The kidnapper of a four-year-old girl, who was held for 18 days until she was released by the Australian authorities in early November, pleaded guilty on Monday to the charges against her in court.
Terence Kelly, 36, incarcerated in a maximum security prison in the city of Perth, admitted the kidnapping of the minor Cleo Smith during an appearance by video conference before the Magistrates’ Court in the town of Carnavon, in northwestern Australia, reports the Australian public network ABC.
The girl, who did not suffer physical damage during her kidnapping, was rescued by the Police on November 3 after being found in the house of the accused, who kidnapped her on October 16 when the minor was in a tent during a trip with his mother and stepfather.
After a major search and rescue operation by the authorities, the Police arrested the accused on a street in the town of Carnarvon, three kilometers from Cleo’s family home and 75 kilometers from the city, the same night the minor was released. where the kidnapping happened.
Cleo’s family, which is not linked to the alleged kidnapper, has only issued a statement thanking the community for the support and asking for respect for their privacy since the girl’s rescue.
Kelly, who is also accused of assaulting a public official, is due to appear in court on March 25 in Australia. to know the date of his sentence.
Cleo Smith she had last been seen in her family’s tent around 1.30am local time (1730 GMT) on October 16 at the remote camp Blowholes Shacks in Macleod, about 900 km north of Perth, the state capital of Western Australia. This Wednesday at 12:45 in the morning she was found by the police 75 km from where she was kidnapped 18 days ago.
The criminology expert Xanthé Mallett spoke to the middle ABC News Australia and said old-fashioned police work and the A$1 million (US$742,700) reward helped track down the four-year-old.
He further explained that this event broke “all the rules” of a typical child abduction case and that “does not fit” in patterns of child abduction. On the other hand, he said police officers faced significant challenges searching for the girl, with limited technology to rely on due to the remote location.
(With information from EFE)