Cleo Smith claims woman brushed hair and dressed her while she was held

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Cleo Smith has reportedly told investigators a woman "brushed her hair and dressed her" while she was allegedly held captive.

The bombshell statement has suggested that there could be an unknown female accomplice

Suspect Darrell Kelly, 36, has been charged with kidnapping Cleo.

Cleo was found at a home in Carnarvon, western Australia last week after 18 days of desperate searches.

She told the officers who found her: "My name is Cleo."

The brave tot's mum Ellie Smith was distraught to wake up alone in the tent they shared at the Blowholes camping ground on October 16, with Cleo nowhere to be found.

After days of desperate searches, cops became increasingly concerned for the four-year-old's safety.

Police feared she had been taken because she wasn't tall enough to reach the zip of the tent.

Deputy police commissioner Col Blanch conceded that officers were searching for the young girl's remains.

They described finding Cleo alive and well as "a needle in a haystack".

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Mr Blanch added that if Cleo had left by choice, authorities would have found her by then.

But almost three weeks after her disappearance, cops got a massive lead.

Col Blanch wouldn't elaborate on the lead which brought them to the house of suspect Kelly, but he did celebrate the "dogged, methodical police work" of his team and the "really important" info provided.

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Darrell Kelly was arrested and charged with forcibly or fraudulently taking or enticing a child under 16.

He appeared in court the day after his detainment.

But Cleo's own version of events now has investigators combing the area for another woman who may have cooperated in Kelly's alleged kidnapping of Cleo.

Cleo told police the woman dressed her and brushed her hair, MailOnline reported.

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Police first thought no other suspects were involved in the matter and alleged Kelly acted alone.

Yet the detectives who tracked down Cleo – and offered up a $1m AUD (£550k) reward for crucial information – have now gone back to Carnarvon from Perth to hunt for more clues.

They are expected to stay in the small town for at least another week in the hopes of finding the woman described by Cleo.

  • Cleo Smith
  • Crime
  • Missing Person

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