Crime

Cleo Smith investigation is ‘far from over’

Specialist officers are gently quizzing the 4-year-old about the 18 days she was missing

Residents of the Western Australian town of Carnarvon had planned a vigil for missing 4-year-old, Cleo Smith. But, with her miraculous rescue a few days before, the event was swiftly turned into a homecoming celebration.

“As a community, we stand united with hearts filled with joy and thanksgiving,” Pastor Law-Davis told the elated crowd.

It was a sentiment reflected across the whole country as Cleo was reunited with her overjoyed mum, Ellie, and stepfather, Jake Gliddon, after a traumatic 18 days apart.

On November 5, Terence Darrell Kelly, 36, whose home Cleo was discovered in, faced court charged with various offences, including forcibly or fraudulently taking or enticing a child under the age of 16.

But the police work is far from over. A group of police child interviewers, specially trained to investigate crimes involving children, have been gently working with Cleo to find out what really happened to her in the weeks that she was missing. 

cleo smith
A group of police child interviewers, specially trained to investigate crimes involving children, have been gently working with Cleo to find out what really happened to her in the weeks that she was missing. (Credit: Getty Images)

WA Police believe the suspect was acting alone, despite the now ruled-out reports there may have been a mystery woman involved.

Asked if anyone else knew about the alleged abduction, Deputy Police Commissioner Col Blanch said: “That’s all part of the investigation…”

Officers are looking for the sleeping bag Cleo was in when she was allegedly snatched – a critical piece of evidence.

Kelly, who is said to have an obsession with Bratz dolls and is alleged to have had a room full of the toys, is due to front court again in December. He is being held in a maximum-security prison in Perth.

Read more in this week’s New Idea, on sale now.

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