Missing four-year-old Cleo Smith found ‘alive and well’ in Western Australia
Police investigating the abduction of four-year-old Cleo Smith say they are trying to establish whether for the entire time she was missing she was at the home where she was found.
Officers say a key focus of their investigation will be on tracking Terence Darrell Kelly’s movements in the days leading up to her rescue in Carnarvon, Western Australia.
The suspect charged with her abduction was moved to a maximum-security prison in Perth for threatening a reporter.
The Australian reported that he also looked a reporter directly in the eye and said: “I’m going to get out of here one day. I’m coming for you.”
His arrest followed a massive search for Cleo after she vanished from her family’s tent in the early hours of 16 October at the remote Blowholes Shacks campsite in Macleod.
Ellie Smith and Jake Gliddon, Cleo’s parents, said they were “humbled by the love and support” they received throughout the search for their daughter. The pair also thanked those involved in Cleo’s rescue.
“In particular we would like to thank the WA Police, all those involved in the initial search, the Carnarvon community, local businesses and of course our family and friends,” they said in a statement.
“We are so thankful that our little girl is back in our arms and our family is whole again.”
Welcome to The Independent’s coverage of the news that Cleo Smith, a four-year-old girl who went missing from her family’s tent at a campsite in Australia 18 days ago, has been found alive and well.
Cleo Smith rescued after 18 days
Here’s my colleague Zoe Tidman with an overview of today’s events:
‘Our family is whole again,’ mother says
‘Incredible’ moment four-year-old was found
For those who missed it, here’s a piece by Maroosha Muzaffar on a police officer’s description of the moment he found four-year-old Cleo Smith inside a locked house in Carnarvon, Australia.
The four-year-old had disappeared from her family’s tent on 16 October on the state’s northwest coast
Police minister to speak about rescue of Cleo Smith
Western Australia’s police minister will soon speak to ABC News about the rescue of four-year-old Cleo Smith.
After going missing in mid-October, she was found alive and well during a police raid in the town of Carnarvon, dozens of miles from the spot where she disappeared.
Madeleine McCann’s parents have ‘hope’ after rescue of Cleo Smith
The parents of Madeleine McCann have “hope” after the rescue of Cleo Smith in Western Australia, a family source has said.
Speaking to the Sun, they said: “Kidnapped children can be found, this case is proof and gives Kate and Gerry and all those other families of missing people hope.
“They never stop hoping for that happy and positive news.”
Madeleine, 3, disappeared from the family’s hotel room in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in May 2007.
Residents describe man taken into custody over Cleo Smith disappearance
Neighbours have described the 36-year-old taken into custody by police in Australia as an overweight man with long black hair.
Speaking to ABC News, one resident, who lives near the home where Cleo Smith was rescued, said she had seen him coming and going from the property over the past two weeks.
“I just saw him in and out, by his house,” she said.
Cleo Smith to be given time with family before police ask her disappearance
Western Australia police will give Cleo Smith time with her family before they ask her about what happened during her 18-day disappearance, the force’s deputy police commissioner has said.
Col Blanch told the 2GB radio channel that she spent last night with her family for the first time
Cleo Smith suspect ‘attacked’ in custody
The man suspected of kidnapping four-year-old Cleo Smith was hospitalised after being attacked in custody, reports have suggested.
Another prisoner is thought to have beaten up the 36-year-old after learning who he was, according to the Australian media.
The alleged attacker’s mum told Daily Mail Australia: “As soon as he heard this bloke was arrested over that little Cleo, he blew up, beat him black and blue.
“I tell you what, he got a real hiding... my son had to be taken out in shackles,” she added.
Cleo Smith spends first night back with family
Four-year-old Cleo Smith has spent her first night back with her family, after going missing for a total of 18 days.
Western Australia deputy police commissioner Col Blanch told the 2GB radio station: “(Cleo’s parents) had a small amount of hope but I’m pretty sure they thought they were never going to give her a cuddle again.”
“I’m pretty sure they all slept in the same room, just cuddling all night.”
Police officer involved in Cleo Smith rescue missed son’s graduation
One of the officers involved in the rescue of Cleo Smith had missed his son’s school graduation, the police minister has said.
Western Australia’s police minister Paul Papalia praised the four officers, noting that one of them had missed his son’s leaving event.
“He told us last night a story, he’d apologised to his son and his son said to him, ‘Dad, what you’re doing is way too important’, and it is an incredible thing to see,” Mr Papalia said.
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