Cleo Smith’s family has thanked police and all the support they received from across Australia for their four-year-old daughter’s miraculous rescue.
Her mother Ellie Smith, and her stepfather Jake Gliddon expressed their gratitude for the public response to Cleo’s disappearance 18-days ago and her discovery in a locked Carnarvon House in the early hours on Wednesday morning.
“We would like this opportunity to thank everybody involved in the rescue and safety of our daughter Cleo Smith,” the couple stated in a Friday evening statement.
Cleo is photographed with her mother Ellie Smith. Anyone with information about her disappearance is eligible for a $1million reward
Cleo is carried in by Ellie, her mother, holding a pink balloon that Carnavon had decorated to support the little girl.
“We are so grateful that our little girl is back in our arms and that our family is complete again.”
“As we try our best to live our lives, we ask you to respect our privacy.”
As Cleo was being abducted, the man accused winked as he boarded an airplane in shackles and flew to Perth. He will be in jail until his next court appearance.
Terence Darrell Kelly, a padded prisoner in Carnarvon, was transferred to a Western Australia Police plane on Friday morning. He was under heavy guard.
The 36-year old is accused of kidnapping Cleo, four years, from the tent she was sharing with her stepdad, mum, and younger sister, Isla, at the Blowholes campsite in October 16.
Cleo, a four-year-old girl, had woken at 1.30am Saturday to ask Ellie for water. However, when Ellie woke up at 6am, Cleo was gone.
Kelly was captured in dramatic photographs as he was loaded into a police plane. Kelly was barefoot and bound from head to foot.
He seemed to wink at photographers when he stepped onto the plane, a charter Cessna441.
He was escorted by at least four special operation officers to the waiting plane. The plane is expected to fly him to Perth, where he will wait in a maximum security prison before his next court appearance in December.