The moment the West Australian police chief broke down in relation to Cleo Smith has been revealed.
Western Australia’s top cop broke down in tears when he was told that four-year-old Cleo Smith had been found alive after 18 days.
Police Commissioner Chris Dawson was told that officers raided a Carnarvon home at 12.46am local time on Wednesday, where they found the child alone.
When an officer picked her up and asked her what her name was, she said “my name is Cleo”.
NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller called his WA counterpart to convey his congratulations.
“When he got the call this morning, he broke down and cried. Which, for a veteran in policing, you rarely see, so it just speaks volumes in terms of the amount of effort they put into finding her,” Mr Fuller told Ben Fordham.
“It is such an amazing story.
“You wouldn’t see too many tears from commissioners these days, but you have got to say Ben, when each of us heard the news it would be hard to say you weren’t impacted by that.
“I thought the chances of finding her alive were so slim.
“He said to me, ‘West Australian Police never gave up on Cleo’. It was good old fashion police work that resulted in her being found alive.”
Cleo was found “alive and well” after going missing from her family’s tent at the Blowholes campsite on October 18.
Investigators have taken a 36-year-old man, who they found nearby, into custody. Police say he is not known to the family.
The 18-day search had covered hundreds of kilometres, and the state government had announced a $1m reward for information early in the effort.