Little Cleo Smith and her family have met with detectives after Daily Mail Australia revealed a mystery woman may have been involved in the toddler’s alleged abduction.
The little girl told investigators a female would come to her accused kidnapper’s house to ‘look after her’.
The new development came to light during delicate police interviews with the four-year-old, who allegedly spent 18 days locked up inside a house in Carnarvon, in Western Australia‘s northwest.
On Tuesday, Cleo and mother Ellie arrived with stepfather Jake Gliddon at Carnarvon police station to be given the latest update on the hunt for a possible accomplice.
Little Cleo Smith and her family (here with mum Ellie) have been briefed by detectives after Daily Mail Australia revealed a mystery woman may have been involved in the toddler’s alleged abduction
The family later left weighed down with crates of gifts from well-wishers across Australia and the world who have been touched by the brave toddler’s plight, as seen here
They later left weighed down with crates of gifts from well-wishers across Australia and the world who have been touched by the brave toddler’s plight.
Local man Terence Darrell Kelly, 36, has been charged with kidnapping and remains in a Perth jail, as a team of elite detectives returned to the remote town on Monday in the hunt for more clues.
Sources close to the investigation told Daily Mail Australia Cleo has mentioned that a woman visited the Tonkin Crescent duplex during the time she was allegedly held captive, and helped care for her.
Stepfather Jake Gliddon (pictured) was seen laden down with boxes of goodies from the public as he exited the police station
On Tuesday, Cleo and mother Ellie (pictured) arrived with stepfather Jake Gliddon at Carnarvon police station to be given the latest update on the hunt for a possible accomplice
Cleo allegedly told investigators the woman helped to dress her and brush her hair.
Cleo was found in the early hours of last Wednesday morning after being missing since October 16, when she was allegedly abducted from her family’s tent at the remote blowholes campsite about 75km away.
The preschooler was awake and ‘playing with toys’ when detectives broke down the door of the house, just after 1.30am.
Bodycam footage shows the brave little girl being carried out the Tonkin Crescent address with her hair clean and brushed and her pyjamas appearing freshly washed.
Local man Terence Darrell Kelly, 36 (pictured), has been charged over the kidnapping off Cleo Smith – but police are now probing the possibility of a ‘mystery woman’ also being involved
Forensic police have been scouring Terence Kelly’s duplex in Carnarvon, Western Australia (pictured) for the past six days searching for evidence
Cleo Smith (pictured with her police rescuers) was allegedly found in a room in Kelly’s home by detectives who used mobile data to track down her alleged abductor
Police had initially stated no other suspects were being sought in relation to the matter, alleging that Kelly acted alone.
With the landmark case appearing to be wrapped up, a team of detectives who helped track down Cleo have since raced back to Carnarvon from Perth as they probe the possibility another person was involved.
The investigators are expected to remain in the small town for at least another week as forensic specialists continue to scour the alleged abductor’s home for evidence another suspect may have been there.
Pictured: Detective Sergeant Cameron Blaine tells Cleo: ‘We’re gonna take you to see your mummy and daddy’. He has since revealed police were trying to ‘ascertain whether there was anyone else involved
Detective senior sergeant Cameron Blaine, who was captured on police bodycam vision rescuing Cleo from her ordeal, has remained tight-lipped about the latest developments in the case but said police have ‘more work to do.’
‘Our focus this week is for us to ascertain whether there was anyone else involved. That’s why we are still here,’ he said after stepping off the plane.
‘So, we just ask that if there was anyone that had any contact with Mr Kelly, whether you saw him, whether you met with him, whether you spoke to him on the phone during the relevant period to please make yourself known to police.’
Daily Mail Australia sought comment from the WA Police about the mystery woman.
A spokesperson said investigators would not comment specifically claims another person could be involved, but added ‘inquiries are continuing’.
Cleo Smith’s alleged kidnapper Terry Kelly, 36, is pictured with Bratz dolls on his social media
Bizarre details have emerged about the accused’s strange obsession with toys as numerous social media account’s linked to Kelly show a room full of children’s dolls
Specialist child interview officers attached to the child abuse squad in Perth began the delicate task of sitting down with Cleo on Thursday.
The process of uncovering what happened could take several weeks.
For a sixth straight day forensic officers have combed through Kelly’s house and gathering evidence for laboratory examination which could indicate the presence of another person.
Trailer-loads of evidence have been bagged up and removed from the alleged abductor’s property during that time with the top-to-bottom search of the roped-off commission house likely to go on for several weeks as prosecutors build their case against Kelly.
Since his arrest, it’s been revealed he had an obsession with collecting dolls and boasted about his love for girl’s toys on various social media pages.
One photograph he posted shows Bratz and Disney princess dolls stacked from floor to ceiling.
Two trailer-loads of evidence were bagged up and removed from the alleged abductor’s home on Sunday
The top to bottom search of the roped-off commission house is likely to go on for several weeks
The bagged up items will be sent away for forensic testing as prosecutors build their case against Kelly
It comes as audio emerged of an Aboriginal elder who raised Kelly calling him a gift from God and a ‘beautiful little boy’.
Respected Gascoyne elder Penny Walker revealing how Kelly, now 36, was ‘thrown away’ by his drug-addict biological mother.
She handed him over to her ‘Aunty Penny’, who had all six of her own children taken into care because of an alcohol problem when she was younger.
‘I looked down at him and this little boy – God was giving me something back into my life what the welfare took off me – my children,’ said Ms Walker, who died in 2020.
‘His mum didn’t want him and she threw him away.’
Kelly lived alone at Ms Walker’s dilapidated home after her death last year at the age of 77.
The tapes reveal he was brought up with Ms Walker’s two other grandsons after her daughter died from multiple sclerosis.
Cleo Smith has since been reunited with mother Ellie Smith and stepfather Jake Gliddon (pictured)
‘God was giving my children back to me in a different way. So I have this little boy beautiful little boy, Terry,’ she said. ‘Two year old, jet black curly hair.’
Kelly’s early upbringing has been revealed in snippets of oral history archives in an interview she gave in May 2019 for the State Library of Western Australia.
She had her own troubled early life a as part of the Stolen Generation and spent her childhood in the Moore River Native Settlement and New Norcia Mission.
Ms Walker suffered sexual abuses and floggings, she said, and later slept in toilets as an adult while enduring domestic violence.
Authorities put her on a bus to Carnarvon, 1000km north of Perth, and she said in the tapes: ‘I never looked back.’
After her own problems with drink and her six children being taken by the state, she turned her life around and became a respected member of the community.
Penny Walker talked about Terry Kelly (pictured) being a ‘beautiful little boy’ with ‘jet black curly hair’ in audio recordings for the oral history archive at Western Australia’s State Library
CLEO DISAPPEARANCE TIMELINE
By Olivia Day for Daily Mail Australia
Friday, October 15
Cleo along with her mother Ellie Smith, her partner Jake Gliddon and her little sister Isla Mae arrive at the Blowholes campsite around 6:30pm.
They had a ‘quiet’ night and arrived at sunset.
Saturday, October 16
1:30am: Parents’ last sighting of Cleo in the tent she shared with her parents and baby sister when the four-year-old asks for some water.
6.23am: Ellie calls 000 to report her eldest daughter missing as she continues to search the camp ground.
6.30am: The first two officers are dispatched from Carnarvon police station. They travel to Blowholes as a matter of priority, with sirens and lights.
6.41am: A second police car with another two officers is sent to Blowholes, also with lights and sirens.
7.10am: The first police car arrives. The second is only minutes behind.
7.26am: Police on the scene establish a protected forensic area which is taped off to the public, surrounding the family tent where Cleo was last seen.
7.33am: A drone operator is called upon to search from the skies.
7.44am: A third police car is dispatched to the Blowholes.
8am: Family and friends of Cleo’s parents begin to arrive to help with the ground search.
Another group of detectives briefly searches Cleo’s home to make sure she’s not there.
They then head to Blowholes and begin stopping cars coming into and leaving the area.
8.09am: A helicopter from a local company arrived at the scene and started searching as police request an SES team attend the Blowholes search.
8.24am: Police air-wing and volunteer marine searchers are called in to assist with the search.
8.34am: Roadblocks are set up at the entrance of Blowholes as detectives gather the names, registration details and addresses of people coming and going. Police search cars.
9.25am: Nine SES personel arrive at the Blowholes to assist with the search.
Investigators, bounty hunters and officers from the Australian Federal Police have spent two-and-a-half weeks searching for missing four-year-old Cleo (pictured)
9.30am: Detectives sit down with a distressed Ellie and remain by her side for the rest of the day while other search crews hunt for Cleo.
11am: Homicide detectives from the Major Crime Division are called and begin travelling from Perth to assist with the search.
1pm: More homicide detectives and search experts are flown in from Perth.
3pm: Officers and search experts arrive in Carnarvon to offer their expertise.
Sunday, October 17
Ms Smith takes to social media to plead for help finding her missing daughter.
A Facebook post uploaded at 1:45am on Sunday which said: ‘It’s been over 24 hours since I last seen the sparkle in my little girl’s eyes.
‘Please help me find her!
‘If you hear or see anything at all please call the police!’
Police suggest Cleo may have been abducted.
Monday, October 18
Police release an image of the red and grey sleeping bag missing from Cleo’s tent.
Cleo’s biological father is interviewed by police in Mandurah and is asked to provide a statement, which he does so willingly.
WA Police with the help of SES members, volunteers and aircraft continue the land hunt for Cleo, with officers searching nearby shacks and vehicles in the area.
Tuesday, October 19
Cleo’s mother Ellie Smith and her partner Jake Gliddon front the media for the first time and describe the terrifying moment they realised the little girl was missing.
Ms Smith says her four-year-old would never have left the tent by herself.
Police release new images of Cleo and the pink and blue one-piece she was wearing the night she went missing to aid the investigation.
Investigators urge anyone who was at the campsite or in the vicinity on October 15 to get in contact with police.
Wednesday, October 20
Police reveal the zip of the family tent, which was found hanging wide open by her mother at 6am on Saturday morning, was too high for Cleo to reach.
Officers say they ‘haven’t ruled out’ reports from campers who heard the sound of screeching tyres in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Deputy Police Commissioner Daryl Gaunt confirms officers are investigating the whereabouts of 20 registered sex offenders in the Carnarvon area.
Thursday, October 21
The WA Government offers a $1million reward for information that leads to Cleo’s location announced by WA Premier Mark McGowan.
‘All Western Australians’ thoughts are with Cleo’s family during what is an unimaginably difficult time,’ Mr McGowan said.
‘We’re all praying for a positive outcome.’
The speed of the reward being issued – within days of her disappearance – was unprecedented.
Pictured: Police are seen examining rubbish left near the Blowholes campsite in remote WA
Monday, October 25
WA Police confirm Cleo was definitely at the camp site – on CCTV footage on a camera installed inside a beach shack just 20 metres from the family tent she disappeared from.
Tuesday, October 26
Forensic officers and detectives spent much of the day at her home in Carnarvon, 900km north of Perth, on Tuesday and left with two bags of evidence.
Although investigators had been to the home before, this was the first time they thoroughly searched inside with a forensics team.
Acting WA Police Commissioner Col Blanch said the search of the family home was ‘standard practice’ and did not indicate they were suspects in Cleo’s disappearance.
Wednesday, October 27
WA Police forensics officers return to the Blowholes campground and are seen collecting soil samples from a number of campfires near shacks in the area.
The federal government announce Australian Federal Police officers had been drafted in to support forensic and intelligence efforts.
Friday, October 29
Police return to the Blowholes camp to analyse the area with drones.
Detective Superintendent Rod Wilde returns to the Blowholes campsite to join the search for Cleo as the search hit the two-week mark.
He confirms national and international agencies are engaged in the search for Cleo.
Sunday, October 31
Detectives go door-knocking at a number of homes along the North West Coastal Highway in the North Plantations, 5km from Cleo’s hometown on Sunday.
Monday, November 1
Detectives sort through mounds of rubbish from roadside bins located hundreds of kilometres away from the campsite she vanished from.
The material was transported to Perth, where forensic officers and recruits sorted through hundreds of bags in search of items that may have helped them find Cleo.
Officers issue a plea for dash cam and CCTV footage from within a 1000km radius of where the four-year-old disappeared.
Police renew an appeal for more businesses in Carnarvon to provide footage and go door to door in an industrial area on the outskirts of the town.
Her elated mother, Ellie, (pictured, with Cleo, her partner and younger daughter) broke her silence the morning Cleo was found, sharing a series of love heart emojis on Instagram
Wednesday, November 3
After two-and-a-half weeks of searching Cleo Smith is found alive and well in the early hours of November 3.
WA Police Deputy Commissioner Col Blanch confirmed just before 7am AEST that little Cleo is alive and well and had been reunited with her relieved parents.
‘One of the officers picked her up into his arms and asked her ‘what’s your name?’ he said. ‘She said: ‘My name is Cleo’.’
Ellie Smith posted to social media: ‘Our family is whole again’.
A Carnarvon man is taken in custody and questioned by detectives.
On October 19, Ellie Smith (pictured) and her partner Jake Gliddon fronted the media for the first time and begged the public to report any information ‘big or small’
Thursday, November 4
Terry Darrell Kelly, 36, was charged with multiple offences including forcibly taking a child under 16 and appeared in Carnarvon Magistrate’s Court barefoot and wearing a black T-shirt.
Monday, November 8
Specialist police return to Carnarvon to ‘ascertain whether there was anyone else involved’