Cleo Smith search: Bounty hunters lured to Carnarvon to cash in on $1 million dollar reward

Michael Traill & Joey CatanzaroThe West Australian
VideoNew lead in Cleo Smith investigation after police seize CCTV

Bounty hunters are reportedly being lured to Carnarvon in hopes of cashing in on the lucrative cash prize on offer for information leading to Cleo Smith’s whereabouts.

A $1 million reward was offered by the State Government on Thursday for information that leads authorities to finding the four-year-old girl.

Some bounty hunters have already started arriving in Carnarvon to join search efforts, 7NEWS reported on Monday night.

Acting Deputy Police Commissioner Col Blanch said he welcomed anyone joining the extensive search efforts for Cleo when asked about people motivated by financial gain.

Missing girl Cleo Smith, 4.
Camera IconMissing girl Cleo Smith, 4. Credit: Instagram/Instagram

“We do welcome anyone who can help find Cleo,” he said.

“I will ask that people not put themselves at danger or at risk in doing so, but certainly we are seeking everyone, including the property owners up there and abandoned sheds or anything else.”

It is understood some bounty hunters were scouring an area on the outskirts of Carnarvon on Monday, hoping to find any clue that could help lead police to Cleo.

The bounty hunters join an army of volunteers and locals searching the Carnarvon region — from derelict buildings to popular tourist sites — for Cleo.

It has been 11 days since she vanished from her family’s tent.

The site where Cleo Smith’s tent was pitched and the shack in the background that has CCTV footage of their tent and surrounding area.
Camera IconThe site where Cleo Smith’s tent was pitched and the shack in the background that has CCTV footage of their tent and surrounding area. Credit: Jackson Flindell/The West Australian

A 100-strong police taskforce has been dedicate to solving Cleo’s disappearance, believed to been an opportunistic abduction.

Detectives spent Monday collecting CCTV vision from the region, hoping to identify a mystery sedan spotted leaving the Carnarvon Blowholes camp site shortly after Cleo was last seen by her parents.

Witnesses reported seeing a car turning south off Blowholes Road, headed for Carnarvon, between 3am and 3.30am on Saturday, October 16.

Missing Girl Cleo Smith Case. Signage posted on a speed sign on the road into the Blowholes.
Camera IconMissing Girl Cleo Smith Case. Signage posted on a speed sign on the road into the Blowholes. Credit: Jackson Flindell/The West Australian

Cleo disappeared from her family’s tent between 1.30am and 6am that morning.

Her mother, Ellie Smith, on Monday night pleaded with Cleo’s suspected kidnapper to bring her home.

“Just bring our girl home safe — give her back to us,” she said on 7’s Flashpoint.

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