Mum of ‘Aussie Madeleine McCann’s’ surprise career swap after daughter’s rescue

The mum of "Australia's Madeleine McCann" has made a surprising career change after her daughter's kidnapping.

Cleo Smith was just four years old when she was kidnapped from a campsite and held hostage for 18 days before being recovered by Western Australia Police.

Now mum Ellie Smith, who was at the campsite when Cleo was taken, is seemingly moving on from the ordeal and has launched a new business as a beautician.

READ MORE: Parents of Aussie Madeleine McCann say kidnapper would 'smack her' and 'rough her up'

The entrepreneur, who previously ran an online candle business for several years, has now opened Purely Tan Beauty Salon in Lakelands, Western Australia.

Taking to Facebook, Ms Smith could be seen encouraging fans to buy gift cards for her salon for Mother's Day, which in Australia fell on May 14, as well as promoting discounts on spray tanning.

The move comes more than a year after her daughter was abducted from a tent by Terence Darrell Kelly, 37, while she slept alongside Ms Smith, sister Isla and stepdad Jake Gliddon on October 16, 2021.

  • Aussie Madeleine McCann 'fought back' against kidnapper 'obsessed with dolls'

Kelly then kept young Cleo captive at his home in Carnarvon for 18 days, during which time he admitted he "roughed up" the tot when she became "bossy".

On November 3, 2021, more than two weeks after she was first taken, officers stormed Kelly's home just before 1am and carried Cleo to safety, wearing body cameras that capture the rescue on film.

The kidnapper was jailed for 13 years last month after pleading guilty to the abduction and, will be eligible for parole after 11 years and six months.

Judge Julie Wager said the ordeal would have caused Cleo and her parents "immeasurable" distress.

The judge added: "18 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 Daily Star previously reported Kelly had a difficult past and struggled with drug addiction.

He also had an obsession with Bratz dolls and kept a large collection at the home where he kept Cleo prisoner.

A psychiatrist asked to analyse Kelly in the case said he suffered from a severe personality disorder and had created a "fantasy world" in which he had several imaginary children by different women.

Sentencing, Judge Wager noted Kelly had a troubled childhood but said his risk of re-offending was high.

"You pose a high risk of seriously psychologically harming any future victim in the event that you did re-offend," she said.

Officers first identified Kelly as a key suspect in Cleo's disappearance thanks to mobile phone signals and a tip-off.

Police Commissioner Col Blanch said the evidence against Kelly, including the bodycam footage, had likely influenced him to enter a guilty plea.

"For me as commissioner, this is […] the greatest story in Western Australian policing history," he said in the wake of the trial.

"The police investigation was meticulous… the information that we had and the evidence we put together was exceptional."

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