Cleo Smith shock twist: A woman allegedly ‘brushed her hair’ at kidnap house

Nov 09, 2021
Police are now investigating after Cleo Smith allegedly told detectives a woman had “helped to dress her and brush her hair”. Source: Getty

Police are now urgently probing the possibility that a mystery accomplice may have been involved in the Cleo Smith kidnapping case, after the little girl allegedly told detectives a woman had visited the Carnarvon property where she was found to “look after her”.

The four-year-old was allegedly locked up inside the house in Western Australia’s northwest for 18 days after going missing from the family tent at the remote Quobba blowholes campsite where she had been holidaying with her mother Ellie Smith, and stepfather Jake Gliddon, about 75 km away.

Terence Darrell Kelly, 36, was charged with allegedly abducting her on Thursday, November 4, and will remain in a maximum-security prison in Perth until his next court appearance in December.

But according to the Daily Mail Australia, detectives are now investigating the possibility that the accused may not have been acting alone after Cleo has reportedly revealed that a “woman helped to dress her and brush her hair”.

The latest bombshell, said to come from sources close to the investigation, has emerged as detectives begin the delicate task of interviewing the pre-schooler about the time she was allegedly held captive in the Tonkin Crescent duplex.

The shock revelation has reportedly prompted a team of detectives involved in tracking down the missing child to return to Carnarvon to probe the possibility that a mystery woman had helped the accused look after Cleo during her 18 day ordeal. This is believed to involve scouring the alleged abductor’s residence for traces of another suspect.

Stepping off the plane from Perth, Detective senior sergeant Cameron Blaine, who played a key role in rescuing little Cleo, has told reporters in Carnarvon that police have “more work to do”.

“Our focus this week is for us to ascertain whether there was anyone else involved. That’s why we are still here,” said Detective senior sergeant Blaine.

“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.”

The miracle rescue of Cleo Smith grabbed headlines all around the world when the little girl was found alive and well and “playing with toys” alone after detectives broke down the door of the locked property, around 1.30am, on November 3.


One of the largest investigations in the history of WA, with a $1 million reward offered for information leading to Cleo Smith’s return, the case was cracked by a task-force of more than 100, and lead investigator Rod Wilde last week revealed that crucial mobile phone data had helped track down the accused.

“So we put the phone data over number-plate recognition data, CCTV, witness accounts, forensics … and when you layer them on top of each other you solve crimes and that is merely what we have done here,” Rod Wilde told The West Australian.

Have you been following the latest development in the Cleo Smith case?

Please sign in to post a comment.
Retrieving conversation…
Stories that matter
Emails delivered daily
Sign up