ActivePaper Archive Trash can be treasure in search for vital clues - The West Australian , 11/2/2021

Trash can be treasure in search for vital clues


Police have been sifting through a mountain of rubbish collected around the camp site Cleo Smith had vanished from, scouring for any clues about her suspected abduction.

As the search for the fouryear-old girl enters its third week, police on Monday revealed a new measure they took last week to scour the land for any potential sign or evidence leading to the missing girl.

More than 50 cubic metres of waste was collected from roadside bins as far north as Minilya to as far south as Geraldton.

It was packed into dozens of see-through bags and transported to Perth in two large trucks.

Four forensics officers and 20 recruits spent two days sorting through hundreds of bags, wearing masks and special forensic suits to avoid contamination, in an effort find any items that may assist the investigation.

“Investigators continue to look for answers about the disappearance of Cleo Smith,” a WA Police Force social media post stated.

“Last week they took the task of sorting through rubbish collected from roads and highways in the areas near the Blowholes camp site.”

It is unclear if police had managed to find any DNA or other evidence from the haul at this stage.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online at