How police broke into the house to find Cleo Smith, and were told that she was being held without any idea of what was behind the locked doors

  • Cleo Smith case: Cops were tipped by a tip which led to her location Tuesday night
  • Police did not confirm whether she was actually in the house.
  • They didn’t know what lay beyond the door or if they were safe.
  • Decided to break into the house at 12.46 am, found Cleo alone, and took her to the hospital

Police prepared to rescue Cleo Smith, the missing girl from her rundown public housing facility. They had no idea what they were in for.

Since she was abducted from a remote camping site on October 16, and then rescued on Tuesday night, weeks of investigation failed.

Only hours were needed for detectives to make a difficult decision about whether to go in blind or to leave Cleo (4 years old) there another night while collecting more information.

They couldn’t even confirm that Cleo was indeed in Carnarvon in northwest Western Australia.

Four-year-old Cleo Smith has an iced lolly in hospital after being rescued from a house in Carnarvon, Western Australia

Cleo Smith, a four-year-old girl, has an iced lolly in the hospital after she was rescued from a Carnarvon home in Western Australia.

Around midnight, they pulled Terry Kelly (36), over who lived at the Brockman home on Tonkin Street and arrested him under suspicion of kidnapping Cleo.

However, police didn’t know what lay beyond the door. Kelly’s dog guards the door.

Chris Dawson, Western Australia Police Commissioner, received a late-night briefing from officers on ground about the situation. 

He stated that they did not know what they would encounter. 

Wednesday morning at 12.46am, police broke into the locked house. Four officers with crowbars & a batteringram stormed in.

They were able to find the house empty save for Cleo who was playing in a bedroom with toys and appeared to be unharmed.  

Western Australian Police Force bodycam footage shows four-year-old Cleo Smith being rescued in Carnarvon, Western Australia

Cleo Smith, four years old, is being rescued by the Western Australian Police Force in Carnarvon (West Australia)

epa09560863 A handout screen grab taken from live footage made available by Western Australia Police shows Senior Sergeant Cameron Blaine, homicide detective, speaking during a press conference in Canarvon, Australia, 03 November 2021. Four-year-old Cleo Smith has been found alive and well by West Australian police, locked in a property just minutes away from her family's home.  EPA/WESTERN AUSTRALIA POLICE HANDOUT AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND OUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

Speaking during a conference in Canarvon (West Australia), Senior Sergeant Cameron Blaine. He was one among four officers who broke in to the house where Cleo Smith, a four-year old kidnapper, was being held.

Commissioner Dawson stated that the tip, which contained’really crucial information about a vehicle’, was crucial to the decision to strike.

He said that he could confirm that information about a car was very important to him, as he stated to Perth radio station 6PR on Wednesday.

“Yes, we had a lot of people we were very interested in, but it was late [Tuesday]In the early hours of the morning [Wednesday]This morning, we had a breakthrough.

“We have a strong lead and we are confident.” [the taskforce officers]I was briefed on the matter and he said that “we’re going have to get into that house”.

They had to be absolutely certain that it was Cleo when they finally got in and found the little girl. 

One of the four officers who broke in to the house was Detective Senior Sergeant Cameron Blaine. 

Western Australia Police Commissioner Chris Dawson speaking during a press conference in Canarvon. He made a fateful call before missing child Cleo Smith was rescued

Chris Dawson, Western Australia Police Commissioner, speaks during a Canarvon press conference. He made a pivotal call before Cleo Smith, the missing child, was rescued

“What’s your name?” I asked her. I asked her again “what’s my name?” and she didn’t respond. She didn’t answer, so I asked her again, “What’s your name?” Mr Blaine, who is a father himself, said that she didn’t answer.

“So I asked her again and she looked at my face and said, “My name’s Cleo.”   

Cleo was captured on bodycam clinging to an officer while Mr Blaine asked if she was okay. He then told her that she would be taken to see’mummy’ and ‘daddy’.

Ellie Smith shared a photo of Cleo after reuniting at the local hospital. She added the words: “Our family is whole again” and a red heart to the caption.