"We are going to take you to see your mummy and daddy, ok?"
Police have released video footage of the incredible moment Cleo Smith was carried from her abductor's home by officers in Western Australia early today, ending an 18-day old hunt for the four-year-old and the arrest of a local man.
"Cleo, my name is Cameron, how are you? Are you okay?" Sergeant Cameron Blaine tells Cleo as she is carried to safety, her arms draped over an officer's shoulders.
"We are going to take you to see your mummy and daddy, ok? Is that good?"
Cleo nods again.
Cleo, who had been missing for more than two weeks after disappearing from the family tent at the Quobba Blowholes campground in Western Australia's north was found "alive and well" in the early hours of Wednesday morning at a residential address in Carnarvon.
"What a great day."
That's how Western Australia's Police Commissioner Chris Dawson summed up the rescue of Cleo Smith.
Police Minister Paul Papalia said her rescue wasn't down to luck.
"It was the result of a hard grind," Papalia said. "A bit of sunshine into an otherwise dark world."
Dawson said there was a lot of work still to be done but he is the "proudest Police Commissioner in the world".
He confirmed Cleo was safe and has been reunited with her parents.
"We said we wouldn't give up, we said we'd keep on searching and we dared to hope," Dawson said.
This was an enormous operation, up to what was achieved at 1am this morning when four officers broke down that door and found Cleo, Dawson said.
"I really want to thank not only the immediate family - the entire town stood up.
"Everyone wanted to achieve what actually some thought would never happen."
Dawson also took time to thank the public for "keeping the hope alive".
36yo man in custody
A 36-year-old man from Western Australia's Carnarvon is now in custody who Dawson said is assisting police with their inquiries.
The man only became a suspect yesterday and police are not seeking anyone else in connection with the case.
Lead investigator Superintendent Rod Wilde said police "worked basically without sleep" but never gave up hope.
When asked about police's bodycam visuals detailing the moment Cleo was rescued, Wilde said it was "amazing" to see.
People were in tears when police found her, Wilde said.
When he was asked what led the team to the property, Wilde said it was hard work finding "that needle in that haystack".
There was no tip-off, rather the analysis by the team that led to the arrest, Wilde said. A reward of $1 million had been offered for Cleo's return, and that would not be claimed.
Wilde said her kidnapping appears to be opportunistic and there is no link between Cleo's family and the disappearance.
"This is the outcome I was hoping for. It just shows the hard work and the methodical nature of the way we do things."
Wilde would not comment on claims the man in custody was taken to hospital from the police station earlier today.
How police found Cleo
Sergeant Cameron Blaine who was there when police found Cleo at 1am said she is an "Energizer Bunny".
"We all wanted to take turns holding her," an emotional Blaine said.
Blaine asked Cleo what her name was when police raided a bedroom of the house at 1am.
"One of the other guys jumped in front of me and picked her up. It certainly looked like Cleo, I wanted to make sure it was her."
Blaine asked her her name three times. She answered the third time. "My name's Cleo."
He called her parents and told them: "We've got someone here who wants to speak to you."
"Things happened so quickly, we didn't really have time to prepare them."
When asked if Cleo knew what was going on, Blaine said it was hard to say. But he said it is the best moment of his career.
While she was physically okay, Cleo was taken to hospital to be checked out.
Did people cry? "Most definitely. It was an amazing moment," he said.
She was found in a bedroom at the house.
A neighbour of the house Cleo was removed from recalled the moment he realised the little girl taken by police was the missing 4-year-old.
"We had seen someone on a detective's shoulder, we thought it might be that little girl, I went closer to the detective's car and I saw her in the back of the car," he told Seven.
A man believed to occupy the house was also reportedly spotted earlier by a neighbour buying nappies at Woolworths, despite not having children.
"The other day - on Monday - we saw him in Woolworths buying Kimbies [nappies] and that. But we didn't click on what he was buying them for," the neighbour told Sunrise.
Perpetrator was 'opportunistic'
"Your heart breaks just hearing that because you know she's been there for 18 days."
It comes after police on Tuesday said it was "more than likely" Cleo's abduction was an "opportunistic type event".
Cleo woke up at 1.30am that night, was given some water and went back to sleep. Her mother Ellie Smith realised she was missing at about 6am.
Her sleeping bag was missing and the entrance to the tent was unzipped to a height that the young girl could not have reached to let herself out – signs she may have been abducted in the middle of the night.
"It's more than likely an opportunistic type event," lead investigator Wilde told 6PR Radio.
"We know they got there … on the Friday night. It was getting dark and so there would have been limited opportunity for people to observe Cleo at that time."
He said police were examining how someone could have taken her from the tent without attracting attention.
"That's what we're trying to resolve, that's what were trying to understand," he said.
"We're doing a lot of work forensically … we've had over 1000 calls to Crime Stoppers."
As of Tuesday, Superintendent Wilde said police had spoken to more than 110 people at the campsite but wanted "less than a handful" of others to provide information.
Police had stressed that Smith and Cleo's stepfather Jake Gliddon were not suspects.
Blanch told ABC Radio on Tuesday that police believed Cleo was still in WA.
The search for Cleo involved hi-tech forensics, including mapping every inch of the area using drones and satellite technology.
"We've tracked down people that we didn't know, we've found them and we have eliminated them, and that's our focus at the moment — eliminate as many people as possible," he said.
Last week, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison revealed that the Australian Federal Police were using secret technology and tactics to help find the missing girl.
"In terms of technology and tradecraft, the AFP have some very advanced capabilities, leading-edge, not just here in Australia but all around the world," he told 6PR Radio.
"As much as I'd love to reveal exactly what some of those are, and how they're being used, we certainly can't talk about that on air.
"But the AFP are there, they've joined that process. I'm very pleased to say that they're helping in every way they possibly can, through their intelligence capabilities, their technology and their forensics abilities."
It was reported by 7 News that it involved a reconnaissance spy plane.