Cleo Smith’s mother broke her silence hours after her four-year-old daughter was miraculously rescued alive.

Ellie Smith shared a screenshot to Instagram early Wednesday morning to confirm that her daughter is ‘alive & well’.

She wrote: “Our family is whole again.”

A close family friend shared with us the message Ellie sent to her loved ones to let her know she was a beautiful girl.

“To be woken up at 4.50am, my phone going crazy at 4.50am, and see the words Cleo home alive and secure,” she wrote on Facebook.

It is nothing short of miraculous to hear Ellie say that her “beautiful little girl is home”. We are so happy that she is home.

This is the first Instagram post the mother-of-two uploaded since her reunion with Cleo, after she was found in a Carnarvon home, Western Australia, after an 18-day search.  

Police broke into a locked house at about 1am on Wednesday in the one of the rooms of the suburban property which is just seven minutes’ drive away from her mother Ellie and step-father Jake’s house.

Ellie Smith posted a screenshot to her Instagram stories early on Wednesday morning (pictured)

Ellie Smith uploaded a screenshot to her Instagram Stories early Wednesday morning (pictured).

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

Cleo is now safe and sound in the arms of her stepfather Jake, and her mother Ellie (pictured together).

Other family members and friends shared the happy news via social media.

Cleo’s grandmother Kathy Smith praised her for bringing her beautiful granddaughter home.

Another claimed that she was literally “literally balling her eyes out.” Cleo is finally at home. 

Another family member posted on Facebook, “We have the BEST police force anywhere,” “Thank you so much!”

Someone shared the following:

Col Blanch, WA Police deputy commissioner, confirmed that Cleo is safe and sound and was reunited with her parents. 

One of the officers grabbed her and asked her what her name was. He said.

“She said, “My name is Cleo.”

Chris Dawson, Police Commissioner, confirmed that Dawson had watched the footage of her rescue. He said that the little girl was smiling and doing as well as he could under the circumstances.

He said, ‘I saw the vision. Cleo is beautiful, a four-year-old girl.’ “She’s alive, well, smiling, so it’s a wonderful, wonderful outcome.”

He also stated that Cleo’s stepfather Jake Gliddon and Ellie Smith were feeling emotional but are’strong’.  

“They have good support around.

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

Cleo has been reunited with her relieved parents

Cleo was reunited with her parents after she was released from hospital

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

Cleo Smith lives just seven minutes from Cleo Smith’s parents Carnarvon house. 

Detectives are currently questioning a 36-year-old male in custody. Commissioner Dawson said that the man is not related to Cleo or her families.

The house has been cordoned off with tape and a neighbour told Nine’s Today Show: ‘S**t, she’s been that close.’

A second neighbor claimed to have seen the man arrested buying nappies from Woolworths.

Sunrise was told that he saw him in Woolworths buying nappies the other day. However, he didn’t know who he was or for whom – he said this to Sunrise. ‘Until now.’ 

They described the man who lived at their house as ‘quiet’, and said they wouldn’t expect him to be involved.

Another neighbour told the Today show: ‘S***, she’s been that close.’

Cleo's mum Ellie Smith (pictured during her daughter's disappearance) has been regular  public appeals for her daughter to be found

Cleo’s mum Ellie Smith (pictured during her daughter’s disappearance) has been regular  public appeals for her daughter to be found

Overjoyed Australians streamed to Ellie’s Instagram to share their joy and to express their gratitude.

“I was so happy to see this on the news that I turned on the TV. So happy that she is safe and well! One woman wrote.

“I believe that a lot of people are clinging to you with relief this morning!” I can only imagine how you must feel. I am so happy for you,” another shared.

Another commentator said: “Mums all across Australia are crying of relief for your family.”

One woman who was following the story from the UK stated that she had been following it from her home and was so happy for all of you. What an incredible job the police did. Enjoy a wonderful reunion. You have never given up on hope. Recover your health and happiness.

Blanch, Deputy Commissar, said that “This is the result we all hoped and prayed.”

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

“I want Cleo’s parents and the Western Australian community to thank me for being a volunteer.

“And ofcourse, I want to say thank you to my colleagues in Western Australia Police Force.”

The news has sparked a worldwide outpouring of relief.

Scott Morrison, Australian Prime Minister, tweeted from Glasgow: “What wonderful, relieving information.”

‘Cleo Smith is safe and sound and has been located.

“Our prayers were answered.

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

Cleo was found in her hometown of Carnarvon in Western Australia, 75km from where she went missing on October 16

Cleo was located 75km from her home in Carnarvon, Western Australia, where she was last seen.

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, her family’s tent at Blowholes campsite, Western Australia disappeared 18 days ago. Cleo was found alive and well. 

Chris Dawson, Police Commissioner, said Wednesday was one his most memorable days in his 45-year history.

He said, “Oh, Look, to find a small girl, a vulnerable little boy after 18 days. You know, obviously people think and believe the worst. But, the most important thing is that hope was never lost and that she’s been found alive.”

He stated, “I think Australia should be celebrating, you know, it’s such an amazing outcome.” 

Police interviewed more 110 people who were at Blowholes campsite on October 16th, when Cleo arrived with her family.

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

Rod Wilde, Detective Superintendent of Police, stated that the family had stayed at their tent all evening and not interacted 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 that they got there on Friday night, it was getting darker, and there would have only been limited opportunity for people watching Cleo at that moment.”

Police stressed that the girl’s mother Ellie Smith and Jake Gliddon are not suspects. Cleo is not even her biological father.

Investigators spoke to the vast majority who were present at the campsite, but have yet to hear from the driver if he was seen leaving in middle of the night.

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

Cleo Smith (pictured), who disappeared from a remote campsite, Western Australia, miraculously found her body alive

Supt Wilde stated that they have received over 1000 calls from the public to Crime Stoppers.

“We still have a lot to do, we have a lot of work ahead of us, but we are making progress.”

Police have collected more rubbish from roadside containers than 50 cubic metres this week, ranging from Minilya up to Geraldton.

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

Cleo was offered $1 million by the state government for information leading to her location.

Police claim that the girl’s disappearance was treated immediately with the highest priority. However, it took two hours for police to set up a roadblock at this location.

Cleo’s family house in Carnarvon has been visited by detectives. They have also sought CCTV footage from various businesses in the area. As part of the investigation, they collected samples from a campfire at Blowholes.


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.

6.30 a.m.: The Carnarvon police station dispatches the first two officers. They travel to Blowholes with sirens, lights, and as a matter-of-priority.

6.41am: Blowholes receives a second police vehicle with two officers and lights.

7.10 AM: The first officer arrives. The second one arrives in just minutes. 

7.26am: Police establish a protected area for forensic analysis on the spot. This area is taped off to public and surrounds the family tent where Cleo was last observed. 

7.33am: A drone operator will be called to search the skies.

7.44 AM: A third police vehicle is dispatched to 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 travel to Blowholes to stop cars entering and leaving the area.  

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 in Blowholes to assist in the search.

9.30am: Ellie in distress is greeted by detectives who stay with her for the rest of their day, while Cleo is hunted by other search teams. 

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.