DIGEST

Cleo Smith, missing child, found alive and well

Four-year-old Cleo Smith vanished from a campsite in WA last month, she was located today. Picture: Supplied

Four-year-old Cleo Smith vanished from a campsite in WA last month, she was located today. Picture: Supplied

It will be a picture now etched in the minds of Australians. The image of four-year-old Cleo Smith, sitting on a hospital bed, smiling with an orange icy-pole in hand.

For 17 days, parents around the country had been waiting and hoping for any news about the little girl, who disappeared without a trace from her parents' tent at a remote Western Australian campsite.

And this morning, those parents - myself included - shed tears of relief as the news emerged that Cleo had been found safe and well.

Cleo was discovered by WA police officers about 1am on Wednesday, alone in a room in a locked house in Carnarvon, some 75km south from where she went missing.

With a daughter the same age, the disappearance has been the topic in our household for weeks and the conversation in daily chats with fellow parents.

What had happened to her? Was she still alive? What was she going through? What if that was your child?

Those questions remain yet to be answered in the weeks ahead, as police anticipate much more work to be done.

This afternoon, West Australian Police Commissioner Chris Dawson said police could be in Carnarvon for up to a fortnight as they work through what happened.

A 36-year-old Carnarvon man is being interviewed by police.

Cleo has now been reunited her mother Ellie Smith and her step-father Jake Gliddon.

"Our family is whole again," Ms Smith posted on Instagram.

No doubt she and other parents around Australia will sleep that bit easier tonight.

Though this news was above and beyond the biggest story of the day, down in Victoria COVID cases dropped for the second day in a row.

More than 900 people tested positive for the virus and eight sadly lost their lives.

In NSW COVID cases stayed below 200 with the state granting more freedoms to those who have gotten both jabs.

Some Canberrans who visit 'hotspots' in either VIC or NSW will now face stay-at-home orders, even if they are fully vaxxed.

Vaccinated Canberra locals will have to wait 14 days after their second dose to travel into 'high risk' regions.

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