Four-year-old Australian girl missing from campsite found alive after two weeks

World

(Reuters) —  A 4-year-old girl who went missing from an Australian outback campsite more than two weeks ago has been found “alive and well” in a locked house, authorities said on Wednesday.

Police broke into a house in Carnarvon, a town about 62 miles south of the campsite, early on Wednesday morning and found Cleo Smith in one of the rooms.

“One of the officers picked her up into his arms and asked her ‘what’s your name?’. She said ‘My name is Cleo’,” Western Australia Police Deputy Commissioner Col Blanch said on local television. A man has been taken into custody in relation to the disappearance, he said.

Cleo was last seen in her family’s tent at about 1.30 a.m. local time on Oct. 16 at the remote Blowholes Shacks campsite in Macleod, about 560 miles north of Perth, the capital of Western Australia state. When her parents woke next morning, she was gone.

Australian police feared the girl had been abducted and offered a A$1 million ($743,000) reward for information.

“What wonderful, relieving news. Cleo Smith has been found and is home safe and sound. Our prayers answered,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a tweet.

(Reporting by Renju Jose; editing by Richard Pullin)

Copyright Thomson Reuters 2021.

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