Cleo Smith has been found alive and well after she went missing for more than two weeks, Western Australia Police have confirmed.
The four-year-old disappeared at the Blowholes Campsite, located near Carnarvon 950km north of Perth on October 16.
Her mother Ellie Smith, who was camping with her partner Jake Gliddon along with her daughter, said Cleo had woken at 1.30am the night she went missing asking for water before she went back to bed. When she woke up several hours later, Cleo was gone.
After raising the alarm, a major search and investigation commenced, with police and investigators searching for the girl over the last fortnight.
Then on November 3 at about 1am, she was found in a house in Carnavon.
WA Police Deputy Commissioner Col Blanch announced the news on Wednesday morning, explaining the moment she was recovered.
“One of the officers picked her up into his arms and asked her, ‘What’s your name?’
“She said, ‘My name is Cleo.'”
The police have also confirmed a “local” man has been taken into custody.
Further elaborating on the recovery, Blanch affirmed that Cleo was “alive and well”.
“This is the outcome we all hoped and prayed for.”
Speaking to 2GB on Wednesday morning, Carnarvon shire president Eddie Smith also shared his relief at the news.
“My phone started to ring flat out and I knew there was something going on… Cleo Smith had been found. I rang the police and they told me it was correct,” he told the radio station.
Australian Prime Minster Scott Morrison, who is currently is Glasgow attending the COP26 summit also commented on the news via Twitter, saying it was “wonderful, relieving” to have Cleo found safely.
Labor leader Anthony Albanese also thanked those who’d worked tirelessly in the search to find her, writing: “To all those who tirelessly searched for this little girl, you deserve our thanks.”
After she was found, Cleo was reunited with both her parents.
Commissioner Blanch added her thanks to the couple who have been through a traumatic few weeks as they awaited news on their daughter’s whereabouts.
“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,” he said.