Ellie Smith, the mother of recently found 4-year-old Cleo Smith, has made a statement after her daughter was found “alive and well” this morning.
Cleo Smith disappeared while camping with her family in Western Australia on October 16, and according to WA Police, was found inside a Carnarvon home.
After moments of silence, Cleo’s mother Ellie made an Instagram story and an Instagram post about her daughter being found.
“Our family is whole again,” she wrote as her Instagram caption — the first statement she has made on the matter.
WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson told the ABC local radio in Perth this morning that Cleo’s parents Ellie Smith and Jake Gliddon were “delighted” to have her back in their arms.
“She’s as well as we could expect in the circumstances,” he said.
“She’s alive, well, smiling, so it is a wonderful, wonderful result.”
He says although Cleo’s mother and father are understandably emotional, they are just pleased to be reunited with their daughter.
“They’re strong people, they are really strong people,” Commissioner Dawson said.
“They have good support around them. It’s a wonderful result today but it’ll be a tough journey for them.”
WA Police Deputy Commissioner Col Blanch said Cleo had been found in the early hours of this morning inside a Carnarvon home, with a man taken into custody.
This morning, police confirmed the young girl had been reunited with her family.
“A police team broke their way into a locked house in Carnarvon about 1am,” he said.
“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’.”
“This is the outcome we all hoped and prayed for,” Deputy Commissioner Blanch said.
A Carnarvon man is currently in custody and being questioned by detectives.
Cleo went missing on Saturday morning, October 16 at the Blowholes campsite in Macleod, which is around 50km north of Carnarvon and about 960km north of Perth.
A mass search of the area ensued and police believed the child may have been abducted.
Six days after her disappearance, the Western Australian Government issued a $1 million reward for any information regarding her whereabouts.
She is now safe with her family.