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Cleo Smith found: Detective Senior Sergeant Cameron Blaine explains moment she was found in Carnarvon house

The police officer who burst through the doors into a Carnarvon home to rescue Cleo Smith has revealed how he repeatedly asked her for her name before hearing the words he’d waited 18 days to hear — “my name’s Cleo”.

Speaking just hours after he and three other officers raided the home where the four-year-old was found, Detective Senior Sergeant Cameron Blaine described in detail the scenes that unfolded as she was taken safely into the arms of police.

Det-Sen. Sgt Blaine said his shock at seeing the little girl alive and well in the room of a home on Wednesday morning was quickly followed by an overwhelming feeling of elation.

“It just turned out that I was one of four guys that were fortunate enough to go through that door and make that rescue,” he said.


“We’d always hoped for that outcome but still we were not prepared for it, so it was absolutely fantastic.”

While one officer rushed past him to scoop the little girl into his arms, Det-Sen. Sgt Blaine was focused on confirming the familiar-looking child in front of him was the girl the entire State was looking for.

She was just a very sweet, energetic girl Det-Sen. Sgt Blaine

“To see her sitting there in the way she was, it was just incredible,” he said.

“It certainly looked like Cleo, I wanted to be absolutely sure it was her. I said ‘what’s your name?’ and she didn’t answer, I said ‘what’s your name?’ and she didn’t answer again.

“So I asked her a third time and she looked at me and said ‘my name’s Cleo’ and that was it.”

With Cleo safely in their arms, they took her to a police vehicle where a family liaison officer was asked to call her mum Ellie Smith and step-dad Jake Gliddon and deliver the heartwarming news.

CARNARVON, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 3: In this handout image provided by the Western Australia Police Force, four-year-old Cleo Smith pictured in hospital on November 3, 2021 in Carnarvon, Australia. Cleo Smith was found in the early hours Wednesday 3 November after police raided a house in Carnarvon. The four-year-old went missing from the tent she was sharing with her family at the Blowholes campsite near Carnarvon on 16 October. A 36-year-old man is now in custody. (Photo by WA Police Force via Getty Images )
Camera IconCleo Smith in hospital after being found by police. Credit: Handout/WA Police Force via Getty Images

“(They) said ‘we’ve got someone here that wants to speak to you’. It was a wonderful feeling to make that call,” Det-Sen. Sgt Blaine said.

The “ecstatic” parents were told to make their way to the hospital to greet their daughter with who shouted the word “mummy” before “big hugs, kisses and lots of tears” made for a miracle moment in Carnarvon Hospital.

And despite spending 18 days away from her parents after disappearing from their tent at the Blowholes, Cleo remained full of energy, chatting freely with the officers who’d left no stone unturned to find her.

Det-Sen. Sgt Blaine said it was an “honour” to witness her reunited with her parents and she remained a “little Energizer bunny” despite a long day since she was found about 1am.

“How she has that much energy, I wish I did, I’m about ready to go to sleep,” Det-Sen. Sgt Blaine said on Wednesday afternoon.

“She was just a very sweet, energetic girl, very trusting and very open with us. We all wanted to take turns holding her, it was a very good experience.”

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