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Australia Cops in Cleo Smith case honoured at a ceremony with girl's parents

03:11  01 december  2021
03:11  01 december  2021 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Cleo Smith's parents have attended a state reception to honour the heroic police officers who miraculously rescued their little girl from her alleged abductor.

The four-year-old's mother Ellie Smith and stepfather Jake Gliddon travelled to Perth from Carnarvon in Western Australia's north-west for the ceremony at the state's Government House on Tuesday night.

The special dinner paid tribute to the 140 members of Taskforce Rodia who tracked Cleo down to a home in Carnarvon 18 days after she vanished from the remote Quobba Blowholes campsite on October 16.

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  Three weeks covering the disappearance and rescue of Cleo Smith, many lows and one incredible high James Carmody reflects on three weeks covering the search for Cleo Smith, interviewing her distraught parents as they pleaded for public help, and the moment he learnt the little girl had been found.But that is what popped out in jubilant disbelief at 4.50am when my deputy editor told me Cleo Smith had been found alive in Carnarvon, 18 days after she had disappeared on a family camping trip.

Detective Superintendent Rod Wilde - who ran the taskforce - has also been promoted to one of the most senior positions within WA Police following the successful investigation.

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He has been named as the state's new Commander of State Crime Operations.


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Cleo's mum and stepdad were seen enjoying a drink with the 140-strong gathering of police officers, who were hosted by WA Premier Mark McGowan and Governor Kim Beazley.

Detective Senior Sergeant Cameron Blaine - who led the four-man operation to break down a locked door and retrieve Cleo - was among those honoured.

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Mr Blaine was the officer who asked the little girl for her name after finding her, to which she replied 'my name is Cleo'.

WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson said the ceremony recognised 'officers who worked so hard on the job'.

'All the guys and girls, the analysts, the specialists, the officers, the detectives - it's a team effort, it's not just one person, it's everyone,' he told 7News.

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Cleo was discovered in a locked and run-down house on November 3.

Terence Darrell Kelly has been charged with her alleged abduction.

Little Cleo's disappearance captivated the nation and made headlines around the world.

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