Inside Cleo's accused abductor's backyard as doll obsession revealed

EXCLUSIVE: How Cleo Smith’s alleged abductor was ‘obsessed with dolls and created social media profiles of his imaginary family’ – as confronting photos emerge of blacked out windows on his derelict house

  • Terry Kelly has not been charged with offences but remains in police custody 
  • He reportedly had an obsession with dolls and created fake social media profiles
  • Police would not confirm Cleo was held in ‘toy room’ in alleged captor’s home
  • Neighbours allowed access to Kelly’s backyard, which was void of toys or games 

The man arrested moments before Cleo Smith was discovered in a derelict house was allegedly obsessed with dolls and created fake social media profiles of his imaginary family.

Terry Kelly, 36, remains in police custody and is expected to be charged over the 18-day disappearance of Cleo who was dramatically rescued from a Carnarvon house, in Western Australia, in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Since Kelly’s arrest, multiple social media accounts have emerged which allegedly belonged to him, where he boasts about his love for Bratz dolls.

One social media account is allegedly solely dedicated to his obsession with dolls, showing a room in a house filled with the toys.

It is unknown if the room is in Kelly’s Tonkin Crescent home, where Cleo was found.

When asked about the alleged doll obsession and whether Kelly might have used the toys to lure Cleo, police told media gathered at a press conference that they would not be commenting on it.  

Terry Kelly, 36, has not yet been charged with any offences but remains in police custody in Carnarvon, Western Australia, almost 36 hours after he was first arrested

Little Cleo was seen in her mother’s arms holding a balloon and wearing a pink summer dress on Thursday

All of the windows at the home are completely blacked out – hidden from public view – and overgrown shrubs and bushes climb the walls of the housing commission home located in Tonkin Crescent

Junk was seen in Kelly’s backyard on Thursday morning, as police still assessed the home

Other profiles allegedly linked to Kelly detail children and family members, but neighbours and long-time friends of the man said they did not know of him ever having kids of his own.

One of the social media accounts followed Cleo’s mother Ellie Smith, where she begged for help finding her missing four-year-old girl who was taken from a tent while camping at the Blowholes grounds 75km north of their hometown. 

Detectives said when they found Cleo inside the house, she was playing with toys. Bodycam footage shows the brave little girl being carried out the house, her hair is clean and brushed and her pyjamas are fresh and clean. 

Neighbours allowed Daily Mail Australia inside their property for a glimpse over the fence to Kelly’s home where Cleo was allegedly held for almost three weeks.  

Little Cleo looked well groomed when she was rescued from the home just seven minutes’ drive from her family home

There is no sign of any toys or children’s games – instead just a dusty bare yard dotted with rubbish and fence palings

Cleo is carried inside by her mother Ellie holding a pink balloon after Carnavon decorated the town in support of the little girl 

Cleo holds her back covered in cartoon princesses as mother Ellie and stepfather Jake walk to the car on Thursday morning

There is no sign of any toys or children’s games – instead just a dusty bare yard dotted with rubbish and fence palings.

All of the windows are completely blacked out – hidden from public view – and overgrown shrubs and bushes climb the walls of the housing commission home located in Tonkin Crescent.

Neighbours say the community is reeling from the revelation the ‘quiet bloke’ at number 18 is allegedly the man at the centre of the world’s biggest kidnapping story.  

He reportedly kept his two dogs in the backyard until recently, moving them to the front of the gated home in the past few weeks. 

Terry Kelly, 36, had only been at Carnarvon police station, in Western Australia, for a few hours on Wednesday before he was taken to hospital requiring medical treatment

West Australian Premier Mark McGowan is greeted by Cleo Smith’s stepfather during a visit to the rescued girl in Carnarvon

Windows at the rundown property were blacked out as items were stored under an awning 

Neighbours tell Daily Mail Australia they still can’t believe little Cleo was right under their noses the whole time. 

‘I have kids around the same age,’ Kelly’s adjacent neighbour at number 16 said. 

‘I saw (Kelly) coming and going. I didn’t really interact with him, he kept to himself. It’s a pretty friendly neighbourhood but he was closed off.’ 

The man said he never saw any dolls with his neighbour.  

‘I never saw anything like that. I just saw him driving his car up and down the street or hanging around outside (Woolworths) in town.’

Forensics officers, working out of a makeshift tent based outside the house, were seen busily coming and going from the today with police tape cordoning off the site and the surrounding street. 

Authorities reportedly broke down in tears upon learning the heartwarming news that Cleo was safe. They say the youngster (pictured) was good as can be expected

Police continue to carry out forensic work at the house where detectives found Cleo locked inside on Wednesday morning

Earlier on Thursday, Detective Senior Sergeant Cameron Blaine said police were not yet in a position to confirm reports of a toy room and the man’s alleged fascination with dolls. 

‘I think I’ve said the lights were on and she was playing with toys,’ he said. ‘That’s about all I want to say. This is still a matter that needs to go before the courts.

‘There are certain aspects of what we saw, you know, that is going to be evidence and I really don’t want to say anything that is going to prejudice that.’

Police did, however, confirm they believe the accused acted ‘entirely alone’ in taking Cleo from the campsite.

Charges are expected to be laid later on Thursday as soon as officers conclude interviewing Kelly. 

Cleo has spent her first night back home with her mother Ellie Smith, stepfather Jake Gliddon and baby sister following her 18 day disappearance.

Cleo Smith, four, was found alive and well, 18 days after she vanished from her family’s tent at the remote Blowholes campsite in Western Australia 

Police speak as they gather extensive amounts of evidence after a 36-year-old man was arrested at the home in Carnavon where Cleo was found

‘She’s been checked out at the hospital and physically she’s ok,’ Superintendent Rod Wilde said.

Cleo will be interviewed by specialist child interviewers at the ‘appropriate time’, but is enjoying playing with her sister and getting lots of cuddles off her mum and stepdad in the meantime. 

WA Premier Mark McGowan described Cleo as a delightful and well adjusted little girl after meeting her at the family home earlier in the morning.

‘It was a lovely experience to meet that little girl. She was bubbly, playing, friendly, sweet. She was delightful,’ he said. 

‘Fundamentally decent, honest human beings, they were lovely people and it was great to meet them and acknowledge what they have been through.

‘We have a way to go from here, but they are on the right pathway.’


 By Olivia Day for Daily Mail Australia

Friday, October 15

Cleo along with her mother Ellie Smith, her partner Jake Gliddon and her little sister Isla Mae arrive at the Blowholes campsite around 6:30pm.

They had a ‘quiet’ night and arrived at sunset.

Saturday, October 16

1:30am: Parents’ last sighting of Cleo in the tent she shared with her parents and baby sister when the four-year-old asks for some water.

6.23am: Ellie calls 000 to report her eldest daughter missing as she continues to search the camp ground.

6.30am: The first two officers are dispatched from Carnarvon police station. They travel to Blowholes as a matter of priority, with sirens and lights.

6.41am: A second police car with another two officers is sent to Blowholes, also with lights and sirens.

7.10am: The first police car arrives. The second is only minutes behind.

7.26am: Police on the scene establish a protected forensic area which is taped off to the public, surrounding the family tent where Cleo was last seen.

7.33am: A drone operator is called upon to search from the skies.

7.44am: A third police car is dispatched to the Blowholes.

8am: Family and friends of Cleo’s parents begin to arrive to help with the ground search.

Another group of detectives briefly searches Cleo’s home to make sure she’s not there.

They then head to Blowholes and begin stopping cars coming into and leaving the area.

8.09am: A helicopter from a local company arrived at the scene and started searching as police request an SES team attend the Blowholes search.

8.24am: Police air-wing and volunteer marine searchers are called in to assist with the search.

8.34am: Roadblocks are set up at the entrance of Blowholes as detectives gather the names, registration details and addresses of people coming and going. Police search cars.

9.25am: Nine SES personel arrive at the Blowholes to assist with the search.

Investigators, bounty hunters and officers from the Australian Federal Police have spent two-and-a-half weeks searching for missing four-year-old Cleo (pictured)

9.30am: Detectives sit down with a distressed Ellie and remain by her side for the rest of the day while other search crews hunt for Cleo.

11am: Homicide detectives from the Major Crime Division are called and begin travelling from Perth to assist with the search.

1pm: More homicide detectives and search experts are flown in from Perth.

3pm: Officers and search experts arrive in Carnarvon to offer their expertise.

Sunday, October 17

Ms Smith takes to social media to plead for help finding her missing daughter.

A Facebook post uploaded at 1:45am on Sunday which said: ‘It’s been over 24 hours since I last seen the sparkle in my little girl’s eyes.

‘Please help me find her!

‘If you hear or see anything at all please call the police!’

Police suggest Cleo may have been abducted.

Monday, October 18

Police release an image of the red and grey sleeping bag missing from Cleo’s tent.

Cleo’s biological father is interviewed by police in Mandurah and is asked to provide a statement, which he does so willingly.

WA Police with the help of SES members, volunteers and aircraft continue the land hunt for Cleo, with officers searching nearby shacks and vehicles in the area.

Tuesday, October 19

Cleo’s mother Ellie Smith and her partner Jake Gliddon front the media for the first time and describe the terrifying moment they realised the little girl was missing.

Ms Smith says her four-year-old would never have left the tent by herself.

Police release new images of Cleo and the pink and blue one-piece she was wearing the night she went missing to aid the investigation.

Investigators urge anyone who was at the campsite or in the vicinity on October 15 to get in contact with police. 

Wednesday, October 20

Police reveal the zip of the family tent, which was found hanging wide open by her mother at 6am on Saturday morning, was too high for Cleo to reach.

Officers say they ‘haven’t ruled out’ reports from campers who heard the sound of screeching tyres in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Deputy Police Commissioner Daryl Gaunt confirms officers are investigating the whereabouts of 20 registered sex offenders in the Carnarvon area.

Thursday, October 21

The WA Government offers a $1million reward for information that leads to Cleo’s location announced by WA Premier Mark McGowan.

‘All Western Australians’ thoughts are with Cleo’s family during what is an unimaginably difficult time,’ Mr McGowan said.

‘We’re all praying for a positive outcome.’

The speed of the reward being issued – within days of her disappearance – was unprecedented.

Pictured: Police are seen examining rubbish left near the Blowholes campsite in remote WA 

Monday, October 25

WA Police confirm Cleo was definitely at the camp site – on CCTV footage on a camera installed inside a beach shack just 20 metres from the family tent she disappeared from. 

Tuesday, October 26

Forensic officers and detectives spent much of the day at her home in Carnarvon, 900km north of Perth, on Tuesday and left with two bags of evidence.

Although investigators had been to the home before, this was the first time they thoroughly searched inside with a forensics team.

Acting WA Police Commissioner Col Blanch said the search of the family home was ‘standard practice’ and did not indicate they were suspects in Cleo’s disappearance.

Wednesday, October 27

WA Police forensics officers return to the Blowholes campground and are seen collecting soil samples from a number of campfires near shacks in the area.

The federal government announce Australian Federal Police officers had been drafted in to support forensic and intelligence efforts.

Friday, October 29

Police return to the Blowholes camp to analyse the area with drones.

Detective Superintendent Rod Wilde returns to the Blowholes campsite to join the search for Cleo as the search hit the two-week mark.

He confirms national and international agencies are engaged in the search for Cleo.

Sunday, October 31

Detectives go door-knocking at a number of homes along the North West Coastal Highway in the North Plantations, 5km from Cleo’s hometown on Sunday.

Monday, November 1

Detectives sort through mounds of rubbish from roadside bins located hundreds of kilometres away from the campsite she vanished from.

The material was transported to Perth, where forensic officers and recruits sorted through hundreds of bags in search of items that may have helped them find Cleo.

Officers issue a plea for dash cam and CCTV footage from within a 1000km radius of where the four-year-old disappeared.

Police renew an appeal for more businesses in Carnarvon to provide footage and go door to door in an industrial area on the outskirts of the town.

Her elated mother, Ellie, (pictured, with Cleo, her partner and younger daughter) broke her silence the morning Cleo was found, sharing a series of love heart emojis on Instagram 

Wednesday, November 3

After two-and-a-half weeks of searching Cleo Smith is found alive and well in the early hours of November 3.

WA Police Deputy Commissioner Col Blanch confirmed just before 7am AEST that little Cleo is alive and well and had been reunited with her relieved parents.

‘One of the officers picked her up into his arms and asked her ‘what’s your name?’ he said. ‘She said: ‘My name is Cleo’.’

Ellie Smith posted to social media: ‘Our family is whole again’.

A Carnarvon man is currently in custody and being questioned by detectives.

On October 19, Ellie Smith (pictured) and her partner Jake Gliddon fronted the media for the first time and begged the public to report any information ‘big or small’

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