Cleo Smith search: Taskforce Rodia boss Detective Supt. Rod Wilde lands in Carnarvon to ramp up probe

Brianna DuganThe West Australian
Detective Supt. Rod Wilde is heading up Taskforce Rodia which is investigating the disappearance of Cleo Smith. Seen with Assistant Commissioner Brad Royce, right.
Camera IconDetective Supt. Rod Wilde is heading up Taskforce Rodia which is investigating the disappearance of Cleo Smith. Seen with Assistant Commissioner Brad Royce, right. Credit: The West Australian

The lead detective in the search for missing four-year-old Cleo Smith has landed in Carnarvon as the investigation enters its 13th day.

Detective Supt. Rod Wilde landed about 10.30am on Thursday morning to ramp up the police investigation and join officers on the ground.

Flanked by Assistant Commissioner Brad Royce and a number of other high ranking officers, Supt. Wilde spoke only briefly to say the search requires a “thorough investigation”.

It is expected the group will speak later this afternoon.

Detective Supt. Rod Wilde is a near 40 year police veteran, who most recently led Taskforce Ravello — the investigation into the fatal shooting of former Rebels boss Nick Martin.
Camera IconDetective Supt. Rod Wilde is a near 40 year police veteran, who most recently led Taskforce Ravello — the investigation into the fatal shooting of former Rebels boss Nick Martin. Credit: Jackson Flindell/The West Australian

Supt. Wilde, a police veteran of nearly 40 years, leads about 100 officers in the operation as head of Taskforce Rodia.

Before his most recent assignment, Supt. Wilde led Taskforce Ravello — the investigation launched in December to investigate the fatal shooting of former Rebels boss Nick Martin — which has led to a former Australian soldier pleading guilty to the gangster’s murder.

Prior to that, Supt. Wilde oversaw the fresh police investigation into the 1997 abduction and murder of Gerard Ross.

When police last week transitioned the investigation from a search for a lost child into Cleo’s likely abduction, Supt. Wilde said cases don’t “get any worse”.

“Look, it doesn’t get any worse,” he said at the time.

“We know that. We really feel for the parents.”

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