A 36-year-old man is anticipated to be charged with kidnapping four-year-old Cleo Smith from her family's camping tent in Australia, with the youngster being discovered 18 days later when cops rescued her from a closed house.
The man was apprehended early on Wednesday after police discovered the youngster alone in the property in Carnarvon, Western Australia, with the happy girl informing officers, "My name is Cleo."
The suspect, a Carnarvon resident, will most likely be charged on Thursday, according to Police Minister Paul Papalia, who did not specify the allegations and indicated the police investigation would continue.
Cleo had vanished with her sleeping bag on October 16, the second day of a family camping vacation on Australia's rugged western coast north of Carnarvon, where her family lived less than 10 minutes drive from the house where she was discovered.
According to the media, the arrest of a guy who has been observed buying diapers and was known to have no children sparked suspicion among locals, but police have released little details about what made him a suspect.
Mr. Papalia told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, "It wasn't a random tip, a clairvoyant, or any of the other kinds of things you might hear." It was just another day at the office for the cops."
According to the media, the suspect was transported from police custody to a hospital late on Wednesday and again on Thursday with self-inflicted injuries.
When asked about claims that the man had been hurt after hitting his head against a cell wall, Western Australia Police deputy commissioner Col Blanch said, "No serious injuries."
The suspect's "medical matter has nothing to do with any police involvement with him," according to a police statement.
Cleo spent her first whole night at home with her mother Ellie Smith, stepfather Jake Gliddon, and newborn half-sister Isla Gliddon since the family's experience began on Wednesday.
Public buildings in Perth, Western Australia's state capital, 560 kilometers south of Carnarvon, were lit up with blue lights as people slept to commemorate the triumph of the police inquiry. Buildings in Carnarvon were decorated with balloons and posters welcoming Cleo home.