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Australian police break down door to home, rescue 4-year-old missing for over 2 weeks

She reportedly said 'My name is Cleo' during the rescue
Australia Missing Girl
Posted at 11:23 AM, Nov 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-04 11:57:31-04

CARNARVON, Australia — Authorities in Australia have found a 4-year-old girl who had been missing for more than two weeks.

The Western Australia Police Force says the girl, named Cleo Smith, was located in a home in Carnarvon, about 30 miles away from a remote campsite where she went missing.

Western Australia Police Commissioner Chris Dawson told the local media that four officers broke down a door of the home Cleo was in and found the girl in a room at about 1 a.m. Wednesday.

Deputy Commissioner Col Blanch said in a statement that one of the officers picked Cleo up and asked her “What’s your name?” She replied, “My name is Cleo,” according to Blanch.

Australia Missing Girl
In this photo provided by the Western Australia Police, four-year-old Cleo Smith waves as she sits on a bed in hospital, Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021, in an undisclosed location, Australia. (Western Australia Police via AP)

Cleo was reunited with her parents a short time later.

“She’s alive, she’s safe, and she’s back with mom and dad,” said Dawson.

On social media, the child's mother wrote, “Our family is whole again.”

Australia Missing Girl
Ellie Smith, left, and her partner Jake Gliddon, display a photo of their missing daughter, Cleo, near Carnarvon in Western Australia state, Australia, Oct. 19, 2021. (James Carmody/AAP Image/Pool via AP)

The police department confirmed that a 36-year-old man from Carnarvon has been taken into custody in connection with the case, and he’s being questioned by detectives. His name has not yet been released.

The department thanked Cleo’s parents, local law enforcement, and a community of volunteers who helped in the child’s rescue.

“This is the outcome we all hoped and prayed for. It’s the outcome we’ve achieved because of some incredible police work,” said Blanch.

The child vanished from her family’s tent at Blowholes Campground in Macleod on Oct. 16.

Her disappearance both horrified and captivated the nation. A reward worth about $750,000 (American dollars) was offered by the area government for information that led to Cleo’s whereabouts.