Missing girl found alive and in good health; Man in custody has no connection to Cleo’s family

Criminologist Xanthe Mallett told Today police deserve to be applauded for the successful completion of a very complex investigation.

“There was a lack of technological assistance. There were no CCTV cameras, there were no camera footage on people’s cars, it wasn’t in the suburbs for example,” said Associate Professor Mallett.

“The police have a lot of people of interest to watch out for. Anyone on the campsite, anyone with family traveling there. Anyone with a relevant criminal background in the local community. There were a lot of leads to follow. in the beginning.”

She said the police had chosen the right path by bringing in a large task force early.

They learned some of the mistakes of other child abduction cases here and abroad and decided not to allow that to happen in Cleo’s case, ”she said.

“The feeling was that Cleo would be the next William Tyrrell and the next Madeleine McCann. We’ll never know what happened.”

Associate Professor Mallett also criticized online trolls who targeted Cleo’s family following her disappearance, saying that kind of pressure can “break a family.”

“It puts them under pressure day in and day out with everyone watching them,” she said.

Police said throughout the investigation that they did not suspect Cleo’s family had anything to do with her disappearance.

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