Aussie kid kidnapping caught on recording
The man suspected of abducting a 4-year-old Australian girl "acted alone," police said yesterday, as they released an audio recording of the moment she was rescued.
Cleo Smith disappeared from her family's tent in remote Western Australia last month, sparking a frantic air, land and sea search.
She was missing for 18 days until being rescued in a night raid on an empty home in the coastal town of Carnarvon – just a short drive from where she went missing.
A 36-year-old man was arrested nearby and is expected to be charged later yesterday after sustaining unspecified injuries in custody and being treated in hospital.
Lead investigator, detective superintendent Rod Wilde said police will allege he "acted solely alone" in abducting the little girl.
"He's back at the police station now speaking to officers at the moment," Wilde said.
Police did not reveal what charges he was facing.
Many had feared the search for Cleo Smith would end in tragedy, but the discovery of her "alive and well" sparked elation Down Under, with police admitting "seasoned detectives" were "openly crying with relief."
The force yesterday released audio recording of the rescue, in which officers can be heard urgently trying to affirm her identity.
"We've got her," "you're alright" excited police are heard to say, before another asks "what's your name? What's your name? What's your name, sweetheart."