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“We are all absolutely overjoyed at the good news this morning and so happy that Cleo has been reunited with her mum and dad,” he said in a statement to The West Australian.
“Thank you to everyone who helped look for her and bring her home, particularly the WA Police, SES and the Carnarvon community.”
Cleo’s parents never gave up hope,” WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson told a press conference on Wednesday afternoon.
He thanked the public and the police force, saying “for those of you that have been hoping, wishing, and praying … it’s a day we all hoped for”.
“She’s alive, she’s safe and she’s back with mum and dad.”
“If you feel the need to thank God today, thank God for the West Australian police force,” WA’s police minister Paul Papalia said.
Cleo’s rescue wasn’t the result of a sighting, as a suspicious event, it was the result of hard police grind.
Following a tip-off late on Tuesday night, police raided a Carnarvon home and found the four-year-old alone, locked in a house.
“One of the officers picked her up into his arms and asked her ‘What’s your name?'” Deputy Commissioner Col Blanch said in a statement on Wednesday morning.
The four-year-old then responded: “My name is Cleo.”
In an emotional Instagram post, Cleo’s mother Ellie wrote: “Our family is whole again”
A 36-year-old Carnarvon man, who has no known links to Cleo’s family, is in police custody.
Detectives located the man in a separate location, near the house in which Cleo was found.
Mr Blanch told Nine’s Today Show that Cleo had been taken to hospital as a precaution and that she had been reunited with her family shortly after they rescued her at 01.00.
“The most important thing is that Cleo has been reunited with mum and dad and that she is safe and well now,” he said