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Missing 4-year-old found locked inside man’s house

AP police, emergency

Almost 18 days after a four-year-old girl was reported missing, authorities located their child locked inside of a neighbor’s home.

Cleo Smith was reported missing on October 16th by her family while they were camping at the popular Quobba Blowholes campsite in Australia.

According to the report, on the first night of the trip, the family went to bed in the same tent around 8:30 p.m.  Cleo then reportedly woke up around 1:30 a.m. to ask for a drink of water. When the family woke up again at 6:00 a.m. the child was gone.

Officials used all of their resources in the search for the child at the campsite over 18 days without luck.

It was then on Wednesday, that investigators found evidence that lead them to a home 30 miles away in Carnarvon, and a short drive from where the family lived.

Officials say because no one was home at the time they went to serve their search warrant, they eventually had to break down the front door. Inside of the home, they found a small child in alone in one of the rooms:

“We were looking for a needle in a haystack and we found it, that led us to what happened at 12:46 a.m. this morning,” Deputy Police Commissioner Col Blanch told 6PR radio.

“When she said ‘My name is Cleo,’ I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house,” he added.

Officials have taken a 36-year-old man into custody. They reported that he is of no relation to the child.  No other suspects are believed to be involved at this time.