Terence Darrell Kelly, the man accused of abducting four-year-old Cleo Smith, allegedly faked a family on his social media profile, according to the ABC.
The man’s social media profile depicted him as being a father of young children, who he posted videos of to his Facebook stories. In 2020, he also updated his profile picture to be a video of a woman’s pregnant stomach with the caption “not long now.” There is also footage of what appears to be that same woman and himself.
The ABC has spoken to family members and neighbours of Kelly, who claimed that he lived alone and was very reclusive. However, in recent weeks he had apparently been acting more socially.
“He was a very quiet person,” his cousin told the ABC.
“He would usually stick to himself.”
The cousin said he saw Kelly at the shops on October 19 and told him that they have to stick together now”, which he thought was strange.
It is currently unclear who the family he depicted on social media actually are, and if they are related to the accused man in any way.
Four-year-old Cleo Smith, disappeared while camping with her family in Western Australia on October 16, and was found “alive and well” yesterday morning after police officers broke into Kelly’s home and found Cleo playing with toys inside.
Police have been questioning Terence Darrell Kelly for the past two days following Cleo’s rescue, and have now charged him with two offences, including one count of forcibly taking a child under 16, the ABC reports.
The 36 year-old man allegedly took the four-year-old while she slept inside her family’s tent at the Blowholes Campground on October 16.
Police have warned people not to make their own speculations about the case, and comment online.
“We’ve got a legal process that we’ll need to go through, that’s where the facts will come forward,” lead investigator Detective Superintendent Rod Wilde told 6PR Radio.
“Everyone please keep those theories to yourself and don’t go sticking them on social media. It’s very unhelpful.”