Unexpected Turn in Cleo Case: Australian Police Investigate Whether Woman Involved in Kidnapping
The Australian police are investigating whether – in addition to the already arrested suspect Terry Kelly – another person was involved in the kidnapping of Cleo, the 4-year-old toddler who was found alive and well last week.
Little Cleo was missing for 18 days after disappearing without a trace on October 16 during a camping holiday with her parents. Her disappearance sparked a massive search, which ended on November 3 when the toddler was found at Terry Kelly’s home in Carnarvon, Western Australia. The 36-year-old has since been formally charged with kidnapping and is currently in a high-security prison in Perth.
Surprisingly, however, the inspectors leading the case returned to Carnarvon on Monday. “Our focus is to determine if anyone else was involved, which is why we are here,” Detective Inspector Cameron Blaine told Australian media on his return. He called on residents of Carnarvon who had seen anything suspicious or who had been in contact with Kelly in recent weeks to come forward.
Immediately after Kelly’s arrest, police said they believed he had acted alone. But the Daily Mail Australia reported on Tuesday that police are now also investigating whether a woman was involved in Cleo’s kidnapping. During interrogation, the girl is said to have said that “a woman came to the house to take care of her”, “helped her dress”, and “combed her hair”. Police declined to comment on the news.