/Cleo Smith news — live: Kidnap suspect in hospital again as hard police grind credited for breakthrough – The Independent

Cleo Smith news — live: Kidnap suspect in hospital again as hard police grind credited for breakthrough – The Independent


Missing four-year-old Cleo Smith found ‘alive and well’ in Western Australia

The suspected kidnapper of four-year-old Cleo Smith has been treated in hospital for a second time amid reports he was “attacked” while in custody.

The 36-year-old man was detained by Western Australia Police after its officers found the four-year-old girl alive and well in a house in Carnarvon, 18 days after she disappeared from a remote campsite.

He has gone to hospital twice to receive treatment for injuries since his arrest, police said. One unconfirmed report said a fellow prisoner “beat him black and blue,” while another said the suspect had tried to self-harm.

Meanwhile, Cleo has been reunited with her parents. “Our family is whole again,” Ellie Smith, Cleo’s mother, wrote on Instagram as she shared the news.

The Australian prime minister Scott Morrison described the breakthrough as “a huge relief”.

“The fact that that nightmare has come to an end and our worst fears were not realised, is just a huge relief,” he added.

Follow the latest live updates below.

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Seven News issues apology for wrongly identifying an Indigenous man

Seven West media issued an apology for wrongly identifying an Aboriginal man as the main suspect in the Cleo Smith abduction case.

Four-year-old Cleo Smith was reunited with her family on Wednesday.

Local reports said that around midday on Wednesday, 7NEWS.com.au published an article on their website with two images of a person they identified — incorrectly — as the 36-year-old Carnarvon man who was taken into custody by the West Australian Police in connection with Cleo’s abduction hours earlier.

The media platform had taken those images from Facebook.

However, just before midnight, Seven West published an apology online. The statement read: “Earlier on Wednesday 7NEWS wrongly showed images of a man that were incorrectly labelled as the person under arrest over the disappearance of Cleo Smith. These were removed promptly, but 7NEWS apologises for the error.”

The community members in Carnarvon pointed out their mistake on social media.

Pilbara-based First Nations broadcaster Ngaarda Media said that the wrongly accused man has contacted the police for this false information.

“A man who has been wrongly accused has been harassed online due to misinformation. Because people jump the gun when they look up Facebook, they put in [his name] straight away,” they posted.

Maroosha Muzaffar4 November 2021 05:18

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WA police release audio of moment Cleo was found

Police have finally released the audio of the moment four-year-old Cleo Smith was found by officers locked in a bedroom at a Carnarvon house.

An officer can be heard saying: “We’ve got her, we’ve got her” and then another officer says, “Hey, bubby, come here. I’ve got you, bubby, you’re alright.”

In the audio, the WA police detective senior sergeant Cameron Blaine then asks Cleo, “What’s your name, what’s your name? What’s your name sweetheart?”

The four-year-old can be heard saying: “My name is Cleo.

“Your name is Cleo”, “Hello Cleo”, the officers respond.

Maroosha Muzaffar4 November 2021 04:41

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Cleo Smith found through ‘hard police grind’

Western Australia state government had offered a $1 million reward for information to find Cleo but authorities do not expect it to be claimed, it was reported on Thursday.

Authorities have not said exact what intelligence led officers to find the girl.

Police Minister Paul Papalia said the breakthrough had not been sparked by a chance sighting but rather “hard police grind”.

“From the moment this investigation began, the Western Australian police force conducted themselves to the absolute highest level of professionalism,” he told 7 News.

Alastair Jamieson4 November 2021 01:45

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Suspect ‘off to hospital again’ says police chief

Western Australia Deputy Police Commissioner Col Blanch said the suspected kidnapper of four-year-old Chloe Smith was “assisting” detectives — but it’s still unclear if he is fit to be interviewed amid reports he has been injured.

“He’s gone off to hospital again this morning,” Mr Blanch told Sunrise on 7 News.

“The important thing for police, if we’re going to interview someone about offences as serious as this … we will need them in a condition where they have had a rest, they’re in a good mental state, they’ve been fed.

“So, we’ve got to make sure we give them the best opportunity to answer questions and that’s to ensure that the court process is validated if we get to that point.”

Alastair Jamieson4 November 2021 00:56

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Police officer involved in Cleo Smith rescue missed son’s graduation

One of the officers involved in the rescue of Cleo Smith had missed his son’s school graduation, the police minister has said.

Western Australia’s police minister Paul Papalia praised the four officers, noting that one of them had missed his son’s leaving event.

“He told us last night a story, he’d apologised to his son and his son said to him, ‘Dad, what you’re doing is way too important’, and it is an incredible thing to see,” Mr Papalia said.

Rory Sullivan3 November 2021 23:53

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Cleo Smith spends first night back with family

Four-year-old Cleo Smith has spent her first night back with her family, after going missing for a total of 18 days.

Western Australia deputy police commissioner Col Blanch told the 2GB radio station: “(Cleo’s parents) had a small amount of hope but I’m pretty sure they thought they were never going to give her a cuddle again.”

“I’m pretty sure they all slept in the same room, just cuddling all night.”

Rory Sullivan3 November 2021 23:32

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Cleo Smith suspect ‘attacked’ in custody

The man suspected of kidnapping four-year-old Cleo Smith was hospitalised after being attacked in custody, reports have suggested.

Another prisoner is thought to have beaten up the 36-year-old after learning who he was, according to the Australian media.

The alleged attacker’s mum told Daily Mail Australia: “As soon as he heard this bloke was arrested over that little Cleo, he blew up, beat him black and blue.

“I tell you what, he got a real hiding… my son had to be taken out in shackles,” she added.

Rory Sullivan3 November 2021 23:08

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Cleo Smith to be given time with family before police ask her disappearance

Western Australia police will give Cleo Smith time with her family before they ask her about what happened during her 18-day disappearance, the force’s deputy police commissioner has said.

Col Blanch told the 2GB radio channel that she spent last night with her family for the first time

Rory Sullivan3 November 2021 22:41

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Residents describe man taken into custody over Cleo Smith disappearance

Neighbours have described the 36-year-old taken into custody by police in Australia as an overweight man with long black hair.

Speaking to ABC News, one resident, who lives near the home where Cleo Smith was rescued, said she had seen him coming and going from the property over the past two weeks.

“I just saw him in and out, by his house,” she said.

Rory Sullivan3 November 2021 22:25

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Madeleine McCann’s parents have ‘hope’ after rescue of Cleo Smith

The parents of Madeleine McCann have “hope” after the rescue of Cleo Smith in Western Australia, a family source has said.

Speaking to the Sun, they said: “Kidnapped children can be found, this case is proof and gives Kate and Gerry and all those other families of missing people hope.

“They never stop hoping for that happy and positive news.”

Madeleine, 3, disappeared from the family’s hotel room in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in May 2007.

Rory Sullivan3 November 2021 22:05

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