Australia: 4-year-old girl rescued after 2 weeks missing

Wednesday 03/November/2021 08:59 AM
By: DW
Australia: 4-year-old girl rescued after 2 weeks missing
Cleo Smith disappeared during the early hours of October 16

Australian police on Wednesday arrested a man over the disappearance of a 4-year-old girl who they found in a house in the coastal town of Carnarvon.
Cleo Smith had vanished with her sleeping bag from her family's tent at the Blowholes Campground, 75 km (47 miles) north of the family home in Carnarvon two weeks ago.
She and her younger sister Isla were in a compartment of the tent separate from the parents.
Her disappearance triggered an extensive air, sea and ground search, drawing national attention and outpouring support for her parents.

Western Australia's state government had offered a reward of 1 million Australian dollars (€642,000, $740,000) for information relevant to the search. It is unclear if anyone had received this amount of money.
According to Australia's AAP news agency, police had suspected an "opportunistic" offender abducted her.

Police said they found the girl alone in a locked house in Carnarvon. They raided the house at around 1 a.m. local time.
A man in his 30s described by police as a Carnarvon local was taken into custody.

Western Australia police commissioner Chris Dawson said the girl was "as well as we could expect in the circumstances."
"Cleo is alive and well," said Col Blanch, Western Australia police deputy commissioner.

"One of the officers picked her up into his arms and asked her: 'What's your name?' She said: 'My name is Cleo,'" Blanch added.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison thanked the police for finding Cleo and supporting her family.

"What wonderful, relieving news. Cleo Smith has been found and is home safe and sound,'' Morrison said on Twitter. "Our prayers answered."

Cleo was reunited with her mother and stepfather soon after her medical examination. "Our family is whole again," her mother said on social media.