Missing girl Cleo Smith, four, was found alive inside a house in Carnarvon, Australia, two weeks after she vanished from a campsite where she was staying with her family
The man who owns the house where Cleo Smith was found was seen buying nappies days earlier and crying was heard from inside, say neighbours.
Shocked residents in Carnarvon were speaking after a 36-year-old man was arrested and taken into custody for questioning.
It followed the happy news that Cleo, who is aged four, had been found alive by officers following a lengthy search.
Police raided the house during their search at about 1am on Wednesday after she had vanished at a family campsite at the nearby Blowholes park.
Speaking to reporters neighbours described some suspicious behaviour at the house where the girl was ultimately found.
One neighbour told Sunrise: “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.”
Sahntayah McKenzie who also lives nearby said she heard crying one night, but didn’t link it to the then-missing girl.
She told The West Australian: “Not last night, the night before it… I heard a little girl crying but I wouldn’t expect it to be Cleo.
“I didn’t expect it would happen in this little neighbourhood, a lot of people know each other.”
Neighbours went on to call the man who had lived at the home ‘quiet’ and said they would not have expected him to be involved.
One resident said everyone was familiar with each other but kept themselves to themselves, MailOnline reports.
He said: “Everyone knows the person who stays at that house, but no one would have thought it would be him.
“We were shocked.”
The girl’s disappearance sparked a frantic search, which came to an end when officers broke into a home and found Cleo in one of the rooms.
Police said a man had been taken into custody following the 1am raid at an address in Carnarvon, just under 50 miles from the campsite.
Detectives had previously said they believed Cleo had been abducted.
Following the good news that Cleo had been found safely her mum Ellie Smith took to social media to share her relief.
“Our family is whole again” she wrote on her Instagram page, next to a single heart emoji.
In an emotional statement earlier, New South Wales commissioner Mick Fuller said his Western Australia counterpart Chris Dawson had broken down in tears at the news.
Mr Fuller said he thought the chances of Cleo being found alive were “so slim”.
He added: “West Australian Police never gave up on Cleo, it was good old-fashioned police work that resulted in her being found alive.”