Missing 4-year-old Cleo Smith found alive and well in Western Australia home


Nov. 2 (UPI) — A 4-year-old girl who was missing for 18 days in Australia was found alive and well, police said Tuesday.

The missing girl, Cleo Smith, was found after police forced their way into a locked house in the coastal town of Carnarvon at around 1 a.m., Western Australian Police Force Deputy Commissioner Col Blanch said in a statement.


“They found little Cleo in one of the rooms,” he said. “One of the officers picked her up into his arms and asked her ‘what’s your name?’ She said — ‘My name is Cleo.'”

Blanch added that Cleo was reunited with her parents and a man from Carnarvon is in custody and being questioned by detectives.

Cleo’s mother, Ellie Smith, expressed relief on social media that her daughter had been found.

“Our family is whole again,” she wrote.

Cleo had been missing since Oct. 16, when she disappeared from her family’s tent at the Blowholes camping site north of Carnarvon.

The state of Western Australia launched a widespread search for her, with the government offering a reward of $1 million for information regarding her whereabouts.

Carnarvon Shire President Eddie Smith said he was “a bit emotional” during a radio interview following the news of Cleo’s discovery.


“I’m still trying to absorb it, it is absolutely fantastic, it’s wonderful Cleo’s been found … to our police, what a wonderful job,” he said.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison described the announcement as “wonderful, relieving news” in a post on Twitter.

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