'Lots of tears': Cleo's emotional reunion with parents after 18-day ordeal

·News Reporter
·2-min read

A detective who was on the scene the moment police found missing Cleo Smith has described the moment she was finally reunited with her parents after 18 days.

Cleo was found alone locked in a Carnarvon house just minutes from where she lives on Wednesday about 1am local time.

It is two minutes from the nearest police station and about 70 kilometres away from where she was last seen at the remote Blowholes campsite.

WA Police Detective Senior Sergeant Cameron Blaine told reporters on Wednesday he was one of four police officers who rescued Cleo in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Cleo Smith, 4, is pictured.
Cleo Smith, 4, has been found alive after missing for more than two weeks. Source: Nine News

Det Sgt Blaine said Cleo's family was "ecstatic" with "absolute surprise" as they were reunited with their little girl.

"Things developed so quickly," he said.

"We didn't really have time to prepare them. And we didn't want to give them any false expectations about what might happen. We did know ourselves. It is always a delicate process when it comes to that. 

"But still to be able to give them that news and say they can make their way to the hospital and we will meet them there. That was fantastic."

He added "it was an honour", the reunion and "lots of tears" were shed along with "big hugs" and "kisses".

"She's a very sweet, energetic girl," Det Sgt Blaine said.

"We all wanted to take turns in holding her."

WA Police Detective Sergeant Cameron Blaine is pictured.
WA Police Detective Sergeant Cameron Blaine smiles alongside his colleagues as share relief Cleo is safe and well with her family once again. Source: WA Police

A smiling Cleo was pictured at the hospital after her rescue enjoying an ice block.

Cleo's survival is certainly against the odds. An expert went as far as to say Cleo being found alive is a "one in a million event".

Det Sgt Blaine asked Cleo three times what her name was in disbelief they had found her. 

"Not long after that (we) got into the car and the officer I was with, Detective Sergeant Hutchison who is the family liaison officer, who called Cleo's parents and said, 'we've got someone here who wants to speak to you'," he said.

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