Mom Ellie Smith and stepfather Jake Gliddon said they were “humble” about the public reaction to Cleo’s disappearance from a remote campsite before she was found 18 days later
Cleo Smith’s relieved family thanked the police in an emotional statement after the four-year-old was incredibly rescued 18 days after her abduction.
Mother Ellie Smith and stepfather Jake Gliddon said they were “humble” about the public reaction to Cleo’s disappearance from a remote campsite in Western Australia.
Police found the little girl in a locked Carnarvon house early on Wednesday morning.
The moving statement released on Friday added that Cleo’s parents “were so grateful that our little girl is back in our arms”.
It says: “We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who helped save our daughter Cleo Smith.
“In particular, we would like to thank the WA police, everyone involved in the first search, the Carnarvon community, local businesses and of course our family and friends.
“We are humble at the love and support we have received not just from our local community, but from across Western Australia and across the country.
“We are so grateful that our little girl is in our arms again and that our family is whole again. As we try to get on with our lives, we ask that you respect our privacy. “
Terence Darrell Kelly, 36, appeared Thursday before a judge charged with forcibly dragging a child under the age of 16.
He did not submit a plea.
Kelly, handcuffed and with chains around his legs, was surrounded by police officers when he was taken aboard the plane to Perth.
He is being held in a maximum security prison until his next court appearance in December.
Barefoot and in shorts, he seemed to be winking at the cameras before heading up the stairs to the plane.
The moment Kelly was arrested by police was filmed on dashcam footage from a taxi on Tuesday night.
He was attracted by officers and pinned to the ground.
Detectives responding to a tip and extensive police work broke open a locked door in his home, where they found Cleo playing with toys in a well-lit room.
AAP / PA images)
WEST AUSTRALIAN POLICE /)
A tape of the rescue was heard telling officers, “My name is Cleo.”
Cameron Blaine, one of the cops who saved Cleo, said she appeared to be in a good mood.
“I can only see it from the outside. But from this point of view I am amazed that she seems so balanced and happy, ”he said on Thursday, reported 7NEWS
Locals have described Kelly as a “loner” who lived in a well-known government neighborhood.