“I can only see her on the outside, but from that point of view, I’m amazed that she seems to be so well-adjusted and happy, and it was really ... heartwarming to see that she’s still bubbly and she’s laughing,” Detective Senior Sergeant Cameron Blaine said.

Cleo Smith was back to her laughing, bubbly self as she played in the backyard of her Australian west coast family home on Thursday, hours before a 36-year-old stranger was charged with abducting the 4-year-old from a camping tent more than two weeks ago.

Police charged Terry Kelly, a local resident, with forcibly taking a child among other offenses, a police statement said.

Kelly appeared briefly in court in the town of Carnarvon where a magistrate refused to release him on bail.

Police visited Cleo’s family in Carnarvon as they prepared to gather crucial eyewitness evidence involving Kelly, who is suspected of snatching her from a campground north of the town of 5,000 people on Oct. 16.

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