Cleo Smith investigation takes new turn as crucial piece of evidence seized

·3-min read

Police have returned to the house in Carnarvon where four-year-old Cleo Smith was found, seizing a major piece of evidence that helped lead to her discovery.

Last week, WA Police revealed phone data played an important role in tracking and identifying the accused man, Terence Darrell Kelly, with a white mobile phone on Monday being seized from Mr Kelly's house in the investigation. 

The West Australian previously reported that data from Mr Kelly's phone was crucial in finding the four-year-old.

“His phone was allegedly in the area as part of the data collection,” sources told the publication.

“That is part of the information that led the taskforce to him."

A doll is wrapped up as evidence at the home of Cleo Smith's alleged abductor.
Two trailer loads of evidence were taken from Kelly's house, and among the items was a doll. Source: 7News
An investigator carries a sack containing evidence from the home of Cleo Smith's alleged abductor.
Police are now investigating whether anyone else was involved in the crime. Source: 7News

According to The West, the forensic search of the home is due to span at least the rest of the week, with two trailers of evidence taken away to be examined.

7News also filmed a Bratz doll — a brand of the doll which Mr Kelly allegedly collected — being taken as evidence on Sunday.

Police investigate if anyone else was involved

Detective Senior Sergeant Cameron Blaine told reporters on Monday they were investigating “whether there was anyone else involved” in Cleo’s alleged kidnapping.

"That’s why we are still here,” he said.

Cleo Smith is carried inside a friend's house by her mother Ellie on November 4, 2021.
Cleo Smith's reunion with her parents was described by police as an emotional one with 'hugs' and 'tears'. Source: AAP

“So, we just ask that if there was anyone that had any contact with Mr Kelly, whether you saw him, whether you met with him, whether you spoke to him on the phone during the relevant period to please make yourself known to police.”

Detective Superintendent Rod Wilde told reporters on Thursday there wasn't one piece of crucial evidence that lead to finding the little girl, describing it as “finding a needle in a haystack”.

“Police solve crimes through what I say is data overlays,” he said, adding it was a result of hard work gathering and analysing information.

“So we put the phone data over number plate-recognition data, CCTV, witness accounts, forensics... and when you layer them on top of each other you solve crimes and that is merely what we have done here.”

Police vehicles are seen outside the house where missing girl Cleo Smith (4) was rescued by Western Australian Police.
Four-year-old Cleo, who had been missing for 18 days, was found alone in this house in the coastal town of Carnarvon. Source: AAP

Cleo found after three weeks

Cleo Smith was found locked inside a room in a Carnarvon house on November 3, 18 days after she was disappeared from her family's tent at the remote Blowholes campsite.

So far, Mr Kelly, 36, is the only person that has been charged with various offences including forcibly taking a child under 16.

His next court hearing is in December.

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