Cleo Smith’s mother, Ellie, enjoys a budding and successful new career as a beautician after her daughter’s harrowing kidnapping.
During a sit-down interview with 60 Minutes earlier this month, viewers were surprised by the mother-of-two’s transformation.
She looked strikingly different, debuting with a slimmer physique and a bunch of blonde blonde hair extensions.
Last month, Ellie opened the doors to her new business, Purely Tan Beauty Salon, in Lakelands, Western Australia, after years of running an online candle making business.
In posts shared on social media, Ellie is shown encouraging her followers to mark their calendars and purchase gift cards from her salon ahead of Mother’s Day.
Ellie, Cleo Smith’s mother, has revealed her unexpected career move after a glamorous transformation. She is pictured on 60 Minutes in February 2022, left, and May 2023, right
The kidnapping case of Ellie’s daughter Cleo made international headlines when the four-year-old was abducted from a tent on October 16, 2021 while sleeping with her family at a campsite near Carnarvon, about 600 miles north of Perth.
She also promoted a discounted spray tan deal.
Ellie now has a significant following on social media, with over 92,000 followers on Instagram and Facebook.
Her daughter Cleo’s kidnapping case made international headlines when the four-year-old was abducted from a tent on October 16, 2021 while sleeping with her family at a campsite near Carnarvon, about 600 miles north of Perth.
Terence Darrell Kelly, 37, held her in his home for 18 days before Western Australia Police launched a rescue operation late at night.
Last month, Ellie opened the doors to her new business, Purely Tan Beauty Salon, in Lakelands, Western Australia, after years of running an online candle making business
Posts shared on social media show Ellie encouraging her followers to mark their calendars and purchase gift cards from her salon ahead of Mother’s Day
In the aftermath of Cleo’s kidnapping ordeal, Ellie, along with her daughters, Cleo and Isla, and partner Jake Gliddon, moved from their home in Carnarvon, WA.
They are said to have settled in a quiet suburb near the north of Mandurah.
Viewers could barely recognize Ms Smith when she resurfaced on Channel Nine’s 60 Minutes with fiancé Jake Gliddon for an exclusive interview on May 14.
The former brunette looked decidedly different on 60 Minutes earlier this month, right, until her last appearance on 60 Minutes in February 2022, left
With her thick blonde locks falling over her shoulders, contoured makeup and bronze spray tan, the former brunette looked decidedly different from her last appearance on 60 Minutes in February 2022.
The exorbitant cost of the sit-down, which was filmed via video chat due to Covid lockdowns, drew criticism from industry insiders.
“This kind of money can not only employ dozens of journalists, but is also enough to run several programs,” said a senior television executive. The Australian at the time.
Cleo was held captive by Terence Darrell Kelly, 37, and locked alone in a bedroom at his home for 18 days before Western Australia Police rescued her in a nighttime raid. Pictured are Mrs. Smith and Cleo after her rescue on November 9, 2011
At the time, Steve Allen, Pearman Media’s director of strategy and research, told News Corp that he was shocked by the high price of the interview.
“For the family, for the reported amount, even under the harrowing circumstances, they are now richer than they could have ever imagined,” he said.
“There must have been more than one media outlet chasing this exclusive to go that high. (It) must have been fierce competition.”
Ms Smith and her partner, Mr Gliddon, returned to 60 Minutes on Sunday for a follow-up interview, a month after Kelly was jailed for 13 and a half years after pleading guilty to the kidnapping.
During the last 60 Minutes interview, Ms. Smith’s panicked call to triple-0 and police bodycam of the ailing mother was broadcast in tears for the first time after officers arrived at the remote campground.
Ms Smith (left) and stepfather Jake Gliddon (right) were at the District Court of WA in Perth on April 5, 2023 for the conviction of the man who kidnapped their little girl
On April 5, Kelly was sentenced to more than 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to the kidnapping.
Mrs Smith and Mr Gliddon made a surprise appearance at Kelly’s sentencing in WA court.
Sentencing judge Julie Wager described the fear, suffering and trauma inflicted on Cleo and her parents as “immeasurable.”
Sentencing 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.
Kelly’s legal team has since appealed the lengthy sentence he was handed after he admitted to forcibly detaining a child under the age of 16 in January 2022.
The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP), meanwhile, confirmed it would not appeal the sentence asking for an increase because it was not “insufficient”.
Cleo’s dramatic rescue was captured by an officer’s body-worn camera and broadcast around the world.
Police Commissioner Col Blanch said the strength of the evidence against Kelly likely influenced his early admission of guilt.
“For me as a commissioner, this is number 1 – this is the best story in the history of the Western Australian Police Force,” he told reporters.
“The police investigation was meticulous… the information we had and the evidence we gathered was exceptional.”
Terence Darrell Kelly (pictured during his arrest) was sentenced last month to more than 10 years in prison, but his lawyers are appealing the length of the sentence
Police launched a major investigation after Cleo’s mother woke up to find the girl missing from the family tent at the Blowholes campsite, north of Carnarvon.
More than 100 officers were assigned to the task force and investigators processed thousands of calls to Crime Stoppers.
Surveillance footage was sought from motels and children’s clothing stores within a 600-mile radius of the campground, and forensic officers searched more than 50 cubic meters of trash from roadside bins.
The state government, meanwhile, offered a $1 million reward for information leading to Cleo’s whereabouts.