Cleo Smith kidnapping suspect sent to hospital after self-harming in police custody

The suspect's injuries are not life threatening
Originally Published: 04 NOV 21 02:48 ET
Updated: 04 NOV 21 07:16 ET

(CNN) — A 36-year-old man arrested Wednesday in connection with the apparent abduction of 4-year-old Cleo Smith was taken to hospital after self-harming while in police custody, Western Australia Police said Thursday.

Speaking to Perth radio station 6PR, Detective Superintendent Rod Wilde described the suspect’s injuries as “not life threatening.”

The man has now been returned to a police station in Carnarvon and is cooperating with inquiries, Wilde told a later news conference.

The man is expected to be charged Thursday afternoon, Wilde said. He will then be taken to Carnarvon Magistrates Court.

Police on Thursday refused to say what charges he will face but said they believe the man acted alone and “spontaneously.”

Cleo Smith was found in the early hours of Wednesday morning in a locked house in Carnarvon, a town in the state of Western Australia, some 30 miles from the campsite where she was apparently abducted close to three weeks ago.

Police said Cleo was found in a room in the house with the lights on, awake and playing with toys. Police are yet to interview the girl, but specialists have arrived in Carnarvon from Perth to do so.

On Thursday, Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan said he met with Cleo and her family, describing her as “very well adjusted, considering (her ordeal).”

“She has done a bit of sleeping and a lot of eating, a lot of lying around and cuddling,” McGowan said.

Detective Superintendent Wilde said Cleo had also been checked out at the hospital, and “physically she is OK.”

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