Wednesday 12/8/21
KIDNAPPING

Charges filed after 4-year-old kidnap victim Cleo freed in Australia

The girl vanished from a tent at the Blowholes campsite after the family arrived on 16 October

04 November 2021, Australia, Carnarvon: Ellie Smith carries her daughter Cleo Smith, 4, as they leave a house where she spent her first night after being rescued in Carnarvon, 900km north of the capital Perth in Western Australia. Cleo Smith has been found alive and well by West Australian police, more than two weeks after she disappeared from her family's tent at a remote West Australian campsite. A 36-year-old man from Carnarvon was charged with various offences relating to the abduction. Photo: Richard Wainwright/AAP/dpa.
Ellie Smith carries her daughter Cleo as they leave a house where she spent her first night after being rescued. Photo: Richard Wainwright/dpa.

Charges have been brought against the alleged kidnapper of Cleo Smith, a 4-year-old girl who went missing from a campsite in Western Australia two weeks ago and was reunited her with her parents on Wednesday.

The 36-year-old suspect is accused of having brought a child under 16 into his power, which is commonly referred to as "child theft," Australian broadcaster ABC reported on Thursday, citing the judiciary.

The man hardly showed any emotion as the indictment was read out. When asked whether he understood the allegations, he merely nodded.

The suspect did not apply for release on bail.

According to numerous media reports, he is said to have an obsession with dolls. Cleo was reported to have been busy with toys when officials freed her from a locked house in the town of Carnarvon in Western Australia on Wednesday.

Vanished from a tent

Homicide detective Cameron Blaine, who was among Cleo’s rescuers, was cited by 7News as saying that he was "amazed that she seems to be so well-adjusted and happy."

The girl vanished from a tent at the Blowholes campsite after the family arrived on 16 October. 

She was last seen by her mother around 1:30 am that night.

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