'Couldn't believe it': WA town shed 'tears of happiness' after Cleo Smith found safe and well

Lloyd Burr 03/11/2021

LISTEN: A Western Australian community is feeling relief following news overnight that a young girl who went missing last month was found "alive and well" by police officers.

Four-year-old Cleo Smith was camping with her family at a remote campsite about 900km north of Perth and hadn't been seen since about 1:30am (local time) on October 16.

Her parents woke at 6:30am and she was missing.

But in the early hours on Wednesday, 18 days since she was last seen, Cleo was rescued.

"Cleo is alive and well," deputy Western Australia Police Commissioner Col Blanch said in a statement. "A police team broke their way into a locked house in Carnarvon about 1am.

"They found little Cleo in one of the rooms.

"I can confirm we have a man from Carnarvon in custody who is currently being questioned by detectives."

Latisha Andreoli from Carnarvon Family Support Services told Lloyd Burr Live her husband woke her up when he heard the news.

"I don't think I've ever gotten out of bed so quickly at five o'clock in the morning before," she said.

"I just couldn't believe it. I ran to the TV, I had tears of happiness for Cleo and her family. It's just an amazing feeling."

Andreoli says the town of Carnarvon is celebrating the wonderful news by putting up pink balloons and signs saying "Welcome home, Cleo."

"It's just beautiful," she told Magic Talk.

The young girl said "my name is Cleo" when she was picked up by a police officer on Wednesday morning, Blanch said.  She was reunited with her parents a short time later.

"This is the outcome we all hoped and prayed for," Blanch said.

"It's the outcome we've achieved because of some incredible police work."

Listen to the full interview with Latisha Andreoli above.

Magic Talk | Lloyd Bur Live, weekdays from 4pm.

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