ActivePaper Archive Heartbreaking day we will never forget - The West Australian , 11/1/2021

Heartbreaking day we will never forget

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A family camped just 100m from the site where it’s believed Carnarvon girl Cleo Smith was abducted from her tent have spoken about the “terrifying” experience of watching the desperate search for the four-year-old unfold.

Queensland couple Rob and Kira Prince run the social media blog Our Aussie Adventure documenting their travels around Australia with their five kids. The family posted photographs to Facebook of their stay at Quobba Blowholes two weeks ago.

While they marvelled at the stunning landscape, they said their stay was stained by the disappearance and suspected kidnapping — of little Cleo. “This camp was beautiful with both rugged cliff faces with powerful waves and lagoon-like beaches and the blowholes were absolutely incredible,” the Prince family wrote. “Unfortunately our stay here was scarred by the disappearance of Cleo Smith from a tent less than 100m from our site. With 4-year-olds of our own this was truly terrifying and heartbreaking. It is a day we will never forget — for all the wrong reasons.

“While we physically moved on from here once the campground closed, emotionally we are very much still there, longing for a positive outcome for Cleo and her family.” They said the children “were very shaken up” by the experience. The family told The West Australian they had spoken with police a number of times about Cleo’s suspected abduction.

Their comments come as the investigation of Cleo’s disappearance enters its third week, with police saying they still have no suspects.

Det-Supt Rod Wilde was last week in Carnarvon and stressed neither mother Ellie Smith nor stepfather Jake Gliddon were suspected of having any involvement in Cleo vanishing.