine environment are the best we can get and they have done the best they can and in that environment we haven’t found any sign of Cleo,’ Inspector Munday said.

‘And that marine search has been scaled back at this time.’

Police are continuing to probe the possibility that Cleo was abducted, with officers stopping cars and caravans to search the vehicles over the weekend and seizing CCTV footage from nearby roadhouses as part of the investigation.

Detectives from the homicide squad have also been called into to scour the scene.  

Locals have been told to check garbage bins and roadsides for the grey and red sleeping bag used by Cleo at the time she went missing.

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The young girl was last seen wearing pink one-piece pyjamas with a blue and yellow pattern when she was last seen. 

A full scale search took place on Saturday and began again from first light on Sunday and will continue for the next 48 hours at least.

The crews consisted of land, air and sea teams searching the coastline in and around campgrounds nearby where the family was staying.

Posters have also been put up at roadhouses within a 1,000km radius of the campsite and police are poring over dash camera footage and CCTV footage from the area. 

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