Australian authorities confirmed that a mystery woman possibly involved in the kidnapping of Australian girl, Cleo Smith, has been ruled out.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, 4-year-old Cleo told police that a female combed her hair and “looked after her” while she was held in a stranger’s home. Police arrested Terry Kelly, 36, last week and charged him with kidnapping, but so far, no other person has been charged in the case.
Family members reported Cleo missing on the morning of October 16 from Blowholes Campground in Macleod, where she was staying in a tent with her family. Cleo’s mother, Ellie Smith, told authorities that they woke up to find her missing at around 6 a.m. They reportedly last saw at around 1:30 a.m. that morning.
Authorities arrested Kelly after piecing together evidence and information provided by tipsters. He is currently the only person arrested in the case but authorities have not said whether anyone else was involved.
According to the Herald Sun, WA Deputy Commissioner Col Blanch declined to comment on possible additional suspects due to the ongoing investigation but confirmed the mystery woman information has been cleared.
“It’s before the courts – the less I say about it, the better it is to have a fair and transparent trial,” he said. “I understand you have to keep asking questions, but at the end of the day, I’ve got to do the right thing by the court process. And I’ll make no further comment.”
Blanch added that additional charges are possible for Kelly, who’s currently charged with “child stealing.”
“That’s not something that I’ve been briefed on at the moment, but I would never say never because there’s a long way to go about piecing together what had happened,” Blanch added.
After police arrested Kelly, they announced he was not known to the Smith family. He was taken to the hospital twice afterward for self-inflicted injuries sustained while he was in jail.
Following his arrest, videos and photos from Kelly’s Facebook account surfaced. A room in Kelly’s home showed dozens of dolls, some that were still in its packaging. In April 2020, Kelly posted a photo to Facebook of himself taking a doll for a drive.
“I love taking my dolls for drive around [sic]and doing their hair and taking selfies in public,” the Facebook post read.
Shocked neighbors at the Tonkin Crescent neighborhood in Carnarvon, where Cleo was found inside a locked duplex, said that Kelly was a loner that mostly kept to himself. Another neighbor said they noticed Kelly leaving the home more frequently in recent days and returning with groceries before his arrest.
A spokesperson for the police department stated that there are no updates this time about the possible mystery woman, but explained that “inquiries are continuing” and could take several weeks.
Check back for updates.
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[Feature Photo: In this image made from a video released by Western Australia Police, a police officer carries rescued girl Cleo Smith in Carnarvon, Australia Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021. Police smashed their way into a suburban house on Wednesday and rescued the girl whose disappearance from her family’s camping tent on Australia’s remote west coast more than two weeks ago both horrified and captivated the nation. (Western Australia Police via AP)]