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Cleo Smith Reportedly Told Police A Mystery Woman Helped Take Care Of Her While She Was Missing

Photo: WA Police
Cleo Smith, Terence Kelly

Detectives investigating the kidnapping of Cleo Smith have said they are exploring the possibility that there was more than one person involved.

When Cleo was found by police in a home in Carnarvon, Western Australia on November 3, Terence Darrell Kelly, 36, was the only suspect in her disappearance. 

However, amid unconfirmed reports that the four-year-old told police about a woman who she met during the 18 days she was missing, police appear to be probing the possibility that Kelly did not act alone.

Is there a second suspect in Cleo Smith’s abduction?

Investigators have returned to Kelly’s home to look into any other potential suspects. 

“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 said.

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“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.”

Blaine was part of the rescue team that entered Kelly’s home on November 3 and found Cleo before returning her to her family. 

Cleo Smith reportedly said a woman helped care for her while she was missing.

The young girl reportedly made the confession while being interviewed by police and said that a mystery woman helped dress her and brush her hair. 

The claims come from a source close to the investigation who says Cleo said that the woman came to visit her at the Tonkin Crescent duplex where Kelly lived.  

This may explain why investigators have returned to the home as forensic evidence may confirm the existence of a second suspect. 

Police are also, reportedly, scouring Kelly’s cars for clues and sifting through his phone records.

This will help identify anyone the alleged kidnapper was in contact with around the time of Cleo’s disappearance. 

Cleo was found in a room filled with dolls.

Since she was rescued, several images have been shared of Kelly holding Bratz dolls and of a room filled with the toys in which Cleo was reportedly found.

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The 4-year-old was found thanks to an exhaustive search by police after she was abducted from a tent while on a family camping trip on October 16.

Neighbors of Kelly have described him as a “loner” so it is not known if he had any close contacts who would have helped him in Cleo’s disappearance. 

Neighbors also reported seeing him carrying diapers into his home after Cleo went missing in spite of the fact that he had no children. 

Kelly was charged with kidnapping and remains in a maximum security Perth jail.

Varying reports have claimed that Kelly was hospitalized after being assaulted by an inmate after his initial arrest while others have said that he had self-harmed. 

Police have not addressed either of these claims. 

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Alice Kelly is a senior news and entertainment editor for YourTango. Based out of Brooklyn, New York, her work covers all things social justice, pop culture, and human interest. Keep up with her Twitter for more.