Cleo Smith suspect taken to hospital AGAIN

·3-min read

The man police have in custody following Cleo Smith's rescue from a house in Carnarvon was taken to hospital for a second time.

A 36-year-old Carnarvon man was taken into custody to be questioned over Cleo's suspected abduction but has not been charged.

Speaking to 2GB, WA Police Deputy Commissioner Col Blanch confirmed the man was taken to hospital again on Thursday morning, but said he had "no serious injuries".

A general view of the Police Station in Carnarvon, 900km north of the capital Perth in Western Australia, Thursday, November 4, 2021.
A man in police custody has been taken to the hospital twice in Carnarvon. Source: AAP

"So that's twice and why that is important, police have a very clear role under law to make sure if we're going to interview anyone they must be of sound mind, they must be healthy, must have been fed, they must have had sufficient rest," he said.

"Because if any answers in a police interview are going to stand up in court, we must satisfy those things.

"So we've got to make all the right accommodations for this person, and so we can make the right decisions going forward today."

The 36-year-old man was not on a list of known sex offenders in Carnarvon, nor was he known to Cleo or her family.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Detective Superintendent Rod Wilde confirmed the man is now back at the police station and is answering questions.

"We have a man in custody and those investigations are continuing so no charges have been made as yet," he said.

Det Supt Wilde also confirmed police will allege the man acted alone. 

A supplied image obtained on Wednesday, November 3, 2021, of Four-year-old Cleo Smith recovering in hospital.
Cleo was found alive and well by Western Australian police, locked in a property just minutes away from her family's home. Source: AAP

Cleo and family spent night 'cuddling'

Police rescued Cleo from a house in Carnarvon at 12.46 on Wednesday morning, more than two weeks after she was abducted from the Blowholes campsite.

She was taken to hospital following the rescue as a precaution, however she has since gone back home with her mother Ellie Smith, stepdad Jake Gliddon and her baby half-sister Isla.

"Ellie and Jake have been through 18 days of hell and I know Australia has felt that with them," Dept Comm Blanch said.

"I think they had a small amount of hope but probably thought they never were going to give her a cuddle ever again, so I'm pretty sure they all slept in the same room just cuddling all night."

Online abuse was directed at Cleo's mother Ellie Smith and her partner Jake Gliddon. Source: AAP Image
Online abuse was directed at Cleo's mother Ellie Smith and her partner Jake Gliddon, despite not being considered suspects. Source: AAP Image

While police were investigating Cleo's disappearance, her family was subject to vile abuse online, despite police repeatedly saying her family were not suspects.

Dept Comm Blanch said people who made snap-assessments about the investigation were not helpful to police, or the family who were in distress.

"Internet detectives who have thoughts, and ones that make people guilty within five minutes of an assessment are unhelpful to police investigations," he told 2GB. 

"It's unhelpful to the mental health of parents who are in massive distress because they've, you know, their child basically had been abducted, Cleo has been abducted."

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