‘Cuddling all night’: Cleo Smith’s first night back with family

Nov 04, 2021
Deputy Commissioner Col Blanch has discussed the first night Cleo Smith was reunited with her family. Source: Facebook/ WA Police

UPDATE: A smiling Cleo Smith is seen in her mother’s arms outside family home in new images since leaving hospital.

After revealing to Australia that Cleo Smith had been found “alive and well”, Western Australian (WA) Police Deputy Commissioner Col Blanch has spoken about Cleo Smith’s first night back with her ecstatic family.

The four-year-old was found alive locked in a house in Carnarvon at approximately 1am on November 3, 18 days after she went missing, and was soon reunited with her family.

WA Deputy Police Commissioner Col Blanch told Ben Fordham on 2GB that he believed the entire family was “just cuddling all night” after their tearful reunion.

“(Cleo’s parents) had a small amount of hope but I’m pretty sure they thought they were never going to give her a cuddle again,” he said.

“I’m pretty sure they all slept in the same room.”

WA Premier Mark McGowan visited Carnarvon to thank officers involved in the rescue and also visited Cleo Smith’s family.

“Cleo was a delightful little girl, playing in the backyard,” he said.

“She is just bubbly, playing, friendly, sweet.

“She was eating an icy pole. She spilled it everywhere, she told me it was very, very sticky, which I believed. She was just delightful.

“Can I thank everybody involved who bought this to a successful conclusion.”

McGowan also gave Cleo two toy teddy bears as a gift and suggested they be named Rod and Cameron, after the two lead investigators.

“I’m not sure those names will stick,” he said.

“Cleo didn’t seem too enamoured by those names.”

Detective Senior Sergeant Cameron Blaine was one of four officers who rescued Cleo on November 3 and also commented on Cleo’s positive nature, describing her as “so well-adjusted and happy” following the rescue.

“It was really, heart-warming to see,” he said.

“She is playing in the backyard, exactly how you would expect, like how my daughter did when she was four years old.”

Western Australia Police confirmed four-year-old Cleo Smith had been found alive locked in a house in Carnarvon, 18 days after she went missing. A man is being held in police custody for questioning. Police are currently searching the suburban home where Cleo was found, for evidence.

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