Jesinta Franklin 'deletes Instagram post' about missing girl Cleo Smith


Model and footy WAG Jesinta Franklin appears to have deleted her Instagram post about missing girl Cleo Smith highlighting the ‘disparity’ in media coverage of missing children who are white and those who are black or Indigenous.

Four-year-old Cleo was found alive and well early Wednesday morning, 18 days after vanishing from her family’s tent in a remote campsite in Western Australia in a disappearance that made headlines around the world.

Jesinta, 30, who is married to Indigenous AFL superstar Lance Franklin, shared her thoughts on the media’s response to missing persons cases on Instagram Stories at about 2:12pm on Wednesday.

Deleted: Model and footy WAG Jesinta Franklin (right, with husband Buddy Franklin) appears to have deleted her Instagram post about missing girl Cleo Smith highlighting the 'disparity' in media coverage of missing children who are white and those who are black or Indigenous

Deleted: Model and footy WAG Jesinta Franklin (right, with husband Buddy Franklin) appears to have deleted her Instagram post about missing girl Cleo Smith highlighting the ‘disparity’ in media coverage of missing children who are white and those who are black or Indigenous

Instagram Stories expire after 24 hours, meaning in normal circumstances the post should have remained visible until 2:12pm on Thursday. However, it seems to have been removed overnight.

Daily Mail Australia understands Jesinta’s post attracted some backlash on social media, and several comments were of a racist nature.

Jesinta’s thoughtful post had addressed the ‘disparity’ between press coverage of missing white children and Indigenous children. 

‘Without taking away from the joy of finding a missing child alive and well, I can’t help but think about the disparity that exists in this country between missing children who are white and Indigenous children when it comes to the visibility and coverage of the case,’ she began. 

Miracle: Four-year-old Cleo was found alive and well early Wednesday morning, 18 days after vanishing from her family's tent in a remote campsite in Western Australia in a disappearance that made headlines around the world. She is pictured smiling in hospital after her rescue

Miracle: Four-year-old Cleo was found alive and well early Wednesday morning, 18 days after vanishing from her family’s tent in a remote campsite in Western Australia in a disappearance that made headlines around the world. She is pictured smiling in hospital after her rescue

Weighing in: Jesinta shared her thoughts on the media's response to missing persons cases on Instagram Stories at about 2:12pm on Wednesday. Stories expire after 24 hours, meaning in normal circumstances the post should have remained visible until 2:12pm on Thursday. However, it seems to have been removed overnight

Weighing in: Jesinta, 30, shared her thoughts on the media’s response to missing persons cases on Instagram Stories at about 2:12pm on Wednesday. Stories expire after 24 hours, meaning in normal circumstances the post should have remained visible until 2:12pm on Thursday. However, it seems to have been removed overnight

‘I have read so many heartbreaking stories of missing Indigenous children that garner hardly any media coverage or the social media coverage that a case like Cleo’s did. 

‘I have no doubt the widespread broadcasting of information in regards to the case assisted the phenomenal efforts of the WA police force in locating this beautiful little girl and reuniting her with her family.’ 

She added: ‘Posting this because I think we need to do better for all children who go missing and their families.’

At a disadvantage: Jesinta's thoughtful post (pictured) had addressed the 'disparity' between press coverage of missing white children and Indigenous children

At a disadvantage: Jesinta’s thoughtful post (pictured) had addressed the ‘disparity’ between press coverage of missing white children and Indigenous children

'I have read so many heartbreaking stories of missing Indigenous children that garner hardly any media coverage or the social media coverage that a case like Cleo's did,' wrote Jesinta. Pictured: a photo of Cleo that was widely disseminated in the media during her disappearance

‘I have read so many heartbreaking stories of missing Indigenous children that garner hardly any media coverage or the social media coverage that a case like Cleo’s did,’ wrote Jesinta. Pictured: a photo of Cleo that was widely disseminated in the media during her disappearance

Jesinta is mother to daughter Tullulah, 20 months, and son Rocky, seven months.

Her husband is Sydney Swans star Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin, a proud Noongar-Wajuk man whose ancestors hail from south-west Western Australia.

According to a report by ABC News in December 2019, Indigenous people account for 17.5 per cent of all unsolved missing persons cases in Western Australia, despite making up just three per cent of the local population. 

In August 2019, the families of 15 missing Aboriginal children united for a state-wide rally in NSW to raise awareness for Indigenous cases, according to a report by The Guardian. 

Family: Jesinta is mother to daughter Tullulah, 20 months, and son Rocky, seven months. Her husband is Sydney Swans star Lance 'Buddy' Franklin (pictured), a proud Noongar-Wajuk man whose ancestors hail from south-west Western Australia

Family: Jesinta is mother to daughter Tullulah, 20 months, and son Rocky, seven months. Her husband is Sydney Swans star Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin (pictured), a proud Noongar-Wajuk man whose ancestors hail from south-west Western Australia

Cleo disappeared on October 16 and was found alive at 12.46am on Wednesday when police stormed a public housing home after a sudden tip off with a ‘needle in haystack’ clue.

Police feared the missing girl could have been spirited away anywhere in the country – but instead she was under their noses all along in a rundown house just 3km from her home and 75km from the campsite.

‘What’s your name?’ officers asked as they scooped her up into their arms. ‘My name is Cleo,’ she replied.

Found: Cleo disappeared on October 16 and was found alive at 12.46am on Wednesday when police stormed a public housing home after a sudden tip off with a 'needle in haystack' clue

Found: Cleo disappeared on October 16 and was found alive at 12.46am on Wednesday when police stormed a public housing home after a sudden tip off with a ‘needle in haystack’ clue

That rundown house on Tonkin Crescent in Brockman, in the northern suburbs of Carnarvon in northwest Western Australia, is just kilometres from where she lived in South Carnarvon.

Right in the middle is the town’s main shopping centre where the 36-year-old resident of the house was seen by neighbours buying Kimbies nappies at Woolworths.

Cleo was likely already locked up in the house when her mother Ellie Smith and stepfather Jake Gliddon awoke at 6am to find she was no longer lying next to them and her baby sister Isla in their tent at Blowholes camping grounds. 

Important message: 'Posting this because I think we need to do better for all children who go missing and their families,' concluded Jesinta

Important message: ‘Posting this because I think we need to do better for all children who go missing and their families,’ concluded Jesinta

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