Never-before-heard details have emerged about Cleo Smith’s kidnapping, including her frantic mother’s distraught call to triple-0 when she realized her little girl had disappeared.
Cleo, then four, made international headlines when she was snatched from a tent on October 16, 2021, while sleeping with her mother, stepfather and baby sister at the Blowholes campsite, near Carnarvon, about 600 miles north of Perth.
The little girl was held captive by Terence Darrell Kelly and locked alone in a bedroom at his home for 18 days before Western Australia police rescued her in a nighttime raid.
Chilling new details about Cleo’s kidnapping will be airing soon after Kelly was recently sentenced to 13 and a half years behind bars.
Ellie Smith’s frantic call to triple-0 and police bodycam of the ailing mother in tears after officers arrived at the remote campground first airs this Sunday night on 60 Minutes.
Cleo Smith (pictured) still has nightmares 18 months after she was kidnapped and held captive for nearly three weeks
Ms Smith and her partner Jake Gliddon also opened up about how Cleo is coping 18 months after the terrifying ordeal, along with new footage of the little girl.
“Her nightmare nights are the worst. It’s heartbreaking,” she says in a preview.
“Sad, hurt, scared, terrified. It’s hard to talk about him (Kelly) and what happened.”
The program will also broadcast chilling audio from Mrs Smith’s triple-0 call when she discovered Cleo missing from their tent the morning she disappeared.
“My daughter is missing,” says the distraught mother.
“How old is your daughter,” the operator asks.
“She’s four,” Mrs. Smith replied tearfully.
Bodycam footage has also emerged of the first officers on the scene being shown around the campsite by the frantic mother.
“We woke up this morning and she was missing,” Mrs. Smith explained.
Cleo’s disappearance sparked one of the largest police searches in WA history and made headlines worldwide.
Cleo’s mom Ellie Smith (pictured) has provided an update on how the little girl is coping
Bodycam footage on the morning of Cleo’s disappearance shows her distraught mother showing police around the remote campground where they were staying
Investigators who worked on the case will also reveal more details about the extensive effort detectives went to find and track Kelly.
“It really set the investigation on fire,” recalled one officer.
“They narrowed and narrowed it. They made the right decision.’
Ms Smith added: ‘That was the second time we realized she wasn’t running away. She was taken.’
Ms Smith and her partner made a surprise appearance at Kelly’s sentencing in WA court last month.
It was the first time the couple had been seen in public since their first interview with 60 Minutes a year ago.
They were reportedly paid $2 million for the worldwide exclusive television interview.
Judge Julie Wager described the fear, suffering and trauma inflicted on Cleo and her parents as “immeasurable.”
“Eighteen days with no contact or explanation, and with hours completely alone and with no access to the outside world, would have been very traumatic,” the judge said.
Cleo’s mother Ellie Smith (left) and stepfather Jake Gliddon were at the District Court of WA in Perth last month for the conviction of the man who kidnapped their baby daughter
Kelly’s legal team confirmed this week that their client has appealed the lengthy sentence he was given after he admitted to forcibly detaining a child under the age of 16 in January 2022.
Court documents have shown that his lawyers are appealing for multiple reasons, including disputing the extent to which Kelly’s methamphetamine use contributed to the crime.
“The learned sentencing judge erroneously determined that the applicant’s use of methamphetamine played a significant and incidental role in the crime,” the appeal documents read.
“The learned sentencing judge has not given proper weight to the applicant’s deprivation and trauma as a child.”
Mother Ellie Smith (pictured with Cleo and partner Jake Gliddon) awoke in the early morning to find four-year-old Cleo missing from the family tent, sparking a major police investigation
Terence Kelly (pictured) has appealed his sentence