Cleo Smith’s parents release an emotional statement thanking police and the ‘love and support’ of Australians after the incredible rescue of their four-year-old daughter
- Cleo Smith’s family released a statement on Friday evening
Cleo Smith’s family have thanked police and the ‘love and support’ they have received from across Australia in an emotional statement after the four-year-old’s incredible rescue.
Her mother Ellie Smith and stepfather Jake Gliddon said they were ‘humbled’ by the public response to Cleo’s disappearance 18 days ago and discovery in a locked Carnarvon house in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
‘We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those involved in the rescue of our daughter Cleo Smith,’ the couple said in a statement on Friday evening.
Cleo is seen with her mother Ellie Smith. A $1million reward is on offer to anybody with information into her disappearance
Cleo is carried inside by her mother Ellie holding a pink balloon after Carnavon decorated the town in support of the little girl
‘We are so thankful that our little girl is back within our arms and our family is whole again.’
‘As we try to get on with our lives, we ask that you respect our privacy.’
Meanwhile the man accused of abducting Cleo winked as he boarded a plane in shackles to fly to Perth where he will remain in jail until his next court appearance.
Terence Darrell Kelly was transferred from his padded cell in Carnarvon to a Western Australia Police plane under heavy guard on Friday morning.
The 36-year-old is accused of kidnapping four-year-old Cleo from a tent she was sharing with her mum, stepdad and younger sister, Isla at the Blowholes campsite on October 16.
The four-year-old had woken up at 1.30am on the Saturday to ask her mother Ellie for a sip of water but when her parents woke again at about 6am, Cleo was gone
Dramatic pictures taken as Kelly was loaded into the police plane show the prisoner barefoot and shackled from hand to foot.
As he stepped on the plane, a charter Cessna 441, he appeared to wink at photographers.
At least four special operations officers escorted him onto the waiting plane, which is expected to fly him directly to Perth where he’ll wait in a maximum security prison until his next court appearance in December.