'My name is Cleo': Video shows rescue of 4-year-old missing for weeks
AUSTRALIA - Western Australia Police posted footage showing part of the rescue of missing four-year-old Cleo Smith in Carnarvon in the early hours of November 3. The little girl had been missing for 18 days after allegedly being taken while camping with her parents.
Cleo can be seen being carried by one person while a detective senior sergeant says to her, "We’re going to take you to see your Mummy and Daddy, okay?" The girl, who appears in good spirits, nods in agreement.
In a press conference, local authorities confirmed that she was taken to hospital that morning, but had since been discharged and was with her parents, on Wednesday.
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One of the officers who found Cleo, Detective Senior Sergeant Cameron Blaine, described how he felt in the moment he saw the four-year-old.
"We had always hoped for that outcome but were not prepared for it. It was absolutely fantastic," he said.
"I said, ‘what is your name?’ she didn’t answer. I asked three times and then she looked at me and said, ‘my name is Cleo’", Blaine said.
Police confirmed a 36-year-old Carnarvon man, who was not known to the family, had been arrested.
Deputy Commissioner Col Blanch released this statement:
It’s my privilege to announce that in the early hours of this morning, the Western Australia Police Force rescued Cleo Smith.
Cleo is alive and well. A Police team broke their way into a locked house in Carnarvon about 1 a.m. They found little Cleo 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’
Cleo was reunited with her parents a short time later. This is the outcome we all hoped and prayed for. 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.
I can confirm we have a man from Carnarvon in custody who is currently being questioned by detectives. We’ll have more to say on the rescue of Cleo as the day unfolds.
For now - Welcome home Cleo."
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