WA Premier Mark McGowan has revealed his first meeting with Cleo Smith didn't go quite to plan with the "delightful" four-year-old hilariously making a mess of what appears to be her favourite treat.
The four-year-old was rescued from a house in Carnarvon on Wednesday morning after she went missing while camping with her family in Blowholes on October 16.
It’s a remarkable story. Experts believe the odds of Cleo being found alive were a million to one.
The premier met up with Cleo and her family on Thursday and described Cleo as “a delightful little girl”.
“She’s just bubbly, playing, friendly and sweet,” Mr McGowan told reporters.
He recalled how Cleo had a mishap with an icy pole – the same treat she was pictured with in her first public photo since returning to her family.
“She was eating an Icy Pole. She spilled it everywhere. She told me it was very, very sticky which I believed.”
McGowan's own error during catch-up with Cleo
Mr McGowan might owe Cleo a new pair of shoes though. He said he accidentally stepped on one and broke it.
He also gave her two police teddy bears named Cameron and Rod, although apparently Cleo doesn’t fancy the names. The names are of course in honour of WA Police officers Detective Superintendent Rod Wilde and Detective Sergeant Cameron Blaine.
Det Sgt Blaine was on the scene when Cleo was rescued in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
"It was really heartwarming to see that she's still bubbly and she's laughing.
"She's falling asleep in her mother's arms. There was one occasion where she asked if she could lay next to mum and have Ellie look at her while she fell asleep.
"It's really good to see that she's adjusted, she's getting some sleep, she's playing in the backyard exactly how you would expect."
At this stage, no one has been charged with an offence over Cleo’s alleged abduction.
There is, however, a 36-year-old man in police custody.
Det Supt Wilde said it’s alleged he acted alone. He added police were yet to establish whether Cleo was kept at the property for the entire 18 days she was apart from her family.
The man was also taken to hospital for treatment on Wednesday and it’s believed he suffered injuries inside the police station, Det Supt Wilde said.
Det Sgt Blaine also appealed for anyone in Carnarvon who has CCTV from between October 15 and November 2 to come forward.
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