Cleo Smith’s neighbor, a man who lives in the house where Cleo was found, became suspicious after seeing him buy nappies on Monday and hearing his crying from inside the house.

Police teams located the four year-old girl in a Carnarvon residence at around 1 a.m. on Wednesday. This is 18 days after she disappeared from Blowholes, her family’s campsite. 

A 36-year old man was taken into custody at the house and taken into question by detectives. He has no family connection. 

“The other day, on Monday, we saw him in Woolworths purchasing Kimbies. [nappies]Sunrise was told by a neighbour that she knew of the problem. 

“But we didn’t click on what they were buying for.”

Cleo Smith was found alive and well 18 days after she disappeared from a tent.

Sahntayah McKenzie, a neighbor, said she heard a girl crying one night but did not believe it was connected to the missing girl.

‘Not last night, the night before it… I heard a little girl crying but I wouldn’t expect it to be Cleo,’ she told The West Australian.

“I didn’t think it would happen in this small neighbourhood, a lot people know each other.” 

Neighbors described the man who lived at this home as ‘quiet’, and said they wouldn’t have expected him involved. 

One man said that everyone in the street, which is just seven minutes away from Cleo’s home, is familiar with one another but tends not to talk about it. 

He stated, “Everyone knows the person who lives at that house, but none would have thought it would’ be him.” 

‘We were shocked.’ 

Chris Dawson, the WA Police Commissioner, stated that detectives were acting upon received information that led them to the house. 

He said that police won’t be able to give too many details since the investigation is still ongoing, but that phone data was critical in cracking the case.

Cleo was found by her parents shortly after she was found. She is now receiving treatment in a hospital. 

Neighbors woke up to chaotic scenes as cop cars and detectives piled into their streets, piling into and leaving the home where Cleo was found.

A shocked neighbour (pictured) of the man arrested after Cleo was found locked in his house has described spotting him buying nappies at Woolworths two days earlier

A shocked neighbor (pictured) has spoken out about his shock at the man being arrested after Cleo was discovered locked in his house. He said that he saw him buying nappies from Woolworths two days prior. 

A map shows how Cleo smith was found 73.7km south of the campsite she vanished from more than two weeks ago

A map shows the exact location of Cleo Smith’s campsite, 73.7km to the south of where she vanished more than two week ago.

“We stood back, waited, but after that, he said that we saw someone, on a detective’s shoulder.”

“We thought it might have been the little girl, which was it. I moved closer to the detective’s vehicle and I saw her in his car at the back. He was holding her.

Another neighbor said that she received a call at 4.30am from her nephew, breaking the news that the little girl was found.

9News reported that she was’very pleased’ and jumped out of bed to tell 9News. 

The woman claimed that she was shocked when she saw a sea police officers outside and realized how close the little girl was her home. 

She said, “The main thing is that she’s been found healthy and alive.” 

“Well done Western Australia Police.” 

Col Blanch, WA Deputy Commissioner, confirmed that Cleo is still alive and well just before 7 AM AEDT.

“One of the officers took her into his arms and asked her her name. He said.

Another neighbour said she was shocked to walk outside her home and see police after failing to wake up when detectives swarmed the street at 1am to recover the missing toddler

Another neighbor claimed that she was shocked to go outside her house and see the police after failing the alarm to wake her up when detectives entered the street at 1am to search for the missing toddler. 

“She said, “My name is Cleo.”

‘This is the outcome we all hoped and prayed for,’ Deputy Commissioner Blanch said.

“It’s the result we’ve achieved thanks to some incredible police work.

“I want to thank Cleo’s parents, the Western Australian community, and all the volunteers. 

“And of course, thank you to my colleagues from the Western Australia Police Force.”  

Daily Mail Australia understands that Cleo’s mother Ellie Smith was contacted by a local police officer to report the shocking news.

Ms Smith stated that her family is now whole again.

Here’s the latest information on Cleo’s origin: 

  • Police take custody of a 36 year-old man without any family connection
  • Neighbors claimed that the quiet man was seen buying nappies at Woolworths.
  • Cleo was alone in the house when the police broke down its door at 1am
  • Police were following a tip-off and led them to the housing agency home. 
  • Cleo vanished from the campsite seven minutes drive from her home. 
  • Cleo smiled at the rescuers, according to the police commissioner. 
  • After being reunited to her family, she is now at the hospital for an evaluation 
Cleo Smith has been found alive and well, 18 days after she vanished from her family's tent at the remote Blowholes campsite in Western Australia

Cleo Smith was found alive and well 18 days after she disappeared from her family’s tent at Blowholes campsite in Western Australia. 

The home where Cleo was found is just a seven minute drive away from Cleo Smith's parents home in Carnarvon

Cleo Smith’s parents Carnarvon home is only seven minutes away from the home where Cleo was discovered. 

Cleo vanished from her tent with her family on October 16, while her mother Ellie Smith, Jake Gliddon, and baby sister Isla slept nearby. 

The home she was found in is just 73.7km south of the campsite she vanished from, raising the possibility the missing little girl was right under the noses of police for the entire 18 day period she was missing.  

 She’s alive, well, smiling, so it is a wonderful, wonderful result

According to reports, Commissioner Dawson wept when he heard the heartwarming news.

He said that the youngster was as good as could be expected.

He said, “I saw it, Cleo is beautiful, a four-year-old girl.”

“She’s as healthy as we could expect given the circumstances.”

“She’s alive, well and smiling, so it’s an amazing, wonderful result.”

He said that Cleo’s parents were emotionally charged, but doing well.

Commissioner Dawson stated, “They’re strong people. They are really strong people.”

Commissioner Dawson reportedly broke down in tears upon learning the heartwarming news. He said the youngster was good as can be expected

The heartwarming news brought tears to the eyes of Commissioner Dawson, according to reports. He said that the youngster was as healthy as can be.

They have good support.

“It’s a great result today, but it’ll be a difficult journey for them.”

Commissioner Dawson also said that it was a tip to police that led to the raid on the house where Cleo is found.

“There was some information we followed-up on. He stated that they had been following, as you know, a lot forensic leads. It led them to a specific house.

“We mounted our general duties officers who did an amazing job within minutes of arriving. Within minutes, the first officers on the scene declared the scene a forensic scene. They sealed it off. This was really, really great policing.

“From that moment on, it was a really dedicated group of well over 100 people on the scene itself. We were prepared for a long journey but we are so, so happy.

Comm Blanch thanked Cleo’s parents, the thousands who have scoured remote Australia for the little girl, and the wider community, for their support.

Cleo Smith (pictured) has miraculously been found alive after vanishing from a remote campsite in Western Australia

Cleo Smith (pictured) miraculously survived after disappearing from a remote campsite, Western Australia.

Cleo’s rescue will be discussed by police on Wednesday. Deputy Commissioner Blanch concluded, “For now, welcome back Cleo,”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is flying home from Glasgow. He tweeted: “What wonderful, relieving information.”

‘Cleo Smith was found and is now safe and sound at home. Our prayers have been answered.

“Thank you to the many officers who assisted in finding Cleo and supporting her family.

Mark McGowan, Western Australian Premier, added that he was ‘overwhelmed’. Cleo and her entire family are now free from this nightmare.

“I’d like thank the Western Australian community and the WA Police for their help in bringing Cleo home to her family.

2GB Breakfast host Ben Fordham was live on-air when he informed listeners that Cleo had been located.

Cleo is now back in the arms of her mum Ellie and stepfather Jake (pictured together)

Cleo is now in the arms her stepfather Jake and mum Ellie (pictured together).

Police interviewed more than 110 people who were present at the Blowholes campsite the night Cleo arrived home with her family at 10.16.

The little girl was last seen at her family’s tent on WA’s northwest coast at 1.30am. It was five hours later that her mother and stepfather realized she was missing.

Rod Wilde, Detective Superintendent, stated that the family had stayed close to their tent all night and not socialized with other campers.

“I believe it’s more likely an opportunistic type event,” he said to Perth radio 6PR on Tuesday, hours before Cleo’s discovery.

“We know they arrived on Friday night, but it was getting dark and people would have had limited opportunities to see Cleo at that point.”

Police repeatedly stressed that Cleo’s biological father was not in the case and neither Ellie Smith, her mother, nor Jake Gliddon were suspects.

Ms Smith had been posting daily social media appeals, pleading for Cleo’s return.

Cleo vanished from her family's campsite (pictured) between 1.30am and 6.30am on October 16

Cleo vanished (pictured) from the campsite of her family on October 16th between 1.30am-6.30am.

Police collected more than 50 cubic meters of rubbish from roadside bins from Minilya to Geraldton this week.

It was taken to Perth by forensic officers and trainees who searched through hundreds of bags looking for any items that could have helped them find Cleo.

Cleo’s location was a reward offered by the State Government worth $1 million

Although the police stated that the Cleo’s disappearance had been immediately dealt with with the highest priority, it took two hours for a roadblock to be established at the location.

Cleo’s family house in Carnarvon was visited several times by detectives. They also sought CCTV footage from several businesses in the area, and collected samples from a campfire at Blowholes.

Officers made an extraordinary appeal for CCTV and dash cam footage within 1000km of the location where the preschooler disappeared. They were looking for footage from service stations, truck stops, motel check-ins, service stations, food outlets, truck stops and free camping areas.

The police narrowed in on a suspect by using the selective list.


At 6am, Ellie Smith wakes up to discover that Cleo is missing from her sleeping bag and that Cleo is not there.

6.23am:  Ellie calls 000 to report her eldest daughter missing as she continues to search the camp ground.

6.30am: The Carnarvon station police station dispatches the first two officers. They will travel to Blowholes in order of priority, with sirens or lights.

6.41 AM: Blowholes is received a second police car, with two additional officers and lights.

7.10am: The first officer arrives. The second arrives in a few minutes. 

7.26 am: Police arrive on the scene and create a protected forensic area that is taped to the public around the tent where Cleo was last spotted. 

7.33 AM: A drone operator is needed to search the skies.

7.44am: A third officer car is dispatched for the Blowholes

8 a.m.: Cleo’s family and friends begin to arrive to assist with the ground search. 

Another group of detectives searches Cleo’s house briefly to make sure she isn’t there. They then move on to Blowholes, stopping cars from entering and leaving the region.  

8.09am: A helicopter from a local company arrived at the scene and started searching  as police requested that an SES Team attend the Blowholes Search. 

8.24 am: Volunteer marine searchers, police airwing, and the Air Force are called in for assistance.  

8.34 AM: Blowholes’ entrance is blocked off by roadblocks. Detectives collect the names, addresses and registration details of anyone who comes and goes. Police search cars. 

9.25am: Nine SES personnel arrive at Blowholes to help with the search.

9.30am: Ellie is distressed and detectives are there to help her. 

11am: Major Crime Division Homicide Detectives are called and start travelling from Perth to assist in the search.

1pm: Perth is home to more homicide detectives, search experts, and other investigators. 

3pm: Carnarvon officers and search experts arrive to offer their expertise.