Advertisement

The parents of four-year-old Cleo Smith have shared terrifying new details about their daughter’s abduction from a Western Australia camping site.

Ellie Smith and Jake Gliddon opened up about the horrific ordeal in an exclusive interview with 60 Minutes, which will reportedly see the parents pocket $2 million.

Looking back on the abduction, Ellie believes that Cleo’s pink bike at the campsite may have been what caught her captor’s attention.

“Cleo had a bike at the front which indicated we had a child in that tent and that was all he needed to know,” Ms Smith said.

“How are we meant to know putting a little girl’s bike out the front of our tent indicated for someone to get her?”

Cleo’s mother also revealed that her and Jake’s side of the tent had been unzipped at some stage through the night.

“He obviously didn’t know what side of the tent she was in. He must have looked in ours … might have put his head through and realised, ‘Yep, she’s not on this side’, and gone on the other side and that’s where she was,” she said.

“He’s taken a step in there, grabbed our child and we were sleeping right next to it all … we were a metre away from them and it was just so gut-wrenching that someone could step into a tent and take our child.”

Ellie claimed that Cleo hadn’t said much about her time with her captor, but told her parents she was scared.

“She was locked in a room and she was scared and she didn’t know where we were,” she said.

“She’s blocked out a lot as to what’s happened. She kind of went into survivor mode and pushed it very far away.”

In a bizarre twist, when Ellie was reunited with Cleo, she realised her hair had been cut and dyed.

“We had seen that her hair was cut and her hair was dyed. I guess we kind of saw the little things other people didn’t,” she said.

“I was just angry that someone tried changing her to kind of fit what they wanted.”

The family are planning to move away from Carnarvon so their little girl can have an “amazing life.”

“Hopefully we find somewhere that is pretty similar to what we love and what we do because we don’t want to let go of everything that we are and who we are,” Ms Smith said.

“We want to build our girls’ childhoods the way we wanted with fishing and camping, we’re just going to do it on the road for a little bit.”

Cleo was first reported missing on October 16th last year, before she was found 18 days later in the home of Terence Darrell Kelly.

Kelly has pleaded guilty to child stealing, and is due to appear in court again in March for sentencing.

Image credits: Getty Images

This article first appeared on OverSixty.