A social media account belonging to Cleo Smith’s alleged abductor Terence Darrell Kelly has disappeared as he remains in custody.
A Facebook page belonging to Cleo Smith’s alleged abductor appears to have been deactivated, days after his dramatic arrest.
Terence Darrell Kelly was captured by WA Police late on Tuesday night in Carnarvon in WA, with dashcam footage from a taxi at the scene at the time revealing the exact moment police swooped on his car and apprehended the 36-year-old.
Officers then rescued the four-year-old from a locked house just minutes away from her family home in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Cleo had vanished during a family camping trip at the Blowholes campsite on October 16 and was missing for an agonising 18 days, with the case captivating Australians.
WA Police Detective Senior Sergeant Cameron Blaine said the child appeared to be physically well when she was miraculously rescued from the home, located on Tonkin Crescent.
“The lights were on and she was playing with toys, I think that’s about all I want to say,” he said.
“This is still a matter that needs to go before the courts. There’s certain aspects about what we saw that is going to be evidence.”
Kelly has since been charged with forcibly or fraudulently taking or enticing a child and was remanded in custody for four weeks.
Soon after his arrest, pictures he had posted to his Facebook account began circulating among the public, sparking widespread media coverage.
In one photo, shared to his account last April, Kelly poses with a doll inside his car.
Other pictures from his social media account show him similarly posing with Bratz dolls in the shot, and in one he is wearing a shirt bearing the Bratz dolls logo, while a separate post shows shelves lined with dolls.
The head of Taskforce Rodia, Superintendent Rod Wilde, refused to confirm whether dolls were found inside Kelly’s public housing property.
As of late last night, Kelly’s Facebook page was still visible – but now, the profile has vanished, indicating it has been deactivated as he awaits court proceedings.
Given Kelly is now in custody and would not have access to his social media accounts, it has sparked speculation police may have deactivated the account.
News.com.au has contacted WA Police for comment, but a spokesperson said that “as this matter is before the courts we are not providing any further comment in relation to this investigation”.
Meanwhile, WA Police have repeatedly urged the public to avoid commenting on and speculating about the case on social media.
On Thursday, lead investigator Detective Superintendent Rod Wilde told reporters people shouldn’t “speculate” or share “wild theories” online.
“There’s been a lot of it through this investigation. It’s unhelpful, we see that it’s untrue, it only damages people,” he said.
“We’ve got a legal process that we’ll need to go through — that’s where the facts will come forward.
“Everyone please keep those theories to yourself and don’t go sticking them on social media — it’s very unhelpful.”
According to local media reports, Kelly will be transported from a padded cell in Carnarvon to a Perth prison today, although it in not yet known whether the journey will be made by road or by plane.