Entertainment

Cleo Smith is found ALIVE in Carnarvon after vanishing from campsite


Missing four-year-old Cleo Smith has miraculously been found alive 18 days after vanishing from her family’s tent in a remote campsite in Western Australia.  

Police broke their way into a locked house in Carnarvon, 75km from where she went missing, about 1am on Wednesday and found the little girl in one of the rooms.

WA Police Deputy Commissioner Col Blanch confirmed just before 7am AEDT that Cleo was alive and well and had been reunited with her relieved parents.

‘One of the officers picked her up into his arms and asked her “what’s your name?” he said.

‘She said: “My name is Cleo”.’  

Her elated mother, Ellie, broke her silence on Wednesday morning, sharing a series of love heart emojis on Instagram. 

A man from Carnarvon was arrested at the house and has been taken into custody for questioning.

Cleo Smith has been found alive and well, 18 days after she vanished from her family’s tent at the remote Blowholes campsite in Western Australia 

‘This is the outcome we all hoped and prayed for,’ Deputy Commissioner Blanch 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.

‘And of course, I want to thank my colleagues in the Western Australia Police Force.’

Police will provide more details on the rescue of Cleo later on Wednesday.

‘For now – welcome home Cleo,’ Deputy Commissioner Blanch concluded.

The news has sparked an outpouring of relief worldwide.

‘What wonderful, relieving news,’ Prime Minister Scott Morrison tweeted from Glasgow.

‘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.’

Cleo was found in her hometown of Carnarvon in Western Australia, 75km from where she went missing on October 16

Cleo was found in her hometown of Carnarvon in Western Australia, 75km from where she went missing on October 16

Cleo has been reunited with her relieved parents

Cleo has been reunited with her relieved parents

2GB breakfast host Ben Fordham broke down live on air when informing listeners Cleo had been found. 

Police interviewed more than 110 people who were at the Blowholes campsite on the night Cleo arrived with her family on October 16.

The little girl was last seen in her family’s tent, at the vast campsite on WA’s northwest coast, at about 1.30am before his mother and stepfather realised she was missing five hours later.

Detective Superintendent Rod Wilde said the family had stayed near their tent all evening and hadn’t socialised with other campers.

Cleo's mum Ellie Smith (pictured during her daughter's disappearance) has been regular  public appeals for her daughter to be found

Cleo’s mum Ellie Smith (pictured during her daughter’s disappearance) has been regular  public appeals for her daughter to be found

Cleo Smith (pictured) has miraculously been found alive after vanishing from a remote campsite in Western Australia

Cleo Smith (pictured) has miraculously been found alive after vanishing from a remote campsite in Western Australia

‘I think it’s more than likely an opportunistic-type event,’ he told Perth radio 6PR on Tuesday hours before Cleo was found.

‘We know they got there on the Friday night, it was getting dark, and there would have been limited opportunity for people to observe Cleo at that time.’

Police had stressed many times that the girl’s mother, Ellie Smith, and her partner, Jake Gliddon, were not suspects, nor was Cleo’s biological father.

Ms Smith had been posting daily public appeals on social media, pleading for Cleo to come home. 

Police this week collected more than 50 cubic metres of rubbish from roadside bins stretching from Minilya to Geraldton.

WA Police Deputy Commissioner Col Blanch confirmed just before 7am AEDT Wednesday that little Cleo is alive and well

WA Police Deputy Commissioner Col Blanch confirmed just before 7am AEDT Wednesday that little Cleo is alive and well

Cleo was missing for 18 days before police found her alive and well in a Carnavon home

Cleo was missing for 18 days before police found her alive and well in a Carnavon home

It was transported to Perth, where forensic officers and recruits sorted through hundreds of bags in search of items that may have helped them find Cleo.

The State Government offered a $1 million reward for information leading to Cleo’s location.

Police said the Cleo’s disappearance was immediately treated with the highest priority, although it took two hours to establish a roadblock at the site.

Detectives made several visits to Cleo’s family home in Carnarvon, sought CCTV footage from a range of businesses in the area and collected samples from a campfire at the Blowholes site.

Officers issued an extraordinary plea for dash cam and CCTV footage from within a 1000km radius of where the preschooler vanished and were seeking footage from motel check in, service stations, fast food outlets, truck stops, free camping areas, children’s clothing stores, pharmacies and camping stores.

The selective list appeared to indicate that police were narrowing in on a suspect.

Cleo is now back in the arms of her mum Ellie and stepfather Jake (pictured together)

Cleo is now back in the arms of her mum Ellie and stepfather Jake (pictured together)

MISSING CLEO – TIMELINE OF EARLY SEARCH HOURS

About 6am: Ellie Smith wakes up and realises Cleo and her sleeping bag are missing.

6.23am:  Ellie calls 000 to report her eldest daughter missing as she continues to search the camp ground.

6.30am: The first two officers are dispatched from Carnarvon police station. They travel to Blowholes as a matter of priority, with sirens and lights.

6.41am: A second police car with another two officers is sent to Blowholes, also with lights and sirens.

7.10am: The first police car arrives. The second is only minutes behind. 

7.26am: Police on the scene establish a protected forensic area which is taped off to the public, surrounding the family tent where Cleo was last seen. 

7.33am: A drone operator is called upon to search from the skies.

7.44am: A third police car is dispatched to the Blowholes.

8am: Family and friends of Cleo’s parents begin to arrive to help with the ground search. 

Another group of detectives briefly searches Cleo’s home to make sure she’s not there. They then head to Blowholes and begin stopping cars coming into and leaving the area.  

8.09am: A helicopter from a local company arrived at the scene and started searching  as police request an SES team attend the Blowholes search. 

8.24am: Police airwing and volunteer marine searchers are called in to assist with the search.  

8.34am: Roadblocks are set up at the entrance of Blowholes as detectives gather the names, registration details and addresses of people coming and going. Police search cars. 

9.25am: Nine SES personel arrive at the Blowholes to assist with the search.

9.30am: Detectives sit down with a distressed Ellie and remain by her side for the rest of the day while other search crews hunt for Cleo. 

11am: Homicide detectives from the Major Crime Division are called and begin travelling from Perth to assist with the search.

1pm: More homicide detectives and search experts are flown in from Perth. 

3pm: Officers and search experts arrive in Carnarvon to offer their expertise.



Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button