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Cleo Smith search: Cadaver dogs might be flown in from interstate to help police

Fortress WA will have to lower its drawbridge to the eastern states if police want to enlist the help of cadaver dogs and their handlers from NSW or Queensland in the hunt for clues to the whereabouts of Cleo Smith.

Taskforce Rodia detectives haven’t given up hope of finding Cleo alive, but have to contemplate all eventualities.

Officer-in-charge Detective Superintendent Rod Wilde has revealed drafting dogs into the search was “something that we may consider.”

WA Police doesn’t have any cadaver dogs in its canine ranks. “But we do have access to other Australian police jurisdictions resources, if and when required,” a police spokesman said.

NSW and Queensland Police both have Human Remains Detection Specialist dogs.

Det-Supt Wilde said his team of about 100 officers were “painstakingly” going through all the information gathered so far.

Frustratingly, they’d still not identified everyone who’d been at the Blowholes camping grounds when Cleo was suspected to have been abducted.

“We have identified and spoken to over 110 people that were there on that evening. We still believe there may be a couple more that haven’t come forward,” he told 6PR.

“Obviously, we would be keen for those persons to come forward so we can speak to them.

“Maybe they hold some information that could be critical to the investigation.” Only by speaking to everyone can they “piece together what actually happened that night.”

“We’ve spoken to everyone (in the immediate vicinity of the tent), but there’s nothing that has come out of that so far,” he added.

The senior detective acknowledged the case was unusual, given the risks an and effort an offender would have gone to approach the tent, unzip it, steal Cleo inside her sleeping bag and get away, without disturbing her sleeping parents or anyone else nearby.

“That’s what we’re trying to understand,” he said. The Taskforce chief also agreed that there was only a small window of time for someone to see Cleo before she was tucked into her sleeping bag.

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