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Attempted assassination of Trump: The long history of violence against U.S. presidents

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/thomas-klassen-1171638">Thomas Klassen</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/york-university-canada-1610">York University, Canada</a></em></p> <p>Political assassinations in the United States have a long and disturbing history.</p> <p>The <a href="https://apnews.com/article/trump-vp-vance-rubio-7c7ba6b99b5f38d2d840ed95b2fdc3e5">attempted assassination of Donald Trump</a>, who narrowly escaped death when a bullet grazed his right ear while he was speaking at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday, highlights the danger of those seeking votes in a country whose constitution guarantees citizens the right to bear arms.</p> <p>Trump joins a not-so-exclusive club of U.S. presidents, former presidents and presidential candidates who have been the target of bullets. Of the 45 people who have served as president, four have been <a href="https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/us-presidents-assassinated-targeted-presidential-candidates-111920908">assassinated while in office</a>.</p> <p>Given the near mythic status of U.S. presidents, and the nation’s superpower role, political assassinations strike at the very heart of the American psyche.</p> <p><a href="https://www.loc.gov/collections/abraham-lincoln-papers/articles-and-essays/assassination-of-president-abraham-lincoln/">Abraham Lincoln</a>’s killing in 1865 and that of <a href="https://theconversation.com/jfk-assassination-60-years-on-seven-experts-on-what-to-watch-see-and-read-to-understand-the-event-and-its-consequences-216203">John F. Kennedy</a> in 1963 are key moments in the history of the United States. <a href="https://www.history.com/news/the-assassination-of-president-james-a-garfield">James Garfield</a> (1881) and <a href="https://www.history.com/news/the-assassination-of-president-william-mckinley">William McKinley</a> (1901) are less remembered, but their deaths nonetheless rocked the nation at the time.</p> <h2>Secret Service provides protection</h2> <p>It was after McKinley’s assassination that the U.S. Secret Service was given <a href="https://www.secretservice.gov/about/history/150-years#:%7E:text">the job of providing full-time protection to presidents</a>.</p> <p>The last American president to be shot was Ronald Reagan, <a href="https://www.reaganlibrary.gov/permanent-exhibits/assassination-attempt">who was seriously wounded and required emergency surgery in 1981</a>.</p> <p>Reagan was leaving a Washington hotel after giving a speech when gunman John Hinckley Jr. fired shots from a .22-calibre pistol. One of the bullets ricocheted off the president’s limousine and hit him under the left armpit. Reagan spent 12 days in hospital before returning to the White House.</p> <p>Other presidents have been shot at, but luckily, not injured.</p> <p>In 1933, <a href="http://www.fdrlibraryvirtualtour.org/page03-06.asp">a gunman fired five shots at the car of then President-Elect Franklin D. Roosevelt</a>. Roosevelt wasn’t hit but the mayor of Chicago, Anton Cermak, who was speaking to Roosevelt after the newly elected president had made some brief remarks to the public, was injured and <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7297642/">died 19 days later</a>.</p> <h2>Two attempts in one month</h2> <p>In September of 1975, President Gerald Ford survived <a href="https://www.fordlibrarymuseum.gov/avproj/assassinations.asp">two separate assassination attempts — both by women</a>. The first came on Sept. 5 when Lynette (Squeaky) Fromme, a follower of cult leader Charles Manson, tried to shoot Ford as he was walking through a park in Sacramento, Calif., but her gun misfired and didn’t go off. On Sept. 22, Sara Jane Moore, a woman with ties to left-wing radical groups, got one shot off at Ford as he left a hotel in San Francisco but it missed the president.</p> <p>Presidential candidates have not been exempt from assassination attempts, including most notably Senator <a href="https://www.npr.org/2023/06/05/1179430014/robert-kennedy-rfk-assassination-anniversary">Robert F. Kennedy</a> killed in 1968 and <a href="https://www.wsfa.com/2024/07/14/son-late-alabama-gov-george-wallace-reacts-trump-rally-shooting/">George Wallace</a> shot and left paralyzed in 1972.</p> <p>In 1912, former president Theodore Roosevelt <a href="https://blogs.loc.gov/headlinesandheroes/2019/07/the-pocket-items-that-saved-the-life-of-theodore-roosevelt/">was hit in the chest by a .38-calibre bullet</a> as he was campaigning to regain the White House. But most of the impact of the bullet was absorbed by objects in the chest pocket of Roosevelt’s jacket. Even though he had been shot, Roosevelt went on to make a campaign speech with the bullet still in his chest.</p> <h2>The violence of 1968</h2> <p>Other figures with significant — if unelected — political power have also had their lives cut short by gunfire, most notably <a href="https://theconversation.com/mlks-vision-matters-today-for-the-43-million-americans-living-in-poverty-92380">Martin Luther King Jr.</a> in 1968, just a few months before Bobby Kennedy’s death.</p> <p>In a country with <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/06/19/there-are-more-guns-than-people-in-the-united-states-according-to-a-new-study-of-global-firearm-ownership/">more guns than people</a>, and with firearms easily available, it is not surprising that invariably shootings are the preferred means of killing or attempting to kill political office holders.</p> <p>Like Trump, most assassination attempts occur when candidates and politicians are in public spaces with crowds of people nearby. There is a long history of politicians insisting, against the advice of their security advisers, to “press the flesh” in events that jeopardize their safety. Trump was extraordinarily fortunate to escape with only minor injuries.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/234630/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/thomas-klassen-1171638">Thomas Klassen</a>, Professor, School of Public Policy and Administration, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/york-university-canada-1610">York University, Canada</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Xinhua News Agency/Shutterstock Editorial </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/attempted-assassination-of-trump-the-long-history-of-violence-against-u-s-presidents-234630">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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"I haven’t seen someone that terrified": CCTV of brave schoolgirl after attempted abduction

<p>A chilling incident has shaken the quiet streets of Doncaster East in Melbourne's east, reminding us of the importance of vigilance and community support in ensuring the safety of our children.</p> <p>Depicted clearly in heart-wrenching <a href="https://7news.com.au/news/cctv-emerges-of-schoolgirl-who-hid-in-bushes-during-attempted-abduction-in-doncaster-east-melbourne-c-14243163" target="_blank" rel="noopener">CCTV footage</a> that surfaced recently, an 11-year-old girl's brave escape from a potential abduction has sent shockwaves through the neighbourhood.</p> <p>On March 28, the young girl was making her way home from school along Landscape Drive when a grey Audi Q3 SUV made an abrupt U-turn, pulling up dangerously close to her. The driver, a male stranger, allegedly demanded her to enter the vehicle.</p> <p>But the brave young girl, instead of complying with the stranger's demands, made a split-second decision that possibly saved her life; she sprinted away, seeking refuge in nearby bushes as the car ominously circled back.</p> <p>The harrowing moments that followed were captured on CCTV as the girl, trembling with fear, looked back at the street, her only lifeline a stranger passing by. It was a local dad, accompanied by his own daughter, who extended a helping hand to the distressed child. Recalling the encounter, he described the girl's sheer terror:</p> <p>“She was shivering and shaking and I haven’t seen someone that terrified and petrified like that,” he told 7NEWS. And when the young girl kept apologising to him over and over for asking him to escort her home, he responded: “I said: ‘I’m so proud of you, getting help is a really good skill’.” </p> <p>Meanwhile, the girl's parents, undoubtedly consumed by anguish, expressed their profound gratitude to the stranger who intervened in their daughter's moment of peril. Their daughter, though physically unharmed, had endured a trauma no child should ever have to face.</p> <p>As authorities launched a manhunt for the assailant, details of the suspect emerged. Described as a man in his 30s, of Middle Eastern descent with distinctive features including tan skin, black hair and a prominent beard, the perpetrator remains at large. A computer-generated image has been released by Victoria Police in hopes of eliciting information from the public.</p> <p>In the aftermath of this chilling incident, Detective Senior Constable Brooke Miller echoed the sentiments of the community: “It’s horrible," he said. "A little girl should feel safe to walk home from school.”</p> <p><em>Images: Victoria Police</em></p>

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Attempts to access Kate Middleton’s medical records are no surprise. Such breaches are all too common

<p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/bruce-baer-arnold-1408">Bruce Baer Arnold</a>, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-canberra-865">University of Canberra</a></em></p> <p>The <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-03-20/claim-hospital-staff-tried-to-access-kate-middleton-health-info/103608066">alleged</a> data breach involving Catherine, Princess of Wales tells us something about health privacy. If hospital staff can apparently access a future queen’s medical records without authorisation, it can happen to you.</p> <p>Indeed it may have already happened to you, given many breaches of health data go under the radar.</p> <p>Here’s why breaches of health data keep on happening.</p> <h2>What did we learn this week?</h2> <p>Details of the alleged data breaches, by <a href="https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/royals/breaking-kate-middleton-three-london-32401247">up to three staff</a> at The London Clinic, emerged in the UK media this week. These breaches are alleged to have occurred after the princess had abdominal surgery at the private hospital earlier this year.</p> <p>The UK Information Commissioner’s Office <a href="https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/media-centre/news-and-blogs/2024/03/ico-statement-in-response-to-reports-of-data-breach-at-the-london-clinic/">is investigating</a>. Its report should provide some clarity about what medical data was improperly accessed, in what form and by whom. But it is unlikely to identify whether this data was given to a third party, such as a media organisation.</p> <h2>Health data isn’t always as secure as we’d hope</h2> <p>Medical records are inherently sensitive, providing insights about individuals and often about biological relatives.</p> <p>In an ideal world, only the “right people” would have access to these records. These are people who “need to know” that information and are aware of the responsibility of accessing it.</p> <p>Best practice digital health systems typically try to restrict overall access to databases through hack-resistant firewalls. They also try to limit access to specific types of data through grades of access.</p> <p>This means a hospital accountant, nurse or cleaner does not get to see everything. Such systems also incorporate blocks or alarms where there is potential abuse, such as unauthorised copying.</p> <p>But in practice each health records ecosystem – in GP and specialist suites, pathology labs, research labs, hospitals – is less robust, often with fewer safeguards and weaker supervision.</p> <h2>This has happened before</h2> <p>Large health-care providers and insurers, including major hospitals or chains of hospitals, have a <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2023/dec/22/st-vincents-health-australia-hack-cyberattack-data-stolen-hospital-aged-care-what-to-do">worrying</a> <a href="https://www.afr.com/technology/medical-information-leaked-in-nsw-health-hack-20210608-p57z7k">history</a> of <a href="https://www.innovationaus.com/oaic-takes-pathology-company-to-court-over-data-breach/">digital breaches</a>.</p> <p>Those breaches include hackers accessing the records of millions of people. The <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/nov/11/medical-data-hacked-from-10m-australians-begins-to-appear-on-dark-web">Medibank</a> data breach involved more than ten million people. The <a href="https://www.hipaajournal.com/healthcare-data-breach-statistics/">Anthem</a> data breach in the United States involved more than 78 million people.</p> <p>Hospitals and clinics have also had breaches specific to a particular individual. Many of those breaches involved unauthorised sighting (and often copying) of hardcopy or digital files, for example by nurses, clinicians and administrative staff.</p> <p>For instance, this has happened to public figures such as <a href="https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2008-mar-15-me-britney15-story.html">singer</a> <a href="https://journals.lww.com/healthcaremanagerjournal/abstract/2009/01000/health_information_privacy__why_trust_matters.11.aspx">Britney Spears</a>, actor <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/10/nyregion/10clooney.html">George Clooney</a> and former United Kingdom prime minister <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2024/mar/20/when-fame-and-medical-privacy-clash-kate-and-other-crises-of-confidentiality">Gordon Brown</a>.</p> <p>Indeed, the Princess of Wales has had her medical privacy breached before, in 2012, while in hospital pregnant with her first child. This was no high-tech hacking of health data.</p> <p>Hoax callers from an Australian radio station <a href="https://theconversation.com/did-2day-fm-break-the-law-and-does-it-matter-11250">tricked</a> hospital staff into divulging details over the phone of the then Duchess of Cambridge’s health care.</p> <h2>Tip of the iceberg</h2> <p>Some unauthorised access to medical information goes undetected or is indeed undetectable unless there is an employment dispute or media involvement. Some is identified by colleagues.</p> <p>Records about your health <em>might</em> have been improperly sighted by someone in the health system. But you are rarely in a position to evaluate the data management of a clinic, hospital, health department or pathology lab.</p> <p>So we have to trust people do the right thing.</p> <h2>How could we improve things?</h2> <p>Health professions have long emphasised the need to protect these records. For instance, medical ethics bodies <a href="https://www.bmj.com/content/350/bmj.h2255">condemn</a> medical students who <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-04-14/picture-sharing-app-for-doctors-raises-privacy-concerns/5389226">share</a> intimate or otherwise inappropriate images of patients.</p> <p>Different countries have various approaches to protecting who has access to medical records and under what circumstances.</p> <p>In Australia, for instance, we have a mix of complex and inconsistent laws that vary across jurisdictions, some covering privacy in general, others specific to health data. There isn’t one comprehensive law and set of standards <a href="https://theconversation.com/governments-privacy-review-has-some-strong-recommendations-now-we-really-need-action-200079">vigorously administered</a> by one well-resourced watchdog.</p> <p>In Australia, it’s mandatory to report <a href="https://www.oaic.gov.au/privacy/notifiable-data-breaches">data breaches</a>, including breaches of health data. This reporting system is currently <a href="https://theconversation.com/governments-privacy-review-has-some-strong-recommendations-now-we-really-need-action-200079">being updated</a>. But this won’t necessarily prevent data breaches.</p> <p>Instead, we need to incentivise Australian organisations to improve how they handle sensitive health data.</p> <p>The best policy <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1475-4932.12693">nudges</a> involve increasing penalties for breaches. This is so organisations act as responsible custodians rather than negligent owners of health data.</p> <p>We also need to step-up enforcement of data breaches and make it easier for victims to sue for breaches of privacy – princesses and tradies alike.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/226303/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/bruce-baer-arnold-1408">Bruce Baer Arnold</a>, Associate Professor, School of Law, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-canberra-865">University of Canberra</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/attempts-to-access-kate-middletons-medical-records-are-no-surprise-such-breaches-are-all-too-common-226303">original article</a>.</em></p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

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Erin Patterson charged with EIGHT counts of murder and attempted murder

<p>Erin Patterson has been arrested and charged with three counts of murder and five counts of attempted murder following the tragic death cap mushroom incident that occurred on July 29.</p> <p>The incident in question involved a mushroom lunch that resulted in the death of three people and severe illness in several others. Patterson's arrest and the subsequent investigation have brought this harrowing case to the forefront of public attention.</p> <p>On Thursday, just after 8am, 49-year-old <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/erin-patterson-arrested-over-fatal-mushroom-meal" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Patterson was taken into custody</a> by homicide squad detectives and brought to the Wonthaggi police station for questioning. Her Leongatha home was searched extensively with the assistance of Australian Federal Police technology detector dogs, specifically trained to identify items like electronic devices, sim cards and USB drives. As the investigation progressed, the grim reality of the situation emerged.</p> <p>Following that interview, Patterson was charged with three counts of murder and five counts of attempted murder, and she was remanded in custody to appear at Morwell Magistrates’ Court the following morning.</p> <p>The murder charges and two of the attempted murder charges are linked to the mushroom lunch incident that took place on July 29. Three victims, Heather Wilkinson, Gail Patterson and Don Patterson, lost their lives after allegedly consuming a beef wellington at Erin Patterson's residence. Heather's husband and Baptist church pastor, Ian Wilkinson, miraculously survived but was hospitalised in critical condition for nearly two months. He was released in September, appearing at his wife's memorial last month.</p> <p>Patterson's two children were also present during the ill-fated lunch but did not partake in the same meal. The three additional attempted murder charges pertain to separate alleged incidents occurring between 2021 and 2022. According to Victoria Police, a 48-year-old Korumburra man fell ill after consuming meals on these dates. It has been revealed that these charges are related to Patterson's ex-husband, Simon Patterson.</p> <p>The investigation at Patterson's residence on Thursday was a significant event, as police and their canine units combed through the property. They scrutinised a garage, shed, green bin and car while the trained dogs inspected the premises. Authorities suspect that the symptoms experienced by the diners were consistent with poisoning by death cap mushrooms, a highly toxic variety.</p> <p>Homicide detectives had previously identified Patterson as a suspect in the case. In her statement to the police, Patterson claimed that she had prepared a beef wellington using button mushrooms from a major supermarket and dried mushrooms from an Asian grocery store. She even stated that she had consumed a portion of the meal and later suffered from severe stomach pains and diarrhoea. This statement contrasts with the detectives' suggestion that she did not experience any ill effects. Throughout the investigation, Patterson has consistently denied any wrongdoing.</p> <p><em>Images: A Current Affair</em></p>

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Why this pilot was charged with 83 counts of attempted murder

<p>An off-duty pilot, identified as Joseph David Emerson, has been charged with 83 counts of attempted murder following an alleged attempt to crash an Alaska Airlines flight en route to San Francisco.</p> <p>The incident unfolded as Flight 2059, operated by Horizon Air, took off from Everett, Washington, shortly before 5:30pm local time on a seemingly routine Sunday evening. However, what transpired mid-flight left passengers and the aviation community in disbelief.</p> <p>Emerson, who was sitting in the cockpit's jump seat behind the captain and first officer, reportedly attempted to activate the jet's fire suppression system. This system, when triggered, would have closed a valve in the wing to cut off the flow of fuel to the engines. The consequences of such an act could have been catastrophic, potentially leading to a loss of engine power and a potentially fatal crash.</p> <p>The vigilant crew of Flight 2059, including the captain and first officer, quickly responded to subdue Emerson, preventing the activation of the fire suppression system. Their swift actions were pivotal in averting a potential disaster. The aircraft was forced to make an emergency diversion to Portland International Airport, where Emerson was taken into custody by the Port of Portland Police. Thankfully, no injuries were reported during this harrowing incident.</p> <p>The charges against Emerson are nothing short of severe. The Multnomah County District Attorney's Office has confirmed that he faces 83 counts of attempted murder in the first degree, 83 counts of recklessly endangering another person, and one count of endangering an aircraft in the first degree. Emerson is currently held in custody at the Multnomah County Detention Centre in Portland, Oregon, awaiting arraignment.</p> <p>The investigation into this troubling incident is ongoing, with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies collaborating to determine the motive behind Emerson's actions. When interviewed by police, Emerson said he had a “nervous breakdown” after not sleeping for 40 hours and stated he had taken psychedelic mushrooms for the first time.</p> <p>“I didn’t feel okay. It seemed like the pilots weren’t paying attention to what was going on. They didn’t … it didn’t seem right,” Emerson told police, according to an affidavit. </p> <p>The affidavit does not state whether Emerson was under the influence of the mushrooms while on the plane, but he later added: “I pulled both emergency shut off handles because I thought I was dreaming and I just wanna wake up.”</p> <p>The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has also become involved in the case, supporting investigations into the incident. The Air Line Pilots Association International (ALPA) commended the flight crew for their swift response, emphasising the priority of safety for the flying public and crews. ALPA noted that the airline pilot profession is one of the most highly vetted and scrutinised careers, with pilots undergoing continuous evaluations throughout their careers through training and medical exams.</p> <p>Emerson's pilot certification, which was updated just last month, underscores the importance of self-reporting any mental health conditions for aviators. This aspect of the case will likely be closely examined as part of the ongoing investigation.</p> <p>In a statement, the Portland office of the FBI assured the traveling public that there is no continuing threat related to this incident. While the shocking episode has left many questions unanswered, it serves as a testament to the professionalism and dedication of flight crews in ensuring passenger safety, even in the face of such extraordinary challenges.</p> <p><em>Images: Facebook / FlightAware</em></p>

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Chilling new Cleo Smith abduction details to be aired for first time

<p> New details have emerged about the abduction of Cleo Smith, including her frantic mother’s call to triple-0 when she realised her little girl was missing.</p> <p>Cleo, then four, made international headlines when she was snatched from a tent on October 16 2021 as she slept with her mother, stepfather and baby sister at the Blowholes campsite, near Carnarvon, about 960km north of Perth.</p> <p>The little girl was held captive by Terence Darrell Kelly and locked alone in a bedroom at his home for 18 days before WA police rescued her in a late night raid.</p> <p>Grim new details about Cleo’s kidnapping will soon be aired after Kelly was <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/sentence-handed-down-for-cleo-smith-abductor" target="_blank" rel="noopener">recently sentenced</a> to 13 years and 6 months in jail.</p> <p>Ellie Smith’s distraught call to triple-0 and police bodycam footage of the tearful mum, after officers arrived at the remote campsite, will be aired for the first time on <em>60 Minutes</em> on May 14.</p> <p>Ms Smith and her partner Jake Giddon also revealed how Cleo is coping 18 months after the scarring ordeal, including new footage of the little girl.</p> <p>“Her nightmare nights are the worst. It's heartbreaking,” Ms Smith said in a preview.</p> <p>“Sad, hurt, scared, terrified. It is hard talking about him (Kelly) and what happened.”</p> <p>The program will also air the heartbreaking audio of Ms Smith’s triple-0 call when she discovered Cleo was missing from their tent on the day she was abducted.</p> <p>"My daughter's gone missing,” the distraught mum said.</p> <p>“How old is your daughter,” the operator asked.</p> <p>“She's four,” Ms Smith tearfully responded.</p> <p>Bodycam footage from the first officers on the scene being shown around the campsite by the terrified mum has also emerged.</p> <p>“We woke up this morning, and she was missing,” Ms Smith said.</p> <p>Cleo’s disappearance led to one of the biggest police searches in WA history and made headlines worldwide.</p> <p>Investigators who were involved in the case will also share more details about the extensive lengths detectives went to track down Kelly.</p> <p>“It really set the investigation alight,” one officer said.</p> <p>“They narrowed and narrowed it. They made the right call.”</p> <p>Ms Smith added, “That was the second we realised she didn't walk away. She was taken.”</p> <p>Ms Smith and her partner appeared at Kelly’s sentencing in the District Court of WA in April.</p> <p>It was the first time the pair had been seen in public since their <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/cleo-smith-s-parents-share-disturbing-new-details" target="_blank" rel="noopener">first interview</a> with <em>60 Minutes</em> a year ago.</p> <p>They reportedly received $2 million for the world exclusive TV interview.</p> <p>Sentencing judge Julie Wager described the fear, distress and trauma Cleo and her parents have been left with as “immeasurable”.</p> <p>“Eighteen days without contact or explanation, and with hours totally on her own and no access to the outside world, would have been very traumatic,” the judge said.</p> <p>Kelly’s legal team have confirmed their client has lodged an appeal over the lengthy sentence handed down to him after he <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/terence-kelly-confesses-to-abducting-cleo-smith" target="_blank" rel="noopener">admitted</a> to forcibly detaining a child under the age of 16 in January 2022.</p> <p>Court documents have revealed Kelly’s lawyers are appealing on multiple grounds including disputing the extent to which his methamphetamine use contributed to the crime.</p> <p>“The learned sentencing judge erred in finding that the applicant's use of methamphetamine had a significant and casual role in the offending,” the appeal documents read.</p> <p>“The learned sentencing judge failed to give appropriate weight to the applicant's childhood disadvantage and trauma.”</p> <p><em>Image credit: 60 Minutes/Instagram</em></p>

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Woman reunites with family 50 years after her abduction

<p>DNA testing has confirmed the identity of a Texas woman who was allegedly abducted by her own babysitter when she was 22 months old, and reunited with them after 51 long and painful years apart. </p> <p>The Fort Worth Police Department announced that they had “completed official DNA testing which confirmed Melissa Highsmith’s identity”, while noting their hope that “this test result will offer additional closure for the Highsmith family”. </p> <p>While they requested that anyone with more information come forward, the criminal statute of limitations expired 20 years after Melissa’s 18th birthday. </p> <p>As <em>NBC Dallas-Forth Worth</em> reported, Melissa’s own mother was initially suspected of possibly killing her and then covering up the crime, and the family claimed that a babysitter had been responsible for taking her back in 1971. </p> <p>Melissa’s disappearance had been one of America’s oldest missing persons cases, according to <em>WFAA</em>. </p> <p>And while Melissa’s family had spent decades searching for their long lost loved one, it wasn’t until November 2022 that they made their first major breakthrough, when a 23andMe DNA test presented a link between Melissa and her biological parents. It was these same results that the Fort Worth Police Department was seeking to confirm.</p> <p>"I feel like I am dreaming,” Melissa told <em>WFAA</em> upon reuniting with her parents after their life changing discovery, “and I keep having to pinch myself to make sure I'm awake.”</p> <p>"I’m just elated, I can't describe my feelings,” Melissa’s mother, Alta Apantenco, added, “I'm so happy to see my daughter that I didn't think I would ever see her again.”</p> <p>Meanwhile, her father Jeffrie Highsmith admitted that he “cried like a baby”.</p> <p>Melissa went on to tell her family that she had had a difficult life, even going so far as to run away from home, and that she’d done “what I had to do to get by”.</p> <p>“I didn’t feel loved as a child,” she said. “It was abusive, and I ran away at 15 years old.” </p> <p>And the whole time, she’d been living just 20 minutes from her biological family. </p> <p>That same family who are overjoyed to have their beloved Melissa back with them, and took to social media to update followers, sharing the delightful news that their search was - finally - over. </p> <p>“The results were exactly what we already knew. She was in fact Melissa Suzanne HIghsmith!” they wrote on their Facebook page. “We now have the OFFICIAL confirmation that she is ours! Our daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, niece. We are thrilled! We are thankful and grateful for all the love and support we have received over the years and especially since we found Melissa. </p> <p>“Our family is whole and we look forward to the time we will be able to spend as a family of 7!”</p> <p><em>Images: Facebook</em></p>

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Frightening new details emerge on Cleo Smith kidnapping

<p>New details have come to light regarding four-year-old Cleo Smith’s 2021 abduction, one day after the man responsible was <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/sentence-handed-down-for-cleo-smith-abductor" target="_blank" rel="noopener">sentenced to at least 11 years and six months in prison</a>.</p> <p>Cleo was taken from her family’s Western Australia campsite and was missing for a total of 18 days. After an intense police investigation, and a $1 million reward offered by the Western Australia government, detectives found Cleo at a property 75 km south of where she’d been kidnapped by the 37-year-old Terence Kelly.</p> <p>While appearing before Judge Julie Wager in court, Kelly had nothing to say, offering only a nod to acknowledge both his own name and his guilty plea. Cleo’s parents - mother Ellie and stepfather Jake - also did not share any words outside of the courthouse in the wake of Kelly’s sentencing. </p> <p>But what was said inside has revealed frightening new insight into what young Cleo went through during her days of captivity, with Commissioner Blanch - who was Assistant Commissioner at the time - noting that he did not believe the community would ever think Kelly’s time behind bars would be enough. </p> <p>“Judge Wager had to weigh up many things,” he said, “and there were many mitigating circumstances, and I respect the court’s decision.”</p> <p>For the entire 18 days of her nightmare situation, Cleo was kept in Kelly’s Carnarvon property, often locked alone in a bedroom while Kelly was out - the door had been modified, and Cleo was unable to open it from her side. He reportedly attended a number of employment meetings in person, and even visited his relatives.</p> <p>It was also revealed that Cleo would plead with him to be allowed to see her parents, leading Kelly to play the radio at a loud volume to mask her noise. </p> <p>“When the young victim heard her name on the radio, she said ‘they’re saying my name’,” Judge Wagner told the court. </p> <p>As the University of Newcastle’s criminologist Dr Xanthe Mallett told <em>Sunrise</em>, “eighteen days is a really long time in a four-year-old’s life, and to hear her name on the radio and not understand why he wouldn’t return her to her mother must have been incredibly traumatic for her.”</p> <p>Additionally, in a police interview, Kelly admitted that he grew frustrated and was rough with a number of times, but that she was “a bit of a fighter” when he attempted to restrain her. </p> <p>He even added Cleo’s mum as a Facebook friend while he had Cleo, although as he told police, he was never “planning to keep her forever.” </p> <p>Following Kelly’s arrest, social media played a role again, with pictures of his home emerging, showcasing his collection of Bratz dolls, one Judge Wager described as being “consistent with your anxiety.” </p> <p>Those in the courtroom were informed that Kelly had a “significant interest” in dolls, and that it was possible he had imagined his very own family with them. </p> <p>“You’d opened Facebook pages,” Judge Wager stated, “for your fantasy children and communicated with them.”</p> <p>She also shared her understanding that Cleo played into Kelly’s “fantasy of having a little girl he could dress up and play with”, although she still considered his actions to be “at the highest level of seriousness”.</p> <p>“This isn’t a case of luring a child away, that would be serious enough, but the taking of a little four-year-old girl from the zipped-up family tent in the middle of the night when her parents assumed she was safe is even more concerning,” Wager continued. </p> <p>“Her parents woke to find her missing, not knowing if she was alive or dead for the next 18 days. They didn’t know what had happened to her, or whether she’d ever be returned. This shattered her family, and has been damaging and traumatising for the child.”</p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

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Rebel fighters share eerie footage of abducted Kiwi pilot

<p>Rebel fighters in Indonesia’s Papua region have released terrifying footage of Captain Philip Mehrtens, who they kidnapped last week. </p> <p>The New Zealand pilot touched down in Paro village on February 7th to pick up 15 construction workers who had been building a health centre in the remote Papua province.</p> <p>The rebel group set fire to the Susi Air plane and released all five passengers on board the flight, but held onto Mehrtens as a hostage. </p> <p>The group have said they will be holding Mehrtens until Indonesia recognises Papua’s independence.</p> <p>In a series of videos, released to The Associated Press, a man understood to be Mehrtens is surrounded by rebels holding rifles, spears, and bows and arrows. </p> <p>“Indonesia must recognise Papua is independent,” he says in one, seemingly under duress. </p> <p>“I took him hostage for Papua independence, not for food or drinks,” Rebel leader Egianus Kogoya says in another one of the videos. </p> <p>“He will be safe with me as long as Indonesia does not use its arms, either from the air or on the ground.”</p> <p>Indonesian officials are believed to be making efforts to secure the Kiwi pilot’s release.</p> <p>The West Papuan National Liberation Army (TPNPB), who are responsible for Mehrtens' abduction, has also issued a warning to Australia. </p> <p>“This pilot is a citizen of New Zealand,” a statement from Sebby Sambom, a spokesman for the TPNPB armed wing, said last week. </p> <p>“TPNPB considers New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, America, Europe, all are responsible. The US, Europe, Australia and New Zealand has supported the Indonesian government, trained The Indonesian National Police, supplied weapons to kill us West Papuans from 1963 to today. They must be held accountable.”</p> <p>Violence in the region has seen a sharp increase over the last year, with dozens of rebels, security forces, and civilians killed in the name of demanding indolence from Indonesia. </p> <p><em>Image credits: The West Papuan National Liberation Army</em></p>

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Woman reunited with family 51 years after being abducted

<p>A family from the US have been reunited with their long-lost daughter and sister, 51 years after she was abducted as a toddler. </p> <p>Melissa Highsmith went missing in 1971 when, at just 22 months old, she was taken from her parents’ Texas home by a babysitter.</p> <p>Now, with the help of a 23andMe DNA test, the Highsmiths tracked down their missing loved one “without help from law enforcement or other outside involvement.”</p> <p>Melissa was last seen by her family in August 1971, when her mother Alta Apantenco was in need of a babysitter, and hired a woman who expressed interest in the job without meeting her in person.</p> <p>While Apantenco was at work, her roommate handed baby Melissa to the babysitter who allegedly abducted her and never returned. </p> <p>Melissa's family never stopped looking for her, and in recent years even created a Facebook page named “Finding Melissa”.</p> <p>After a recommendation from a genealogist, the Highsmith family used Ancestry and 23andMe to track down Melissa. </p> <p>The family said their mother was hesitant since she had done DNA tests with six different women throughout the years and they all came back negative.</p> <p>“Every time my mother got her hopes up. After 51 years, she didn’t want to submit another DNA test. She was tired and she was hurt and guilty from carrying this all these years,” said Victoria Highsmith, Melissa’s sister, <span style="caret-color: #323338; color: #323338; font-family: Roboto, Rubik, 'Noto Kufi Arabic', 'Noto Sans JP', sans-serif; font-size: 16px; background-color: #ffffff;">told NBC.</span></p> <p>“I’m thankful that we got her to agree to submit her DNA ... It is because of that, and my dad submitting, that we were able to find Melissa.”</p> <p>“Within three weeks we found my sister. It was like, ‘boom, boom, boom,’ we found her,” said Victoria Highsmith.</p> <p>Victoria also said she is so happy that her mother can now feel vindicated after being accused by police when she had nothing to do with Melissa’s disappearance.</p> <p>“She has carried this pain and this guilt for 51 years and I have watched her cry for three days of joy. I have never seen my mother so happy,” said Victoria Highsmith.</p> <p>When the family met up in an emotional reunion, Melissa with her mother, her father and two of her four siblings, shared tears, hugs and smiles.</p> <p>“I couldn’t stop crying. I was overjoyed and I’m still walking around in a fog trying to comprehend that my sister is right in front of me and that we found her,” said Victoria Highsmith.</p> <p>“It’s a Christmas miracle! It’s amazing meeting her. It was like looking into myself, she looks like me, like us. She’s overjoyed to be in our lives.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Highsmith family </em></p>

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Man’s desperate attempt to avoid baggage fees goes viral

<p dir="ltr">One man’s plight to avoid excess baggage fees has been caught on camera and gone viral. </p> <p dir="ltr">In the video, the male passenger can be seen kicking and shoving his bag into the luggage size checker as an airline staffer looked on.</p> <p dir="ltr">The man’s desperate efforts amused those around him, with giggling being heard in the background from fellow travellers, including the person filming.</p> <p dir="ltr">The video, which has now been viewed over 26 million times, was captioned, “Don’t die for EasyJet.”</p> <p>Eventually, the man was able to convince the staff member that his bag was the right size to count as carry-on luggage, only for it to then be stuck inside the metal frame.</p> <div class="embed" style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; caret-color: #323338; color: #323338; font-family: Roboto, Rubik, 'Noto Kufi Arabic', 'Noto Sans JP', sans-serif; outline: none !important;"><iframe class="embedly-embed" style="box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border-width: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; width: 610px; max-width: 100%; outline: none !important;" title="tiktok embed" src="https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2Fembed%2Fv2%2F7135000263911329029&amp;display_name=tiktok&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2F%40hotasfo_o%2Fvideo%2F7135000263911329029&amp;image=https%3A%2F%2Fp16-sign-va.tiktokcdn.com%2Ftos-maliva-p-0068%2Fb9ac55874a8840a382735f0dbbb4f95d_1661246711%7Etplv-tiktok-play.jpeg%3Fx-expires%3D1662991200%26x-signature%3DlT8PTmNwIg0BVzmFm2u%252F1Vfwtc0%253D&amp;key=59e3ae3acaa649a5a98672932445e203&amp;type=text%2Fhtml&amp;schema=tiktok" width="340" height="700" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></div> <p>"He's going to miss his flight trying to get that out," one person quipped in the comments.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Rumour has it he is still trying to get it back out," another joined in.</p> <p dir="ltr">Meanwhile, some thought the staff member was clearly also just having a laugh.</p> <p dir="ltr">"The staff guy was just having a laugh, knowing well what was about to unfold," one person said.</p> <p dir="ltr">Others empathised with the traveller for trying to avoid the extra fees, with one person sharing, "EasyJet made me pay extra for my carry-on pillow, I still haven't recovered from the shock."</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: TikTok</em></p>

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Police desperate to locate abducted 5-year-old Grace Hughes

<p>A multi-agency taskforce has now been established in order to further intensify the ongoing search for missing five-year-old girl, Grace Hughes.</p> <p>Northern Territory Police claim that a group peddling "ideologies and false information" abducted Grace last Sunday, and that she was allegedly taken without permission by her mother Laura Hinks, also known as Laura Bolt. The incident took place during a supervised visit in the Darwin suburb of Berrimah on August 7.</p> <p>On Saturday August 13, another Darwin-based woman, 50-year-old Juliet Oldroyd, faced court and was charged with child abduction in relation to the disappearance of the young girl.</p> <p>When she faced local court, she was represented by her husband and flanked by a group of supporters.</p> <p>A special taskforce has now been set up to intensify search efforts, including the Australian Federal Police and other agencies.</p> <p>In a statement, Northern Territory Police said : "The taskforce is committed to locating her and reuniting her with her lawful guardian".</p> <p>"NT Police will continue to target this group and any other persons assisting the ongoing harbouring of Grace.</p> <p>"Police will use every power available to them to locate Grace. Anyone who is found to have harboured those who abducted Grace will face significant charges before the courts."</p> <p>Earlier this week, Detective Superintendent Kirsten Engels said 'some effort' was being put into keeping Grace hidden, and appealed for anyone with information to come forward.<br />'We know that there will be people in the community that can assist us, they will know where Grace is and they'll be able to help us,' she said.</p> <p>'We're asking you to do the right thing, reach out and call police and let us know what information you have, no matter how small.'</p> <p>Engels said the five-year-old needed to be returned so she could go to school and be reunited with her friends.<br />'Whatever issues that are preventing her return should and could be dealt with in appropriate ways, taking Grace in this matter is not appropriate,' she said.<br />'Our primary concern is the wellbeing and safety of Grace, knowing that this would be a very traumatic event being removed from this meeting and separated from her siblings.<br />'It is likely to have a detrimental effect on her mental and psychological wellbeing.'</p> <p>Grace is described as having a fair complexion with brown hair and eyes. She was last seen wearing a short-sleeved white dress, as well as white socks and black sneakers. Her mother has a fair complexion, a slim build and dark hair and eyes. She was last seen wearing a white and green floral-patterned ankle-length dress or skirt, with a white or cream long-sleeved shirt.</p> <p>NT Police urge anyone with any knowledge of Grace's abduction to come forward and contact police on 131 444 or anonymously via Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.</p> <p>Image: NT Police</p>

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Mother of "stolen" four-month-old baby speaks out

<p>The mother of a four-month-old baby who was the accidental victim of a kidnapping has spoken out, revealing her own devastating childhood and her "wrong" split decision. </p> <p>Young mum Erika Carter had the fright of her life earlier this week when her <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/man-arrested-after-stealing-car-with-baby-inside" target="_blank" rel="noopener">car was stolen</a> from the north Adelaide suburb of Klemzig, with her son Jordan in the backseat. </p> <p>After a desperate two hour search from local police, Jordan was found safe in the car, which had since been abandoned, and was taken to hospital as a precaution. </p> <p>Speaking for the first time since the incident to 7News, Erika said she made the "wrong decision" by leaving her baby in the car alone while she went to pick up some essentials at the shops. </p> <p>“I went for a quick trip to get a loaf of bed and made the wrong decision to leave bubs for that split second,” she said.</p> <p>“And as I was paying for my bread, I heard my car rev and my heart just sunk."</p> <p>“I sprinted out after my baby boy and tried my best to get in front, but I couldn’t get to him, I was just yelling, ‘my baby, my baby Jordan’ and I thought the worst.”</p> <p>Carter said it was “the longest few hours of her life” as the police searched for Jordan. </p> <div> <p>“It’s sad we live in a world where we can’t trust what’s around us, and we can’t feel safe,” she said.</p> <p>“You just think, ‘give me my baby boy back, take whatever you want’, if that’s what it takes.”</p> <p>In a shocking coincidence, Erika revealed that she was also abducted when she was just 11 years old. </p> <p>“I got followed as I was walking my mum’s dog, and I was grabbed and put into a car,” she said.</p> <p>“But I wasn’t taken like Jordan was,” she explained.</p> <p>“My dog bit the abductor, and I managed to unlock the passenger’s door and get out."</p> <p>“But that took me years to get over.”</p> <p>Erika said her abductor was never caught.</p> <p>The 37-year-old man who stole Erika's car and son was arrested and charged with the abduction of a child, before he was refused bail. </p> <p><em>Image credits: 7News</em></p> </div>

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Man arrested after stealing car with baby inside

<p dir="ltr">A man has been arrested after allegedly stealing a car with a four-month-old baby in the backseat.</p> <p dir="ltr">The child’s mother had left the car running while she jumped out to grab a few things from an Adelaide deli in the suburb of Klemzig at around 7.45 am on Monday.</p> <p dir="ltr">CCTV then shows the 37-year-old man arrive at the car park in a stolen Mazda before checking out the woman’s Honda.</p> <p dir="ltr">He goes back to the Mazda and grabs a bag before going back to the Honda and driving off.</p> <p dir="ltr">The child’s mother is then seen running out of the deli to her car when she sees it moving.</p> <p dir="ltr">Several police units were deployed to look for the baby who was eventually found in the abandoned car just after 10am.</p> <p dir="ltr">The infant was taken to the hospital as a precaution.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Police located the vehicle at Wilkinson Ave at Enfield and, thankfully, seated in the rear was the child,” South Australia Police Chief Inspector Matt Nairn said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“An ambulance has attended along with police and now mum and we can confirm the child is safe and well.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It’s a great relief to South Australia police to reunite mum and child... you can imagine the distress that caused mum.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Police arrested a man in relation to the incident and interviewed him before charging him with abduction of a child.</p> <p dir="ltr">He was refused bail and ordered to appear before the Adelaide Magistrates Court.</p> <p dir="ltr">You can watch the footage of the entire incident unfolding <a href="https://7news.com.au/news/sa/urgent-search-for-four-month-old-baby-taken-during-carjacking--c-6984504" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: 7News</em></p>

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Man who abducted wheelchair-bound partner dies two days after her

<p dir="ltr">A man who <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/man-charged-with-abducting-wheelchair-bound-partner" target="_blank" rel="noopener">abducted his wheelchair-bound partner</a> from a Perth nursing home and attempted to cross the border with her has died just two days after her.</p> <p dir="ltr">Ralph “Terry” Gibbs, 80, died after his car collided with a utility truck on Wednesday morning south of Bowen, in Queensland’s north.</p> <p dir="ltr">His death came just 48 hours after that of 84-year-old Carol Lisle, his partner of 15 years.</p> <p dir="ltr">The 84-year-old, passed away in an aged care facility in Mandurah, Western Australia, where she was living with dementia and Parkinson’s disease.</p> <p dir="ltr">They died just a week after Mr Gibbs appeared before a Perth magistrate over charges of deprivation of liberty and endangering Ms Lisle’s life, after he took her out of her aged care home in January and tried to drive her across the border during heatwave conditions.</p> <p dir="ltr">He received a seven-month suspended sentence and a restraining order to prevent him from contacting Ms Lisle.</p> <p dir="ltr">Outside court, Mr Gibbs described Ms Lisle as “my little sweetheart” and said he fought “for over a year to get her back so we can see each other because she has dementia and may not last much longer”.</p> <p dir="ltr">A close friend of Ms Lisle, who didn’t want to be named, <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-02-24/ralph-gibbs-kidnapped-partner-from-nursing-home-dies-after-her/100856128" target="_blank" rel="noopener">told the <em>ABC</em></a><em> </em>she passed away in the early hours on Monday morning.</p> <p dir="ltr">Having known Ms Lisle for 24 years, the friend said she was loved and well-looked after at the nursing home, and that she had been very unwell since she was taken by Mr Gibbs in January.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Carol’s friends are devastated at her passing and believe the separation from her loved ones contributed to her death,” the friend said.</p> <p dir="ltr">In a <a href="https://mypolice.qld.gov.au/news/2022/02/23/fatal-crash-bowen-4/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">statement</a>, Queensland Police said Mr Gibbs was driving north along the Bruce Highway early on Wednesday morning when he collided with the other vehicle which was being driven by a 60-year-old man.</p> <p dir="ltr">Gibbs died at the scene of the crash, while the other driver was airlifted to a local hospital and is believed to be in a serious condition.</p> <p dir="ltr">Queensland’s Forensic Crash Unit is investigating the incident.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: WA Police</em></p>

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Cleo Smith’s parents share disturbing new details

<p>The parents of four-year-old Cleo Smith have shared terrifying new details about their daughter's abduction from a Western Australia camping site. </p><p>Ellie Smith and Jake Gliddon opened up about the horrific ordeal in an exclusive interview with <em>60 Minutes</em>, which will reportedly see the parents pocket $2 million.</p><p>Looking back on the abduction, Ellie believes that Cleo's pink bike at the campsite may have been what caught her captor's attention. </p><p>“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.</p><p>“How are we meant to know putting a little girl’s bike out the front of our tent indicated for someone to get her?”</p><p>Cleo's mother also revealed that her and Jake's side of the tent had been unzipped at some stage through the night.</p><p>“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.</p><p>“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.”</p><p>Ellie claimed that Cleo hadn't said much about her time with her captor, but told her parents she was scared. </p><p>“She was locked in a room and she was scared and she didn’t know where we were,” she said.</p><p>“She’s blocked out a lot as to what’s happened. She kind of went into survivor mode and pushed it very far away.”</p><p>In a bizarre twist, when Ellie was reunited with Cleo, she realised her hair had been cut and dyed. </p><p>“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.</p><p>“I was just angry that someone tried changing her to kind of fit what they wanted.”</p><p>The family are planning to move away from Carnarvon so their little girl can have an “amazing life.”</p><p>“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.</p><p>“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.”</p><p>Cleo was first reported missing on October 16th last year, before she was found 18 days later in the home of Terence Darrell Kelly. </p><p>Kelly has pleaded guilty to child stealing, and is due to appear in court again in March for sentencing. </p><p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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Terence Kelly confesses to abducting Cleo Smith

<p><em>Image: Getty</em></p> <p>Cleo Smith’s abductor Terence Kelly has confessed to kidnapping the four-year-old from her family tent and keeping her captive for 18 days.</p> <p>Kelly, 36, was arrested after detectives raided his Carnarvon house at 12.46 am on November 3rd and found the little girl alone inside a bedroom playing with toys.</p> <p>The next day Terence was charged with child abduction and flown to Perth where he remains in custody at Casuarina Prison. During an appearance in Carnarvon Magistrate’s Court on Monday, Kelly pleaded guilty to child abduction via video link.</p> <p>Kelly appeared solemn and spent much of the hearing looking down. He spoke only one word, ‘guilty’, when asked by Magistrate Ben White what his plea to the kidnapping charge was.</p> <p>He admitted taking Cleo from her family’s tent on October the 16th at Quobba Blowholes campsite as her parents slept metres away.</p> <p>Following one of the largest missing persons investigations in Australian history, Cleo was rescued 18 days later after four detectives stormed Kelly’s home in a midnight raid.</p> <p>In the days after Cleo’s rescue, WA Police acting Commissioner Col Blanch said mobile phone data and CCTV footage of a car entering Carnarvon the night Cleo vanished led police to raid Kelly’s house.</p> <p>The details of why Kelly took Cleo, or how police solved the case, are yet to be revealed in court.</p> <p>Cleo’s family have declined to speak to media since her safe return, only issuing a statement thanking the community for its support and requesting privacy.</p> <p>The Nine Network, which publishes this masthead, will pay almost $2 million for an interview with the family in what is believed to be one of the largest deals in Australian television history.</p> <p>Outside court, before Kelly’s admission, a former neighbour of Kelly’s, Esther Mingo, told media she hoped Kelly would “open his mouth up” and tell the truth.</p> <p>She also voiced repeated frustration that none of his family members were attending his court hearings.</p> <p>“He’s got stacks of family ... where are his mother and father, why don’t they come here?” she said.</p> <p>After the hearing, Ms Mingo and two other women refused to speak to the media. His lawyer, Kate Turtley-Chappel, also declined to comment.</p> <p>Kelly will appear in Perth District Court on March 25th for a date to be set for his sentencing.</p>

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