Missing four-year-old Cleo Smith found ‘alive and well’ in Western Australia

The suspect charged with abducting four-year-old Cleo Smith appeared to wink at the media as he was transferred to a maximum security prison in Perth on Friday.

Terence Darrell Kelly, 36, was photographed boarding a plane out of Carnarvon, Western Australia, while being surrounded by heavily armed prison officers.

Mr Kelly, who is faced with a string of charges including forcibly taking a child under 16, appeared briefly at Carnarvon Magistrates’ Court on Thursday. He was refused bail and is expected to appear again in court on 6 December.

His arrest came following a huge police search effort after Cleo vanished from her family’s tent in the early hours of 16 October at the remote Blowholes Shacks campsite in Macleod.

The child was found safe on Wednesday morning after police raided a locked house in Carnarvon, a town about 62 miles south of the campsite and just two miles from her family home.

She had been playing with dolls with the light on inside a room at the time she was found, police said.

Follow the latest live updates below.


Police yet to interview Cleo Smith

The police are yet to interview Cleo Smith in the probe about her abduction, said Deputy Commissioner Col Blanch, adding that they’ve go to be “really careful” with the four-year-old.

“We wanted to give them time as a family, that’s really important. We will be talking to Cleo but we have to do it very carefully. We’ll try to get information out of her about those 18 days – that’s a really hard, slow process and it is OK if she doesn’t want to tell us.”

Western Australia Premiere Mark McGowan poses with police officers after speaking at a press conference in front of the Carnarvon Police Station on 4 November 2021 in Carnarvon, Australia

(Getty Images)

Namita Singh5 November 2021 06:09


Terence Darrell Kelly winks at media during prison transfer

The man charged with the abduction of Cleo Smith winked at the media while being moved to a maximum-security prison, reported news.com.au.

Terence Darrell Kelly was being transferred from Carnarvon to Perth, while being surrounded by heavily armed prison squad officers. Photos later showed Mr Kelly offering a wink to media as he boarded the plane.

The Western Australia Department of Justice confirmed his transfer. “Officers from the Department of Justice’s special operations group will undertake the escort and transfer of the prisoner from Carnarvon to Perth,” it said.

Terence Darrell Kelly boards a plane after being taken into custody by members of the Special Operations Group at Carnarvon airport on 5 November 2021 in Carnarvon , Australia

(Getty Images)

Namita Singh5 November 2021 05:19


‘I’m really stoked’: Helicopter pilot describes moment Cleo was found

A 22-year-old helicopter pilot, who spent hours searching for Cleo, said that his “heart stopped” when he learnt that the four-year-old had been found unharmed.

“I never really lost hope during this time… and now that they’ve found her it’s just amazing,” Dave Ammann told the West Australian.

I’m stoked, I’m really stoked. The whole town is.”He said he couldn’t believe when he was told that Cleo was rescued as “you don’t expect stories like these to have happy endings”.

“There really aren’t any words to describe how we are feeling.”

Cleo Smith is carried inside a friend’s house by her mother on 4 November 2021 in Carnarvon, Australia

(Getty Images)

Namita Singh5 November 2021 04:48


Police trying to establish movement of accused in Cleo Smith’s abduction case

The police will now be shifting the focus of the investigation to tracking the movement of a 36-year-old suspect days before Cleo Smith was rescued from inside a house in Carnarvon.

Detective Superintendent Rod Wilde said that the police were not sure if Cleo had been inside the home for all 18 days since her disappearance from her parents’ tent at the Blowholes campground.

“That’s still something that we’re going through and trying to establish,” he was quoted as saying by ABC News.

Police are now asking people from across the town in WA’s Gascoyne region to supply all the CCTV footage from a day before the alleged abduction to 2 November, when Cleo was found.

“Now that we have knowledge of a suspect, I’m asking businesses and people within Carnarvon to provide to the investigative team any CCTV that they might have between Friday the 15th and Tuesday the 2nd,” Detective Senior Sergeant Cameron Blaine said yesterday.

Cleo Smith is carried inside a friend’s house by her mother on 4 November 2021 in Carnarvon, Australia

(Getty Images)

Namita Singh5 November 2021 04:27


Man wrongly identified as Cleo Smith abductor intends to sue Seven News

A man wrongly identified as the abductor of Cleo Smith plans to sue Seven News.

Terry Flowers told Ngaarda Media that he was in the hospital with his baby when he was told that he had been identified as the kidnapper of the four-year-old, who was found in the small hours of Wednesday morning after 18 days of search.

“My sister rang me and told me they’ve got my photo up for the person who took the girl,” he said. On seeing his photo on a social media post, Mr Flowers went to the local police station for help. While the post was taken down, it was picked up Channel 7.

Mr Flowers says that he went into the police station again where he got a panic attack and had to receive medical treatment. “I ended up getting more upset and I had a panic attack in the police station.”

While on Wednesday night, Seven News published an apology for the mistake, Flowers says he still wants to bring a legal claim against them.

“I want them to do their job more seriously, and professionally and I’m gonna end up suing them anyways, cause it’s not the right thing for them to be doing,” he said.

Namita Singh5 November 2021 03:40


Police who found Cleo Smith applauded at local pub

Locals to a Carnarvon pub gave a spirited round of applause on the arrival of the large team of police officers who helped find Cleo Smith.

The 50-strong team of officers packed the bar as Commissioner Chris Dawson gave them a debrief on what could be the biggest case of their careers.

Constable Kurt Ford, among the officers, said: “I don’t think we had really any expectations going in — we didn’t know what we were going into.

“If anything, our expectations weren’t great. It was an emotional experience going in, and it was a good result.

“I just saw a little girl sitting there and didn’t think about anything else than picking her up.”

Western Australia Premiere Mark McGowan poses with police officers after speaking at a press conference in front of the Carnarvon Police Station


Liam James5 November 2021 02:03


Dash cam captured moment police close in on Terry Kelly

A dashcam image has emerged which shows the moment police closed in the man suspected of kidnapping Cleo Smith.

Terry Kelly, 36, was charged with a string of offences including forcibly taking a child under 16.

In a grainy screengrab of dashcam footage, police can be seen surrounding the abducter. The operation took place in front of shocked onlookers.

“It was like a high speed chase first, there was one car and then police cars,” Deane Mitchell told 7NEWS on Thursday.

“([ thought] something’s going on, that’s not right.”


Liam James5 November 2021 01:22


Cleo Smith’s classmates ready to welcome her back to school

Classmates of four-year-old Cleo Smith are excited to welcome her back to school whenever she feels ready.

Parents said their children were as concerned as the adults by Cleo’s disappearance.

“When Cleo came back it was really overwhelming. Very happy,” said Joseph Nguyen, the father of a child at her school.

“The town is just like a whole family. To us everyone in town is family,” he said.

“All the children in the class are very happy and waiting for her to come back and she will be very happy as well.”

Denim French, another parent, said explaining the situation surrounding Cleo’s disappearance to the children was “a bit awkward”.

He said he focused on the positive aspect: her return.

“Just such a big relief. It has been great,” he said.

“For the community to feel whole again, to have that worry — it was a really tough couple of weeks — so I think everyone is very buoyant now.”

Liam James5 November 2021 00:46


‘Luckiest town in the world’ welcomes Cleo Smith home

The people of Carnarvon have rejoiced at the return of Cleo Smith after she was missing for 18 days.

Some cried tears of joy in the quiet town of around 5,000 as the four-year-old was reuinited with her family.

Local resident Leticia Andreoli, whose son is in the same class as Cleo ath St Mary Star of the Sea Catholic School, said: “Walking around town, it feels like this cloud has been lifted.”

Sign by Carnarvon welcomes four-year-old’s return

(ABC News)

Liam James4 November 2021 23:49


‘My name is Cleo’

Listen to audio from the moment police found Cleo Smith:

‘My name is Cleo’: Police release audio of moment they found Cleo Smith

Liam James4 November 2021 21:45

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