Police have provided an update on Cleo Smith, posting a touching photo of the rescued child taken soon after her miraculous discovery.
Police have provided an update on Cleo Smith, posting a photo of the rescued child after her miraculous Wednesday morning discovery.
“The miracle we all hoped for,” the official Western Australia Police Twitter account posted this afternoon.
The picture shows a smiling Cleo waving at the camera from a hospital bed, while holding an iceblock.
“Look, I am just so proud of the team I have behind me, but there is 140 in the team,” Commissioner Chris Dawson told the media this afternoon.
“Many of them are still at work here right now, and a whole bunch of them are back in Perth. We will be working through this for the next week or two at least, there is much more work to be done, but I am just proud, the proudest Police Commissioner in the world at the moment.”
Police detailed the crucial hours before Cleo was found, recalling a phone call at midnight from colleagues confident they had a “strong lead”.
“We’d been following some leads up and just after midnight I got a call to say, ‘look we’ve got a strong lead’, and they briefed me on it and said, ‘we’re going to have to get into this house’,” Commissioner Dawson told 6PR Wednesday morning.
“They broke into the house, and she was in there.”
Mr Dawson said a short time later he was able to view body-worn camera footage from the rescue, revealing the moment Cleo was found inside a locked Carnarvon house brought him to tears.
“It unashamedly brought a tear to the eye. It’s just so remarkable, and I’m just so proud of the way they worked their way through this,” he said.
Detectives found Cleo in the early hours of this morning after breaking their way into a house in Carnarvon, about 70km from the campsite where the four-year-old disappeared 18 days ago.
A 36-year-old man from Carnarvon is now in custody and is being questioned by police, with neighbours revealing new information about the man’s movements in the lead up to Cleo being found.
“It’s my privilege to announce that in the early hours of this morning, the Western Australia Police Force rescued Cleo Smith,” Deputy Commissioner Col Blanch said in a statement on Wednesday morning, adding that “Cleo is alive and well”.
“A Police team broke their way into a locked house in Carnarvon about 1am. 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’.”