Crime & Justice

Girl missing for 18 days found alive in Western Australia house

Sydney, Australia, Nov 3 (EFE).- A four-year-old girl missing for 18 days in Western Australia has been found alive and well inside a house, and a man has been taken into custody, police announced Wednesday.

Cleo Smith went missing from a tent in the middle of the night on Oct. 16 while camping with her parents north of the town of Carnarvon.

On Wednesday she was found inside a locked house in Carnarvon, about 75 kilometers south of the campsite, Western Australia State Police Deputy Commissioner Col Blanch told reporters.

Authorities broke into the house around 1 am local time, where they found the minor in one of the rooms.

“One of the officers picked her up into his arms and asked her ‘What’s your name?’’ She said: ‘My name is Cleo,'” said Blanch.

She was reunited with her parents and underwent a medical checkup in hospital before being released.

“Our family is whole again,” her mother, Ellie Smith, wrote on Instagram.

The detained 36-year-old man, who reportedly has no connection with the family, is being questioned by police.

National broadcaster ABC reported that charges are expected to be laid.

“Cleo’s rescue wasn’t the result of a sighting, a suspicious event — it was the result of hard police grind,” WA’s Minister for Police Paul Papalia said.

At the time of her disappearance, Cleo was inside a tent at a campsite near blowholes at Point Quobba, about 875 kilometers north of Perth, with her infant sister Isla, her mother Ellie Smith, and Smith’s partner, Jake Gliddon.

The girl had woken up at around 1.30 am in the morning on Saturday, Oct. 16 to ask for water, but at 6 am, when her mother and her partner got up, they discovered that Chloe had disappeared and the tent zip was open. EFE


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