Daily Mail Australia has learned that the man wrongly identified in the kidnapping of Cleo Smith, aged four, was threatened with being killed and speared by a suspect and sought protection from the police. 

Terry Kelly, Terrance Flowers’s name on social media is Terry Kelly. This is the same name that Cleo’s suspected abductor. After the girl’s rescue, however, the wrong man was widely photographed and shamed on social networking.  

According to police sources, Mr Flowers was misidentified. He was then threatened with death, including the possibility of being speared with an Aboriginal punishment. 

The misidentification occurred as Chris Dawson, Western Australia’s Police Commissioner, reportedly met with 20 Aboriginal elders in Carnarvon in an emergency meeting to ask for their assistance in easing tensions within the community.  

A report stated that there have been claims that Indigenous locals have been targeted by racists in relation to Cleo’s kidnapping. They also fear recriminations within the community.   

A Western Australia man got death threats, including that he would be speared, after being wrongly identified as a suspect in the kidnapping of Cleo Smith (pictured)

After being wrongly identified in relation to the kidnapping CleoSmith (pictured), a Western Australia man received death threats.

A man wrongly identified as the suspect in the Cleo Smith kidnapping case was bombarded with death threats, including that he would be speared, police sources said.

Police sources claimed that a man incorrectly identified as the suspect in Cleo Smith’s kidnapping case was bombarded by death threats, including spearing, and were eventually killed.

Terry Kelly, the suspect in the kidnap of Cleo Smith in Western Australia, being taken to hospital. Another man of the same name was wrongly misidentified, as he has a similar name

Terry Kelly, the suspect involved in the kidnapping of Cleo Smith in Western Australia was taken to hospital. A man with a similar name to Terry Kelly was mistakenly identified as another suspect in the kidnapping of Cleo Smith in Western Australia.

Social media was abuzz with speculations about the kidnapping of Cleo by a 36-year-old Indigenous man. The Australian reported that Mr Dawson said to the elders: “You are influencers in the community and you can speak to people who are more impressionable.” 

According to reports, he said that ‘You can’t be that voice of reason’.

When asked about reports of community unrest, WA Premier Mark McGowan stated that he believes some additional officers were in town, but not necessarily for community turmoil. However, there are a lot more Carnarvon police officers who have been involved in this operation and are still assisting us. 

“So that drains local resources. They’ve also come to town to help the local police’ he stated.  

West Australian Premier Mark McGowan (centre) is greeted by Cleo Smith's stepfather (left) during a visit to the rescued girl in Carnarvon, 900km north of the state capital Perth. Four-year-old Cleo went missing from the tent she was sharing with her family at the Blowholes campsite near Carnarvon on 16 October. She was rescued in the early hours of November 3, 18 days after she was taken. A 36-year-old man is now in custody

Cleo’s stepfather (left), West Australian Premier Mark McGowan, is seen greeting Cleo Smith during a visit in Carnarvon (900km north of Perth). Cleo, four years old, went missing from the tent she was sleeping in with her family at Blowholes campsite near Carnarvon 16 October. She was found in the early hours on November 3, just 18 days after she had been taken. A 36-year old man is currently in custody

Western Australia Premiere Mark McGowan (white shirt, centre) poses with police officers after speaking at a press conference in front of the Carnarvon Police Station on November 4, 2021

After speaking at a press conference held in front of the Carnarvon Police Station, Mark McGowan, Western Australia Premier (white shirt), poses with officers

Mr Flowers was mistakenly identified by the Seven Network as an abductor. 

Late last night, the media company issued a statement in which it apologized for incorrectly naming Mr Flowers the suspect in CleoSmith’s case. 

According to the statement, “Earlier Wednesday 7NEWS incorrectly displayed images of a man that were wrongly labelled as the person under investigation over the disappearance Cleo Smith.” 

“These were removed promptly, but 7NEWS apologizes for the error. 

Image of when Cleo Smith was found and rescued by Western Australian Police

Image of Cleo Smith being rescued by Western Australian Police

Neighbours look out onto the house where missing girl Cleo Smith (4) was rescued by Western Australian Police

Neighbors look out on the house where Cleo Smith, a missing girl, was rescued from Western Australian Police

Daily Mail Australia understands that Mr Flowers sought shelter with officers in Karatha following his social media attack. 

Mr Flowers was due to be interviewed on WA’s Ngaarda radio station early on Thursday morning, but pulled out.

Presenter Tangiora hinaki stated that Terrence Flowers had decided to withdraw from his interview because he was talking with lawyers. 

She said that Karatha Senior Sergeant Daniel Strachan had been’very supportive of Mr Flowers during these tough times and also contacted Channel 7 to his behalf’.

View of House and police in Tonlin Street Carnarvon where Cleo Smith was detained > Duplex house centre of image Photo Bohdan Warchomij - 10162881

View of House and police in Tonlin Street Carnarvon where Cleo Smith was detained > Duplex house centre of image Photo Bohdan Warchomij – 10162881


One of the most common tribal punishments in Aboriginal culture involves the victim being speared in the calf or thigh. 

This type of punishment is often displayed in films that are based on Indigenous society.

The crime determined the severity of the wounds received by the offender.

From creativespirits.info

Instead of having Mr Flowers on, Ms Hinaki instead featured an interview with his aunt, Nyamal woman Karen Beazely.

“People leapt the gun and saw that Terry Kelly was on Facebook and there were many angry people,” said Ms Beazely. 

“So they typed Terry Kelly in and what came up is the wrong Terry Kelly.  

She continued: “My daughter Tracy, and my niece Patricia, took him to the Karatha Police.

She said that he broke down when he heard that his face was on the news and that he was crying. He was really upset. 

‘I would like people to wait for the police to give out proper information, because jumping the gun can cause someone who is innocent … people can go for the wrong person,’ Ms Beazely said.     

A post on the radio station’s Facebook page said: ‘Let the police continue to  do their job, stop trying to be a lynch mob.  You can leave it to the police for confirmation and justice will prevail.

EXCLUSIVE: The story of how the loner who was arrested for Cleo Smith’s kidnapping was ‘bashed in prison by another prisoner’ once he realized he was the kidnapper. 


A man being held over the kidnapping of CleoSmith was allegedly attacked inside a prison cell by another prisoner. He was taken to hospital for a second time.

Terry Kelly, 36 years old, was only in Carnarvon police station in Western Australia for a few minutes on Wednesday when he was apparently set upon by a prisoner.

Kelly was arrested for allegedly abducting Cleo, a little girl who disappeared from a campsite 75km away from her home 18 days ago. She was on holiday with her family.

A sign is seen on a fence in Carnarvon, Western Australia in celebration of the finding of Cleo Smith. Cleo was found in the early hours Wednesday November 3 after police raided a house in Carnarvon

Cleo Smith’s finding was celebrated by a sign on a fence in Carnarvon. Cleo was discovered in the early hours of Wednesday November 3, after police raided a Carnarvon house.

Daily Mail Australia was told by the mother of this prisoner that her son was furious when he learned why Kelly had been detained.

“As soon he heard that the bloke was being arrested over Cleo’s little Cleo,” the woman said.

“I tell you what, he [Kelly] got a real hiding… My son had to be taken out of his house in shackles and he (Kelly), was taken for treatment… He was in a bad mood. He is a big guy, but he really took it all in.

A spokesperson for the Western Australia Police Force stated that detectives would not comment on the woman’s claims. However, he confirmed that the man in custody had been admitted to hospital for a variety of injuries, including self-harm.

A sign welcoming Cleo Smith home to Carnarvon, Western Australia, and thank the police for rescuing her 18 days after she was abducted

Cleo Smith’s welcome sign to Carnarvon, Western Australia.

A pavement sign celebrating the rescuing of four-year-old Cleo Smith in Carnarvon, Western Australia

A pavement sign celebrating Cleo Smith’s rescue in Carnarvon (West Australia)

Kelly was taken to the hospital yesterday morning after being loaded into an ambulance at the police station. Kelly was covered with a large, white bandage.

The WA Police Deputy Commissioner Col Blanch said that the alleged kidnapper was being returned to hospital by Sydney’s Radio 2GB on Thursday morning. However, his injuries are not severe.

Cleo, four years old, was found in a locked room in Carnarvon by startled detectives. This 18 days after she had disappeared from a remote campsite on holiday with her family.