Cleo Smith: Missing four-year-old is found by WA Police
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Ellie Smith opted to break her silence on Instagram just hours after Western Australia Police confirmed her daughter had been found at a home in the coastal town of Carnarvon. Ms Smith’s post, which was a re-shared image of Cleo shown by an antipodean news channel, received 60,000 likes just four hours after it was uploaded.
Accompanying the post, the mother-of-two wrote: “Our family is whole again.”
The Smiths’ had been holidaying at Macleod’s Blowholes campsite in Western Australia, when she disappeared during the early hours of October 16.
The family said they last saw Cleo in their tent at 1.30am when she asked for some water.
But when they woke up at around 6am, their four-year-old daughter was nowhere to be seen.
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A post shared by Ellie Smith (@elliejaydee23)
According to news.com.au, Western Australia Police were called no later than half-an-hour later, just before 6.30am.
The search for Cleo lasted weeks.
During their investigation, officers questioned people visiting the campsite, mapped CCTV cameras and even used drones to assist their search.
Sky News Australia even reports the state government offered a A$1million reward (around £545,000).
Cleo was found “alive and well” in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Deputy Commissioner Colonel Blanch confirmed Cleo had been reunited with her family.
“This is the outcome we all hoped and prayed for,” she said.
“It’s the outcome we’ve achieved because of some incredible police work.
“I want to thank Cleo’s parents, the Western Australian community and the many volunteers.”
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He added: “And, of course, I want to thank my colleagues in the Western Australia Police Force.”
Deputy Commissioner Colonel Blanch also told the Sunrise programme, Cleo was on her own when officers found her at the property in Carnarvon.
“They went into that house, Cleo was in the house alone,” he said.
“A man is assisting us with inquiries at the moment so I’m not going to speak too much more about that given that is part of the current investigation.”
Police confirm a 36-year-old man is now in custody being questioned in connection with Cleo’s abduction.
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