4-year-old Cleo Smith found following campsite abduction

4-year-old Cleo Smith found following campsite abduction

The little girl who went missing from an Australian campsite was found “alive and well” at the house of a male suspect who was taken into custody.

Cleo Smith, 4, was discovered in a house in Carnarvon early Wednesday morning, after police had broken their way into the locked home and found her in one of its rooms, according to The Guardian.

“One of the officers picked her up into his arms and asked her, ‘What’s your name?,’” Deputy Commissioner Col Blanch told reporters, according to the outlet. “She said, ‘My name is Cleo.’”

Smith’s disappearance from the nearby Blowholes campsite on Oct. 16 led to a task force of more than 100 officers scouring the area for signs of her.

Her mother last saw Cleo early that morning when she woke up asking for water. Five hours later, she and her sleeping bag had vanished from the family’s tent.

Ellie Smith, left, and her partner Jake Gliddon, display a photo of their missing daughter.
Ellie Smith, left, and her partner Jake Gliddon, were camping with Cleo when the four-year-old was taken from the campsite by an unidentified male.
AP / James Carmody
Police search through materials looking for evidence in the hunt for the now found Cleo Smith.
The search for Cleo Smith went on for two weeks before locating the child in a house in Carnarvon.

“As we passed the divider, I went into the other room and the zipper was open,” her mother, Ellie Smith, told reporters. “I turned around to [my partner] Jake and just said, ‘Cleo’s gone.’”

“This is the outcome we all hoped and prayed for,” Blanch reportedly said, citing “some incredible police work.”

Word of Smith’s discovery was celebrated all over the country.

“What wonderful, relieving news,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison tweeted Tuesday.

Police search through evidence in search of the now found Cleo Smith.
The abduction suspect is still being investigated by authorities as more information about the case unfolds.

“Cleo Smith has been found and is home safe and sound. Our prayers answered. Thank you to the many police officers involved in finding Cleo and supporting her family.”

The abduction suspect was still being investigated by police.

“We’ll have more to say on the rescue of Cleo as the day unfolds,” Blanch reportedly said. “For now – welcome home Cleo.”

Source link