Asia&Pacific

Australian police look for another suspect in 4 yo Cleo Smith kidnap case

15:53, 09 November 2021
Australian police look for another suspect in 4 yo Cleo Smith kidnap case Photo: Gustavo Valiente/ZUMAPRESS.com/Global Look Press

Detectives suppose that a woman could have assisted in taking care of the 4-year-old girl who has been recently found after 18 days of search.


Australian police have announced that they probe into a potential accomplice involved in Cleo Smith’s abduction after officers arrested 36-year-old suspect Terence Darrell Kelly and saved the girl who had gone missing for 18 days.

Though initially detectives were not looking for other suspects, the girl, who was found in a locked house not far from her parents’ home in Carnarvon last Monday, said that there was a woman who helped her dress and brushed her hair.

Forensic experts are gathering evidence to determine whether other people have recently visited the kidnapper’s house while police officers collect information about a suspect’s silver Mazda SUV parked not far from the scene. They are also checking Kelly's cell phone to find out whom he contacted in the last weeks.

“Our focus this week is for us to ascertain whether there was anyone else involved, that's why we are still here,” Detective Senior Sergeant Cameron Blaine told reporters.

He also called on local residents to contact the police if they knew something about the abductor or the possible accomplice.

The investigators have not provided any comments yet but told the media that they would remain in the town of Carnarvon for at least a week.

Terence Darrell Kelly has been transferred to a Perth jail. The man who showed a strange obsession with dolls on his social network accounts has been charged with kidnapping. He was hospitalized with self-inflicted injuries after the detention.

Little Cleo Smith went missing on October 16 from a campsite where she was staying with her family near their hometown in Western Australia with a population of some 5,000 residents. According to her mother Ellie Smith, the girl was sleeping in an adjoining room of the tent with her sister but when the family woke up in the morning the girl was not there and the tent’s door was open.

About 100 rescuers and police officers launched a massive search operation on sea, land, and air, deploying Perth’s forces before they found Cleo in a neighbor’s house.

In September another Australian child, three-year-old autistic boy Anthony 'AJ' Elfalak, was found in Putty after going missing for several days.