A 4-year-old girl who disappeared from her family’s Australian vacation camp site 18 days ago was found alive Wednesday morning in a locked house 45 miles from where she disappeared.
Cleo Smith’s family last saw her in their tent at about 1:30 a.m. on October 16 when she asked for water, as CrimeOnline previously reported. But at 6 a.m. when the family awoke, the little girl was nowhere to be found.
Western Australian police launched an extensive search across the area, and the state government announced a $1 million reward for information on Cleo’s whereabouts or the arrest of whoever was responsible for her disappearance.
Police have released little information about the rescue but promised details would be forthcoming, Sky News Australia reported. Western Australia Police Deputy Commissioner Col Blanch told reporters that officers broke into the Carnarvon house at about 1 a.m. and found the girl in one of the rooms.
He said one of the officers asked her for her name as he picked her up, and she replied, “My name is Cleo.”
Blanch said she was “alive and well” and had been reunited with her parents.
“It’s the outcome we’ve achieved because of some incredible police work,” he said.
The Smiths were vacationing at the Blowholes campsite in Macleod, north of Carnarvon when Cleo disappeared. Investigators believe she was abducted, and police said Wednesday they have taken a man into custody for questioning, although they provided no specifics.
“We’ll have more to say on the rescue of Cleo as the day unfolds,” Blanch said. “For now — welcome home, Cleo.”
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[Featured Photo: Cleo Smith/Police Handout]