Carrie Bickmore breaks down in tears over Cleo Smith rescue: 'Broke me'

Carrie Bickmore echoed the sentiment of the nation on The Project on Wednesday night, when she broke down crying after seeing the moment Cleo Smith was rescued by police.

Cleo was found alive and well early on Wednesday at a property in Carnarvon, just minutes from her family home. She had been missing for more than two weeks after disappearing from a remote campsite.

Carrie Bickmore crying on The Project
Carrie Bickmore was left in tears over Cleo Smith's rescue. Photo: Channel 10

"My name is Cleo," the little girl said when asked for her name.

A 36-year-old Carnarvon man, who police say has no connection to the family, was taken into custody and questioned over the suspected abduction but was yet to be charged on Wednesday night.


WA Police uploaded body-cam footage of the dramatic moment Cleo was rescued to their Instagram account, which was shown at the end of The Project on Wednesday night.

When the camera cut back to the studio, Carrie Bickmore was in tears, saying the footage and the picture of Cleo safe in hospital has ‘broke’ her.

Cleo Smith talking to a policeman after being rescued
Cleo Smith was rescued from a home in Carnarvon early on Wednesday morning. Photo: Channel 10

“That photo broke me today. It was a collective sigh of relief and a quiet sob this morning,” she said.

“'She's such a sweetheart.”

Cleo was examined in hospital and found to be in good physical health. Police shared a photograph of her smiling and waving from her hospital bed after reuniting with her mother Ellie Smith and her partner, Jake Gliddon.

Waleed Aly and Carrie Bickmore on The Project panel
The Project hosts echoed the sentiments of the nation with how they reacted to the news. Photo: Channel 10
Cleo Smith in hospital after being rescued by police
Cleo Smith waved from her hospital bed with a big smile on her face. Photo: WA Police

"Our family is whole again," Ellie posted on Instagram.

Police Commissioner Chris Dawson said the 140-strong taskforce investigating Cleo's disappearance would continue its work.

"We will be working through this for the next week or two at least," he told reporters in Carnarvon.

"There's much more work yet to be done. But I'm just the proudest police commissioner in the world at the moment."

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