A team from Western Australia Police broke into a locked house in Carnarvon around 1am on Wednesday morning where they found the little girl in one of the rooms. A man from the area is in custody.
“It’s my privilege to announce that in the early hours of this morning, the Western Australia police force rescued Cleo Smith,” deputy commissioner Col Blanch said. “Cleo is alive and well.”
In a news conference, he explained how Cleo identified herself.
“One of the officers picked her up into his arms and asked her, ‘what’s your name?’
“She said, ‘My name is Cleo’.”
He said on Twitter: “What wonderful, relieving news. Cleo Smith has been found and is home safe and sound.
“Our prayers answered.”
Cleo was holidaying with her family at the Blowholes campsite in Macleod, around 560 miles (900km) north of Perth, when she vanished during the early hours of 16 October.
On Tuesday, officers scoured through two trucks worth of rubbish from roadside bins in a bid to “leave no stone unturned” in their search.
A police statement said: “As part of the investigation, officers collected more than 50 cubic metres of rubbish from roadside bins as far north as Minilya to as far south as Geraldton.
“The rubbish was packed into two trucks and transported to Perth, where four forensics officers and 20 officers spent two days sorting through hundreds of bags, in an effort to find any items that may assist in the investigation.”
The Western Australia State Government was offering a $1 million reward for information resulting in finding Cleo or leading to any arrests in relation to her disappearance.