Four-year-old Cleo Smith disappeared in October last year while camping with her parents in Western Australia. Her disappearance sparked a massive search operation that gripped the entire country. Finally, a few weeks later, police found her alive and well at a stranger’s home in her hometown of Carnarvon, a short drive from the site.
On November 5, two days after Cleo was found, the home’s owner – 36-year-old Terence Darrell Kelly – was arrested as a suspect. Kelly, who has since been in Perth Prison, confessed Monday that he kidnapped and held the toddler. A confession that came unexpectedly, local media reported that had expected a lengthy process.
Kelly is due to appear in court in March and is expected to be sentenced later. In addition to kidnapping a child, he also has to answer for the abuse of a police officer.