ActivePaper Archive POLICE DRONES NOW MAPPING 50KM AREA - The West Australian , 11/2/2021

POLICE DRONES NOW MAPPING 50KM AREA

Picture

Police from Geraldton and Perth are using drones to create a detailed map of the area around where Cleo Smith was last seen.

It is understood officers will spend at least the next two days mapping an almost 50km radius of bush near the Blowholes camp site.

Drones have been used extensively during the search for four-year-old Cleo, with footage gathered from over the powerful Blowholes and of the area where she and her family were staying.

Cars and caravans could on Monday be seen driving in and out of the popular local camping spot, with tourists undeterred by the youngster’s disappearance.

The search for the little girl is now in its third week, with police saying they still have no suspects in the investigation.

Cleo has not been seen since she vanished from the family’s tent in the early hours of Saturday, October 16.

Cleo’s mother Ellie Smith made her most heart-wrenching plea so far for the safe return of her daughter in a social media post late on Sunday night.

With Halloween celebrations under way and children across WA trick or treating, Ms Smith said every day was getting harder “without my shining bright light”.

“I need my baby girl home, please I beg you!” she wrote.

On Saturday, the man leading Taskforce Rodia, which is investigating Cleo’s case, sprung to the defence of Ms Smith, and Cleo’s stepfather Jake Gliddon, saying they were not suspects and should not be subjected to “disgusting” attacks by cowardly online trolls.

Det-Supt Rod Wilde also ruled out Cleo’s biological father as a suspect, saying he was “nowhere near the area” when Cleo went missing.