Sydney: A four-year-old Australian girl abducted from a campsite 18 days ago was found on Wednesday, alive and well, though locked in a house, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.
The disappearance of the girl, Cleo Smith, from her family's tent, had led to a frantic air, sea and ground search of a 100 member police team. Western Australia police said that the girl was locked in a house, a short drive away from where she disappeared, in the coastal town of Carnarvon. An officer found her and asked her name to which she replied, "My name is Cleo", AFP quoted.
The police broke into the house at 1 am local time and detained a 36-year-old man. The man has no connection with the family.
The girl was reunited with her parents shortly while her mother, Ellie Smith, expressed her relief by taking it to social media. Ellie had earlier posted online her agony finding her oldest daughter missing and the family's tent unzipped on October 16 early morning. Her public plea for help had gathered immense support from across Australia.
The police had used human intelligence, surveillance footage and forensic analysis to find the girl, while many volunteers scoured nearby bushland for clues.
Cleo was well when she was found, but a medical team was assessing her, police commissioner Col Blanch added. After Cleo got abducted, police had offered 1 million Australian dollars for information leading to her recovery.