/ 05 November 2021

Man charged over Cleo’s abduction

Image source: Supplied
Image source: Supplied

Western Oz Police have charged 36yo Carnarvon man Terence Darrell Kelly with the abduction of 4yo Cleo Smith – he’s faced the Magistrate’s Court and been remanded in police custody. Police believe he was working alone when he took Cleo from her family’s tent at the Blowholes campsite north of Carnarvon on 16 October. Kelly was taken to hospital twice yesterday due to what police said were unserious injuries he inflicted on himself since being taken into custody.

It was a busy first day back home. Premier ​​Mark McGowan visited yesterday morning with 2 police teddy bears named Cameron and Rod after the police officers who led the investigation. He described her as “well adjusted”. Cameron (Blaine, the Detective Senior Sergeant who asked her who she was when she was found) and Rod (Wilde, Detective Superintendent) also visited the family ahead of Cleo’s police interviews. Child interview specialists flew into Carnarvon yesterday, and they have started to speak to her. Cleo’s mother Ellie Smith and stepdad Jake Gliddon have been given instructions about how to speak to Cleo so they don’t compromise the investigation. “Ellie and Jake couldn’t have been more cooperative and more understanding,” Blaine said.

So for a collection of other things:

• Police said Cleo was awake and playing with toys with the lights on when police found her in Kelly’s home before 1am on Wednesday morning. He was found sitting in a car on a nearby street. Images from Facebook show he had a doll room inside his house.

• 7NEWS.com.au published an online article with images of a person they wrongfully identified as the suspect. Lawyers say the man has a good case for mega-bucks in compensation.

• Premier McGowan owes Cleo a new pair of Barbie shoes after breaking hers when he visited yesterday. Insert shrugging lady emoji…

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