Cleo Smith has been found alive, and police have shared the first heartwarming photo of the 4-year-old since she was rescued…
Cleo Smith went missing during a family camping trip on October 16th…
And after the news broke out about her disappearance, people took to social media to share prayers and well wishes to her family…
The family of Cleo Smith had arrived at the popular Blowholes campsite on the north-west coast of Western Australia, on Friday.
Arriving at about 6.30 PM, the family settled in at the campsite before having dinner, the Guardian reports.
Cleo then went to bed at around 8 PM.
The family woke up around 6 AM the following morning where they discovered the tent zipper open and Cleo gone.
Her red and grey sleeping bag was also gone.
As per the outlet, Cleo’s mom, Ellie Smith said:
“The tent was completely open. It was about 30cm from open,” she said. “We grew up here, we literally grew up 100 meters from where we stayed at the same age. So we just looked everywhere that we went as kids and we couldn’t find her. We realized we had to call the cops because she wasn’t here.”
By this point, Ellie and her partner, Jake Gliddon, had decided to phone the emergency services.
They also alerted their fellow campers, who by the time the police had arrived, had sent up private drones to search from the sky.
According to the outlet, at the time, authorities didn’t rule out any theories, including abduction.
Investigators in homicide and major crime forensics joined police in their search amid abduction fears, while helicopters and drones were also deployed to search the area.
Speaking with Perth radio station, 6PR, inspector Jon Munday said the search for Cleo was “a race against time.”
“We can’t rule out the fact that Cleo may be still in the area, we can’t rule out the fact she’s left the area and if she’s left the area that is probably is our worst-case scenario because that really paints a sinister picture with what’s happened,” he said while the search was going on.
Cleo’s mom Ellie also spoke with 7News Perth where she admitted she felt “hopeless” about the situation.
“We haven’t really slept,” she said. “Everyone asks us what we need and all we need is our little girl home… The worst part is, we can’t do anything more. It’s out of our hands so we feel hopeless and out of control.”
She also urged people to report it, if they seeing anything.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s small or big or if you’re sure or not… We want our little girl home. We sit and watch the sand dunes and we just think she’s going to run down it and back into our arms, but we’re still waiting.”
And now, after an incredible turn of events, Cleo has been found alive and well by police…
And they even released a heartwarming photo of the tot recovering in hospital.
And people were overjoyed to hear the amazing news…
As per ABC News, the 4-year-old was found alone in the bedroom of a house just 6-minutes drive away from her family home…
She was reportedly “alive, well, and smiling” when police broke into the property and found her.
A thirty-six-year-old man is currently in police custody in connection with Cleo’s disappearance, but no charges have been made…
Chris Dawson, the man in charge of the investigation, spoke out, saying that officers on the case were “overjoyed to be able to return Cleo to her parents.”
Adding: “We don’t always get these sort of outcomes and while we were very, very concerned we didn’t lose hope.”
Col Blanch, the assistant police commissioner, said Cleo was immediately taken to hospital to be checked over…
“Physically she appears to be in good health but the medical professionals are with her at the moment and it would be wrong for me to say any more than that,” he said.
“Certainly she’s getting the best of care right now.”
And the photo released by police shows just how happy she is to be reunited with her family…
Cleo’s mom has since taken to Instagram to share her relief, writing: “Our family is whole again.”
What an incredible outcome. WA police deserve all the recognition for their hard work and determination over the last few weeks.