Amazing moment Cleo Smith, 4, found SAFE after vanishing for 18 days as man, 36, 'with no family connection' arrested

THIS is the astonishing moment missing Cleo Smith is carried to safety as she was found safe 18 days after vanishing from her family's campsite. 

Police cameras show the four-year-old in an officer's arms as she's taken outside.

Another cop introduces himself to the four-year-old before asking: "Are you ok?"

The schoolgirl nods quietly.

He then says: "We're going to take you to see your mummy and daddy, ok?"

Cleo introduced herself to police after they busted open the door of a home more than a fortnight after she vanished from her tent at the Blowholes camp in Western Australia.

The property in Carnarvon is just a seven-minute drive from her family home.

And when the little girl was found, she told a group of officers: "My name is Cleo."

She's being cared for in hospital.

A 36-year-old man has been arrested in connection with her disappearance.

He has no connection with the family.


Cleo's mum Ellie Smith spoke out for the first time since the little girl was found, posting the emotional message to Instagram: "Our family is whole again."

Police confirmed the four-year-old was found "alive and well" – which is the "outcome we prayed for."

Deputy Commissioner Col Blanch said in a statement: "It’s my privilege to announce that in the early hours of this morning, the Western Australia Police Force rescued Cleo Smith.

"Cleo is alive and well. A police team broke their way into a locked house in Carnarvon about 1am.

"They found little Cleo in one of the rooms.

"Cleo was reunited with her parents a short time later.

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

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

"I want to thank Cleo’s parents, the Western Australian community and the many volunteers.

We're taking you to see mummy and daddy

"And of course, I want to thank my colleagues in the Western Australia Police Force.

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

"We’ll have more to say on the rescue of Cleo as the day unfolds.

"For now – Welcome home Cleo."

Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison praised the police force for their work in rescuing the little girl.

"What wonderful, relieving news," he wrote.

"Our prayers answered. Thank you to the many Western Australia Police Force officers involved in finding Cleo and supporting her family."

Shocked neighbours have described seeing a "quiet man" buying nappies just two days before Cleo was found inside a locked home.

The neighbour told Sunrise: "The other day – on Monday – we saw him in Woolworths buying Kimbies [nappies] and that.


"But we didn't click on what he was buying them for."

Speaking about the man who was arrested, he added: "Everyone knows the person who stays at that house, but no one would have thought it would be him.

"We were shocked."

Local resident Sahntayah McKenzie said she heard the sound of a child crying recently.

She told The West Australian: "Not last night, the night before it…I heard a little girl crying but I wouldn't expect it to be Cleo.

"I didn't expect it would happen in this little neighbourhood, a lot of people know each other."

WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson said the arrest came after detectives received information that led them to the house. 

Dubbed the 'Aussie Maddie McCann,' cops launched a desperate hunt for the child after she went missing from the remote campsite in her pink pyjamas.

Her mum Ellie last saw her at 1.30am when she gave her a drink of water, and then her and her partner Jake Gliddon awoke to find the tot missing – sparking a frantic search.

Cleo's disappearance sent shockwaves through the community in Australia.

The police were called around three hours after she was found to be missing as the family had hoped the girl was just hiding nearby – searching the area with other campers.

Police were searching rugged terrain near the remote campsite for the missing girl and said they had "grave concerns for Cleo’s safety".

Authorities previously also offered a $1m reward for information leading to Cleo’s location.

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