Cleo Smith Carnarvon disappearance: Terry Kelly flown to Perth jail as lonely life is revealed

The man accused of abducting little Cleo Smith winked as he boarded a plane in shackles to fly to Perth where he will remain in jail until his next court appearance.

Terence Darrell Kelly was transferred from his padded cell in Carnarvon to a Western Australia Police plane under heavy guard on Friday morning.

The 36-year-old is accused of kidnapping four-year-old Cleo from a tent she was sharing with her mum, stepdad and younger sister, Isla at the Blowholes campsite on October 16.

Dramatic pictures taken as Kelly was loaded into the police plane show the prisoner barefoot and shackled from hand to foot.

As he stepped on the plane, a charter Cessna 441, he appeared to wink at photographers.  

At least four special operations officers escorted him onto the waiting plane, which is expected to fly him directly to Perth where he’ll wait in a maximum security prison until his next court appearance in December. 

As he stepped on the plane, a charter Cessna 441, he appeared to wink at photographers

As he stepped on the plane, a charter Cessna 441, he appeared to wink at photographers

As he stepped on the plane, a charter Cessna 441, he appeared to wink at photographers

The man accused of abducting little Cleo Smith winked as he boarded a plane in shackles to fly to Perth where he will remain in jail ahead of his next court appearance

The man accused of abducting little Cleo Smith winked as he boarded a plane in shackles to fly to Perth where he will remain in jail ahead of his next court appearance

The man accused of abducting little Cleo Smith winked as he boarded a plane in shackles to fly to Perth where he will remain in jail ahead of his next court appearance

Terence Darrell Kelly boards a plane after being taken into custody by members of the Special Operations Group at Carnarvon airport

Terence Darrell Kelly boards a plane after being taken into custody by members of the Special Operations Group at Carnarvon airport

Terence Darrell Kelly boards a plane after being taken into custody by members of the Special Operations Group at Carnarvon airport

At least four special operations officers escorted him onto the waiting plane, which is expected to fly him directly to Perth where he'll wait in a maximum security prison until his next court appearance in December

At least four special operations officers escorted him onto the waiting plane, which is expected to fly him directly to Perth where he'll wait in a maximum security prison until his next court appearance in December

At least four special operations officers escorted him onto the waiting plane, which is expected to fly him directly to Perth where he’ll wait in a maximum security prison until his next court appearance in December

Detectives, acting off a tip and extensive policework, broke down a locked door inside his home in Tonkin Crescent in Brockman, WA, where they found Cleo in a well lit room playing with toys.

The little girl told the officers her name and was reunited with her parents immediately afterwards.

Kelly has been charged with two offences, including forcibly taking a child under 16.

As the flight left the small town on the country’s west coast, locals within the largely isolated community are continuing to piece together a picture of Kelly and how he came to be allegedly involved in one of the nation’s most shocking crimes.  

Described as a ‘loner’, Kelly lived alone in a well-known government housing precinct, and was also a regular at Carnarvon Central, according to one shop-owner in the centre which is something of a retail hub and meeting place.

Denham French, who relocated to Carnarvon from Thailand seven years ago, operates a sporting goods of sorts store which also sells some clothing jewelry and American football and basketball paraphernalia.

Kelly, he says, would come in ‘time to time’ and was relatively well known in the area. 

‘He’s a guy who would flow in and out,’ says French. 

‘Sometimes he would come in a few times a week. ‘Other times none at all.’

Little Cleo was found alive and well inside a locked room in a home on Tonkin Crescent, just seven minutes from her loving family

Little Cleo was found alive and well inside a locked room in a home on Tonkin Crescent, just seven minutes from her loving family

Little Cleo was found alive and well inside a locked room in a home on Tonkin Crescent, just seven minutes from her loving family

Pictures taken as he was loaded into the police plane show Kelly barefoot and shackled from hand to foot

Pictures taken as he was loaded into the police plane show Kelly barefoot and shackled from hand to foot

Pictures taken as he was loaded into the police plane show Kelly barefoot and shackled from hand to foot

Local shop owner Denham French knew Kelly as a regular. Sometimes he would see him several times a week

Local shop owner Denham French knew Kelly as a regular. Sometimes he would see him several times a week

Local shop owner Denham French knew Kelly as a regular. Sometimes he would see him several times a week

French admits one detail in the shocking alleged kidnapping case which came as a surprise to him and others was the revelation Kelly lived alone – something almost unheard of in Tonkin Crescent and the surrounding commision areas where extended families often live together.  

It’s understood Kelly, who was raised by his late grandmother, has one aunty believed to be living in Carnarvon but she is yet to be identified.

Another unusual detail, he says, is that Kelly was able to remain undetected for so long.

‘Because he lived in what you would call an extremely communal area,’ Mr French said.

‘Everyone knows everyone. The people are communal but they’re also transient.

‘So they move around and yet they stay close to their communities.

‘So the idea that the neighbours knew nothing…that is probably the most surprising thing of all.’   

Kelly attended East Carnarvon High School before transferring to Carnarvon Senior, but even then didn’t make any significant or lasting friendships.

Terry Kelly lived in Tonkin Crescent, in Brockman, Western Australia for much of his life, raised by his grandmother in the housing commission block

Terry Kelly lived in Tonkin Crescent, in Brockman, Western Australia for much of his life, raised by his grandmother in the housing commission block

Terry Kelly lived in Tonkin Crescent, in Brockman, Western Australia for much of his life, raised by his grandmother in the housing commission block 

Soon after his grandmother’s death in 2020, Kelly appeared to come into some money and bought himself a late-model Mazda. 

‘He used to park it in the driveway and then close the gate, every day, always went and put the car in the same spot and closed the gate,’ one of his neighbours recalled.

Daily Mail Australia can reveal Kelly was pulled over in June 2021 and charged with driving unlicensed.

The court heard he had never held a licence and had no authority to be behind the wheel of a car.

Kelly attended East Carnarvon High School before transferring to Carnarvon Senior (pictured), but even then didn't make any significant or lasting friendships

Kelly attended East Carnarvon High School before transferring to Carnarvon Senior (pictured), but even then didn't make any significant or lasting friendships

Kelly attended East Carnarvon High School before transferring to Carnarvon Senior (pictured), but even then didn’t make any significant or lasting friendships

Former school friends told Daily Mail Australia Kelly 'used to get in a little bit of trouble', but no more than others his age

Former school friends told Daily Mail Australia Kelly 'used to get in a little bit of trouble', but no more than others his age

Former school friends told Daily Mail Australia Kelly ‘used to get in a little bit of trouble’, but no more than others his age

Kelly was barefoot and shackled as he was escorted onto the plane on Friday morning

Kelly was barefoot and shackled as he was escorted onto the plane on Friday morning

Kelly was barefoot and shackled as he was escorted onto the plane on Friday morning

In recent weeks, more townspeople began noticing Kelly using the car. Pricilla Milly-Milly said she saw him at the hardware store Bunnings just last week, PerthNow reported.

‘He was in the car and he just kept staring at me,’ she said.

The car was reportedly crucial to the case detectives were building against Kelly, and they used tracking technology on his phone to help trace his movements in the weeks Cleo was missing.

Ms Milly-Milly remarked that he ‘never let anyone into his house’ even though they had been neighbours for such a long time.

Social media posts allegedly made by Kelly emerged showing rooms full of Bratz dolls and princesses.

It’s understood he had multiple aliases online where he would join doll collector’s groups to discuss his beloved toys.   

Max March who owns and operates the Toyworld where Kelly allegedly purchased many of the dolls he was so fascinated with, stopped short of discussing the accused in detail saying only that Cleo’s safe return had been a huge relief to residents.

‘It has been a tough time for an awful lot of people,’ said March.

Asked if he was working with police as part of their investigation March said; ‘I really can’t say.’

It’s understood Kelly frequented Toyworld but his toy purchases weren’t seen as suspicious as locals assumed he was buying them for younger nieces, nephews or cousins.

It’s also speculated he ordered Bratz dolls online as Toyworld ceased stocking them several years ago. 

Max March who owns the local Toyworld where Kelly bought dolls over the years. But his toy purchases weren't seen as suspicious as locals assumed he was buying them for younger nieces, nephews or cousins

Max March who owns the local Toyworld where Kelly bought dolls over the years. But his toy purchases weren't seen as suspicious as locals assumed he was buying them for younger nieces, nephews or cousins

Max March who owns the local Toyworld where Kelly bought dolls over the years. But his toy purchases weren’t seen as suspicious as locals assumed he was buying them for younger nieces, nephews or cousins

Remarkable bodycam footage captured the moment Cleo was rescued by detectives, with the brave little girl clinging to her savior as she is gently spoken to and told she would soon see her 'mummy'

Remarkable bodycam footage captured the moment Cleo was rescued by detectives, with the brave little girl clinging to her savior as she is gently spoken to and told she would soon see her 'mummy'

Remarkable bodycam footage captured the moment Cleo was rescued by detectives, with the brave little girl clinging to her savior as she is gently spoken to and told she would soon see her ‘mummy’

Cleo, four, was found by startled detectives in the early hours of Wednesday morning in a locked house in her hometown of Carnarvon, 18 days after she disappeared from a remote campsite while on holiday with her parents

Cleo, four, was found by startled detectives in the early hours of Wednesday morning in a locked house in her hometown of Carnarvon, 18 days after she disappeared from a remote campsite while on holiday with her parents

Cleo, four, was found by startled detectives in the early hours of Wednesday morning in a locked house in her hometown of Carnarvon, 18 days after she disappeared from a remote campsite while on holiday with her parents

Kelly reportedly never held down a job, but was trying to get work by completing construction courses to become more qualified.

Rennee Turner, who completed one course with him and whose sister lives down the road on Tonkin Crescent, said she thought of Kelly ‘as an oddball’.

‘[His arrest] has completely derailed me,’ she said.

‘I’d heard whispers… I kind of figured the police might have had an idea of what was going on, because I have never seen such a massive amount of cops here for so long. 

Bizarre details have emerged about the accused's strange obsession with toys as numerous social media accounts linked to Kelly show a room full of children's dolls (pictured)

Bizarre details have emerged about the accused's strange obsession with toys as numerous social media accounts linked to Kelly show a room full of children's dolls (pictured)

Bizarre details have emerged about the accused’s strange obsession with toys as numerous social media accounts linked to Kelly show a room full of children’s dolls (pictured) 

Cleo has been reunited with her mum, dad and baby sister, Isla

Cleo has been reunited with her mum, dad and baby sister, Isla

Cleo has been reunited with her mum, dad and baby sister, Isla

Police remain at Kelly's home searching for clues to assist in the investigation

Police remain at Kelly's home searching for clues to assist in the investigation

Police remain at Kelly’s home searching for clues to assist in the investigation

Kelly’s Facebook profile was following Cleo’s mother Ellie, who regularly shared updates about the investigation and begged for her daughter’s safe return.

Cleo was allegedly taken from the tent she was sharing with her mum, stepdad and Isla between 1.30am and 6am, when her family woke to find her gone.

Kelly’s Facebook account also interacted with articles written about the missing four-year-old.

On a news article posted about missing Cleo, Kelly’s account reacted with a ‘sad’ emoji.

Shocked neighbours tell Daily Mail Australia they were first alerted to the commotion on Tuesday night when police flood lights lit up their cul-de-sac, which is normally bustling with children playing in their front yards and at the park across the road during daylight hours

Shocked neighbours tell Daily Mail Australia they were first alerted to the commotion on Tuesday night when police flood lights lit up their cul-de-sac, which is normally bustling with children playing in their front yards and at the park across the road during daylight hours

Shocked neighbours tell Daily Mail Australia they were first alerted to the commotion on Tuesday night when police flood lights lit up their cul-de-sac, which is normally bustling with children playing in their front yards and at the park across the road during daylight hours

West Australian Police shared an adorable first photo of Cleo since she was rescued, smiling with an ice block in hospital. 'The miracle we all hoped for,' they captioned the picture

West Australian Police shared an adorable first photo of Cleo since she was rescued, smiling with an ice block in hospital. 'The miracle we all hoped for,' they captioned the picture

West Australian Police shared an adorable first photo of Cleo since she was rescued, smiling with an ice block in hospital. ‘The miracle we all hoped for,’ they captioned the picture

CLEO DISAPPEARANCE TIMELINE

 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)

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)

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

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

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

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

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'

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'

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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