Close to 100 gifts arrived for Cleo Smith in the days after the four-year-old was rescued by police.
While photos of detectives carrying some of the packages to the little girl’s parents’ car emerged on Tuesday, seven days after she was found locked inside a house on Tonkin Crescent in Carnarvon, the true magnitude of gifts received has only now been realised.
The Officer in Charge at the Carnarvon Police Station, Senior Sergeant Lindsay Collett, said there had been just under 100 presents for the little girl.
The parcels arrived by courier from all over Australia.
“Close to 100 gifts across Australia arrived for Cleo,” Sen-Sgt Collett said. “There was just a constant stream of couriers arriving at the station.
“It was unbelievable. We’ve never had that much mail.”
Among the many gifts sent to the girl were teddy bears, dolls, Barbie toys, a unicorn and a plush Fat Cat.
After a quick search of the huge haul by Carnarvon police, as is standard practice, the gifts were piled up and then brought to the Smith family.
“Many were delivered to them because we wanted to minimise that exposure (of Cleo at the police station) so she can get on with life,” Sen-Sgt Collett said. “So that one primary police connection, with a family liaison officer, stayed consistent.”
Some, however, were picked up by Cleo’s mum Ellie Smith and her step-dad Jake Gliddon while they visited Carnarvon Police Station on Tuesday.
Mr Gliddon was seen helping several officers carrying a stack of wrapped boxes out the complex a short time later and to the family’s car.
While Ms Smith’s arms remained tightly around her daughter as they exited, Cleo could be seen clutching a lollipop.
Before driving away, Ms Smith could be seen handing one of the wrapped gifts to her daughter in the back seat.
Just five days earlier Cleo was hand-delivered two police teddies named after two of the senior cops who led the investigation, Det-Supt. Rod Wilde and Det-Sen. Sgt Cameron Blaine, by Premier Mark McGowan.
“(We) gave her the two little police teddies which we named Cameron and Rod,” he said on November 4, the day after Cleo was found in a duplex on Tonkin Crescent and her alleged kidnapper Terrence Darrell Kelly was arrested in a car nearby.
“Cameron and Rod senior didn’t seem to like that very much but I think that’s appropriate,” Mr McGowan joked. “Not sure (those names) will stick. Cleo didn’t seem too enamoured of those names.”
Eight days later, Cleo was showered in presents once more, this time by two of the hero cops who swooped in to carry Cleo Smith to safety the previous week.
Det-Sen. Sgt Blaine and Det-Sgt Jason Hutchinson visited the four-year-old’s family home to say goodbye armed with several gifts for her on Friday.
The pair had beaming smiles on their faces as they carried the presents from the boot of their car, greeting Ms Smith and Mr Gliddon.
They stayed for a short time before leaving the South Carnarvon home, Cleo’s parents walking them to their vehicle.
The two detectives were part of a team of four who smashed their way into the Tonkin Crescent home just before 1am on Wednesday November 3 to discover Cleo behind a locked bedroom door playing quietly with toys.