Police have charged a 36-year-old man over the abduction of four-year-old Cleo Smith.
Cleo was missing for 18 days after vanishing from a campsite in Western Australia. Police found her in a bedroom of a locked house in the northern WA town of Carnarvon, after midnight during a raid on Wednesday morning.
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.
Kelly, who has no connection to Cleo’s family, was arrested on a street in town after police officers broke into the home he was living in and found Cleo playing with toys inside.
It’s alleged he took the four-year-old while she slept inside her family’s tent at the Blowholes Campground on October 16.
Kelly did not apply for bail and was not required to enter a plea when he faced Carnarvon Magistrate’s Court this afternoon. He was remanded in custody until December 6.
Earlier on Thursday, WA Police released emotional audio and vision of Cleo the moment she was rescued by police.
Cleo Smith was described as being found “alive and well”, and has since been reunited with her family.
More to come.