‘Wonderful news’: Daniel Morcombe’s parents speak after Cleo found
The parents of murdered Queensland schoolboy Daniel Morcombe have expressed their relief that four-year-old Cleo Smith was found safe and well.
Cleo was discovered in a locked house in Carnarvon on Wednesday morning, almost three weeks after she was taken from a remote campsite about 75km from the West Australian town.
Daniel, 13, was abducted on the Sunshine Coast in 2003 in a disappearance that shocked the nation and ended in tragedy.
His parents Bruce and Denise Morcombe shared a social media post on Wednesday after Cleo was returned to her family.
“Wonderful news to hear Cleo Smith has been found safe and well and reunited with her family,” they wrote.
“Excellent detective work by West Australian Police and a vigilant community.”
The couple had to endure an eight-year wait before their son’s remains were found and the man who murdered him arrested.
Brett Peter Cowan, who lured Daniel into his car at a bus stop, was sentenced in 2014 to life imprisonment with a non-parole period of 20 years.
The Morcombes set up a charity to honour their son, which sparked Australia’s largest child safety and education awareness event.
Speaking at this year’s Day for Daniel on Friday, Mr and Mrs Morcombe issued a message of support for Cleo’s mother Ellie Smith and stepfather Jake Gliddon.
“No doubt the police, the investigation team, the strategies involved and of course the SES, and finally the media, everyone is willing for a positive result in this case,” Mr Morcombe said.
“And all here, even in Queensland on the other side of Australia, the whole of Australia is willing a really remarkable result and we all hope and pray that that’s not too far away.”
That remarkable result eventuated at 1am on Wednesday when police found Cleo 18 days after she went missing from her family’s tent.
A 36-year-old man was taken into custody and WA police have said they expect him to be charged on Wednesday night.
Originally published as ‘Wonderful news’: Daniel Morcombe’s parents speak after Cleo found
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