After a traumatizing 18-day abduction ordeal, Cleo Smith’s family is facing a difficult road.

  • “It is wonderful news, with a outcome, frankly, that none of us really expected.”
  • “We don’t know anything about psychological trauma. I suspect that it will be immense.”  
  • “I was less sure it would have a happy conclusion that we are experiencing”

Tim Watson-Munro, forensic psychologist, says Cleo Smith, four years old will need to deal with ‘enormous trauma’ after she miraculously was found after an 18-day ordeal.  

Cleo, who had been missing for 18 days was found in Carnarvon (West Australia) after police broke into a locked room at 1 a.m. local time on Wednesday. 

Watson-Munro, who worked on some of the most notorious crimes in the country, told Nine Network’s Today Show that it was ‘just wonderful news’ and that the result was something that none of us expected. 

He was relieved to learn that Cleo was not physically hurt. “Of course, we don’t know anything about the psychological trauma, which, I suspect, will be immense. 

Four-year-old Cleo Smith has been found alive after being taken from a campsite 18 days ago

After being taken from a campsite 18-days ago, Cleo Smith, a four-year-old girl, was found alive.

Watson-Munro stated the case has caused enormous trauma in Australia’s mental health and that finding her involved exceptional detective work by the police, public cooperation and media publicity. 

He said that Cleo’s story was ‘funny’. He also stated that the investigation went far enough to find the exact details, but did not alert the accused. 

“I was confident that it would all work out. He said that he was less optimistic that it would be a happy ending like the one we are experiencing today.  

Cleo Smith's first words to the police after being found were 'My name is Cleo'

Cleo Smith’s first words after being found by police were “My name is Cleo”

According to the psychologist, the police will investigate the mental state of the kidnapper. The psychologist stated that a lot of the work would already have been done. This is not an accident that they found him. I suspect that they’ve been watching him,’ said Mr Watson-Munro. 

He stated that the police would be meticulous in gathering all evidence and presenting a solid case to court. 

Watson-Munro emphasized the importance of ensuring that police evidence is sound. 

“I believe the police in this case were extremely thorough and methodical in their investigation. The investigation doesn’t end with the discovery that a child has been found.”    

Criminal Psychologist Tim Watson-Munro with his daughter. Mr Watson Munro was walking on the beach in Byron Bay, NSW when he heard the news that four-year-old Cleo Smith had been found alive

Tim Watson-Munro, a criminal psychologist, is pictured with his daughter. Mr Watson Munro was walking on the beach in Byron Bay, NSW when he heard the news that four-year-old Cleo Smith had been found alive

He stated that Carnarvon’s residents will be traumatized, wondering what they have missed while they lived so close by Cleo’s place of detention. 

“I’ve often said with these types cases, when I ask, “Who could it possibly be?” I can’t help but think it could be anyone. They are able to blend in with their community like chameleons. They don’t cause suspicion. 

Speaking to Daily Mail in the early days of the investigation into the disappearance of Cleo, Mr Watson-Munro said the of the person who took her that ‘The problem with a person like this is it could be anyone.

“It’s someone that can blend into a suburbia lifestyle…he could be involved in community and sporting clubs.

“If you have ever met the offender, he might appear very normal.

“This is the danger with these people – their ordinariness. They are very easy to mix in, and they are usually well presented.