Cleo Smith podcast: Episode three - A taskforce is formed

Staff writers The West Australian
Cleo Smith.
Camera IconCleo Smith. Credit: Supplied

Episode three of the new podcast series ‘My name is Cleo’ podcast details days five to seven in the search for Cleo Smith, who vanished from her family’s tent at the Blowholes campsite near Carnarvon.

The land search for Cleo starts to wind back as police increasingly believe the four-year-old was abducted, and with every passing hour, the search gets more and more desperate.

It’s becoming clear this is the most important case in the state.

And that’s when, on day six, a 100-officer strong taskforce - named Taskforce Rodia - is launched and $1 million offered to anyone who provides vital information which helps find the little girl.

This is also when we’re introduced to Detective Superintendent Rod Wilde - who’s experience in missing children cases, as well as his vast knowledge as a homicide detective - sees the investigation into Cleo’s disappearance ramp up.

GEN Police Minister Paul Papalia and Deputy Police Commissioner Col Blanch  detail how the use of Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology is being expanded across the State to detect and disrupt criminal activity
Camera IconPolice Minister Paul Papalia and Deputy Police Commissioner Col Blanch . Credit: Iain Gillespie/The West Australian

In this episode, Kristin Shorten details Det Supt Rod Wilde’s background, as well as her experience with him, working on a re-investigation into the 1997 murder of Gerard Ross.

Listen to episode three of the podcast in the player above

Police Minister Paul Papalia joins the podcast to take us through the process of of a reward and why the State Government was so quick to announce one. And Carnarvon Shire president Eddie Smith recounts the pain felt in the community as they rallied around one of their own.

When day seven rolls around with no sign of the little girl in the pink onesie, her parents stayed at the camp, watching the sand dunes, waiting for her to come running over the hill as the land search is scaled back.

Meanwhile, the police investigation is only going to get bigger.

Listen to Natalie Bonjolo and Kristin Shorten as they’re joined by The West Australian reporter Sarah Steger, Police Minister Paul Papalia and Carnarvon Shire President Eddie Smith as they take you through days five to seven of the search for Cleo Smith.

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