Rest of the world reacts to Cleo Smith development: 'WOW'

·News Reporter
·3-min read

It's the story that has gripped the nation.

The discovery of Cleo Smith "alive and well" in the early hours of Wednesday morning triggered a wave of joy and ultimately relief right across Australia.

And it didn't stop there, with the news quickly making its way into the top news slots on broadcast and online news as the magnitude of such a miraculous discovery was quickly realised.

Major international outlets including the BBC, CNN and The New York Times all gave prime spots to the major news story. 

An inconspicuous remote WA town of just 5,000 people had now become known by millions across the globe overnight.

The news of Cleo being found quickly spread across the world, making headline in a raft of countries.
The news of Cleo being found quickly spread across the world, making headline in a raft of countries.

Cleo's discovery was "against all odds", according to British tabloid The Sun. The story was 'Editors Pick' for Canada's CTV News.

Of course, the first photo of little Cleo since being rescued, smiling and waving to the camera, clinging to an icy pole, was the photo of choice. 

And it was a similar story for TV with the UK waking to the news and quickly adding it to their morning shows.

BBC Breakfast journalist Sally Nugent summed up the feeling of many with just one word when she reacted to the remarkable development WA Police had managed to find the four-year-old at a locked up Carnarvon home after disappearing 18 days earlier.

"Wow," she remarked.

Host Shaimaa Khalil described the news as a "huge sense of relief".

Remarkable body cam video of Cleo in the arms of a police officer was played over and over again by networks. 

There was widespread comparison to Britain's main missing child case with Cleo regularly referred to as "Australia's Maddie", reference to Madeleine McCann who vanished from her family's holiday rental in Portugal in 2007.

The news of Cleo even prompted Madeleine's parents to reveal via a source the development had now offered them hope in their own search for their daughter.

Professor of criminology at the University of Newcastle, Xanthe Mallett, who has been a prominent voice providing expert analysis on Cleo, , was the academic of choice for The New York Times, with the newspaper delving into the remarkable chain of events of the past two-and-a-half weeks.

She told Yahoo News on Wednesday her discovery was "one in a million".

Police on Wednesday took a 36-year-old male from Carnarvon into custody in connection to Cleo's disappearance. No charges have been laid. 

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