Cleo Smith suspect CHARGED with abducting girl ,4, found in house 18 days after vanishing from her tent

Cleo Smith suspect CHARGED with abducting girl ,4, found in house 18 days after vanishing from her tent

11/04/2021

A 36-YEAR-old man has been charged with the abduction of four-year-old Cleo Smith.

Cops arrested Terry Kelly on Wednesday morning just after officers swooped on a property where they found Cleo.


Kelly has now charged with multiple offences including forcibly taking a child under 16.  

He appeared at Carnarvon Magistrate's Court in Western Australia, where he was charged with count of forcibly taking a child under 16, commonly referred to as child stealing. 

Kelly nodded that he acknowledged the charges and didn't apply for bail. He was remanded in custody until December 6.

He expressed anger at the presence of the media as he was flanked by two police officers.

Little Cleo was carried to safety when she was found safe 18 days after vanishing from Blowholes Campground – just 43 miles from Carnarvon.

She was discovered by police in the early hours of Wednesday after they received a sudden tip-off of her whereabouts.

Officers used battering rams and crowbars to kick in the door to the house – which was just seven minutes away from where she lives with her family.

Cleo's mum has cradled her as cops released audio of her first words after they rescued her in a dramatic swoop on a suspect’s house.

Her first words were "my name is Cleo" as cops busted open the door and found the girl – 18 days after she vanished from her tent at Blowholes campground site in Western Australia.

🔵 Read our Cleo Smith blog for the latest updates in the search

Earlier he was pictured lying down in the ambulance with his bandaged head covered in a blanket.

News outlets in Australia published pictures and videos showing what they said as the suspect in the back of an ambulance.

The images show the suspect being tended to by medics for head injuries.

After his arrest, one of his neighbours said the suspect had been seen uncharacteristically buying nappies in the last few days.

What we know so far…

  • Police broke into a locked house at 1am and found Cleo in one of the rooms
  • The 36-year-old man arrested was rushed to hospital twice
  • Acting on a sudden tip off cops swooped on the property
  • Cleo's relieved mum Ellie said: "Our family is home again"
  • Cops revealed Cleo was playing with toys when they burst in

"The other day – on Monday – we saw him in Woolworths buying Kimbies [nappies] and that," neighbour Henry Dodd told Australia's 'Sunrise' news show.

"But we didn't click why he was buying them for or who he was buying them for.

"Everyone knows the person who stays at that house, but no one would have thought it would be him. We were shocked."

Sahntayah McKenzie who lives nearby said she heard the sound of crying one night, but did not connect it to the missing girl.

"Not last night, the night before it… I heard a little girl crying but I wouldn't expect it to be Cleo," she told The West Australian.

"I didn't expect it would happen in this little neighbourhood, a lot of people know each other."

Renee Turner drove to her sister’s house on the street where Cleo was found as soon as she heard the news.

She said she went on a construction course with the man who she described as a "very quiet guy" and "a bit of an oddball".

Lead investigator Detective Superintendent Rod Wilde told reporters police did not have any other suspects in the case.

“It appears as though it was opportunistic,” he said.

'MY NAME IS CLEO'

Western Australia Police confirmed that cops broke their way into a locked property at around 1am in Carnarvon, Western Australia.

Police busted open the door of a home more than a fortnight after she vanished from her tent at the Blowholes camp in Western Australia.

The property is just a seven-minute drive from her family home.

Police say she appeared to be "physically ok" but is currently being cared for in hospital.

In a newly released audio clip a male police officer can be heard saying “we got her, we got her”.

Another cop says “come here, come her, I got you bubby” as another says “what’s your name sweetheart?”.

After little Cleo paused for a second, she told police words they had desperately wanted to hear throughout their hunt for her.

“M-my name is Cleo,” she replies as one of the clearly relieved cops says “hello Cleo!" and another says "you're alright bubby".

SUSPECT ATTACKED

Cleo's mum Ellie Smith spoke out for the first time since the little girl was found, posting the emotional message to Instagram: "Our family is whole again."

Deputy Commissioner Col Blanch said in a statement: "It’s my privilege to announce that in the early hours of this morning, the Western Australia Police Force rescued Cleo Smith.

"Cleo is alive and well. A police team broke their way into a locked house in Carnarvon about 1am.

"They found little Cleo in one of the rooms. Cleo was reunited with her parents a short time later.

"This is the outcome we all hoped and prayed for.

"It’s the outcome we’ve achieved because of some incredible police work.

Dubbed the 'Aussie Maddie McCann,' cops launched a desperate hunt for the child after she went missing from the remote campsite in her pink pyjamas.

Her mum last saw her at 1.30am when she gave her a drink of water, and then her and her partner Jake Gliddon awoke to find the tot missing – sparking a frantic search.

Cleo's disappearance sent shockwaves through the community in Australia.

The police were called around three hours after she was found to be missing as the family had hoped the girl was just hiding nearby – searching the area with other campers.

Authorities previously also offered a $1m reward for information leading to Cleo’s location.




    Source: Read Full Article