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Cleo Smith alive and well: Perth’s Council House, Optus Stadium bathed in blue in tribute to WA Police

Venues across Perth lit up in a special tribute to the state’s police force, saluting their efforts to recover missing Carnarvon girl Cleo Smith.

Perth’s iconic landmarks were awash in blue on Wednesday night in a salute to the tireless work of police in bringing Cleo Smith home alive and well.

Sites such as Optus Stadium, Council House, the Bell Tower and Yagan Square were lit up on Wednesday evening following the news that the four-year-old from Carnarvon was safe and reunited with her family after vanishing 18 days earlier.

It was Cleo’s first night at home in nearly three weeks following her disappearance from the Quobba Blowholes campsite on October 16.

The event weighed on the hearts of parents across the nation and triggered an extraordinary police response that culminated in officers finding Cleo alone in a locked home in Carnarvon in the early hours of Wednesday.

A 36-year-old man has been arrested and is being questioned by police, though no charges have been laid.

City of Perth Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas on Wednesday said the tireless and amazing work by WA Police in solving the case had been inspirational.

“The outpouring of emotion from people across Australia has been unprecedented since the news broke this morning that Cleo had been found,” Mr Zempilas said.

“Lighting up Council House in blue is just a simple gesture on our part to let WA Police, family and friends of Cleo and the Carnarvon community know that we are thinking of them and are relieved that Cleo has been reunited with her family.”

Cleo vanished from her family’s campsite in the early hours of October 16 in an incident that was quickly deemed a suspected abduction.

The seemingly fruitless effort to locate the missing girl involved hundreds of police officers searching vast swathes of the countryside and hundreds of kilometres of roadside bins for evidence, with thousands of calls coming in to Crime Stoppers during the nearly three-week ordeal.

West Australian Police Minister Paul Papalia on Thursday said the entire state was proud of its officers.

“They have performed magnificently well. The care that they showed … they were beautifully tender with her, wonderful servants of the public and we should all be proud of them,” Mr Papalia said.

“(Carnarvon is) an incredible community and they should be proud of themselves. We watched all this time as they metaphorically and physically wrapped their arms around this family and cared for them and each other.

“I hope that continues because it has been extraordinary to watch the outpouring of relief and thanks for getting little Cleo back, (it) was just an amazing thing to witness.”

Read related topics:Perth


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