WA Police have revealed the most detailed timeline yet of their response to reports four-year-old Cleo Smith had gone missing from a family camping trip at the Blowholes, 70km north of Carnarvon.
Det-Supt Rod Wilde on Friday revealed that two officers were dispatched from Carnarvon police station within seven minutes of Cleo’s mum Ellie calling triple-0.
Those officers arrived at the scene less than an hour later at 7.10am on Saturday October 16 and established a protected forensic area around the family campsite and tent before more police and emergency service personnel were deployed to the area and a large-scale search ramped up.
Homicide detectives were sent to the scene from Perth later that day.
6.23am — Cleo’s mum Ellie calls triple-0 to report her daughter missing.
6.30am — The first car with two officers is dispatched from Carnarvon police station to the Blowholes with lights and sirens.
6.41am — A second police vehicle with two officers is dispatched to the Blowholes with lights and sirens.
7.10am — The first police vehicle arrives at the Blowholes with the second arriving shortly afterwards.
7.26am — The first officers on scene establish a protected forensic area by taping off the campsite and tent where Cleo disappeared from.
7.33am — Police at the scene request that a drone operator be sent to the search area from Geraldton.
7.44am — A third police vehicle is dispatched to the Blowholes from Carnarvon.
8am — Several family and friends of Cleo’s parents Ellie and Jake arrive at the scene to help with the search.
8am — Carnarvon detectives attend the family home in South Carnarvon to search for signs of Cleo before heading to the Blowholes to stop vehicles in the area.
8.09am — A helicopter from a local company arrived at the scene and started searching.
8.11am — Police request a SES team attend the Blowholes search.
8.20am — The third police vehicle sent from Carnarvon arrives at the Blowholes.
8.24am — Police incident controller Insp. John Munday, who is based in Geraldton, arranges to travel to the search area with a mobile policing facility. Police airwing and volunteer marine searchers are also contacted.
8.34am — Police set up a roadblock at the entrance to the Blowholes.
9.25am — Nine SES personel arrive at the Blowholes and began searching.
9.30am — Carnarvon detectives sat down with Ellie and remained with her for the rest of the day.
11am — Homicide detectives from the Major Crime Division were deployed from Perth by road to Carnarvon.
1pm — Homicide officers and search experts from the emergency operations unit left Perth by the police airwing for Carnarvon.
3pm — Those officers and search experts arrive in Carnarvon.