Madeleine McCann’s parents have ‘new hope’ after Cleo Smith found alive

Madeleine McCann's parents are said to have 'new hope' that their daughter will be found after police tracked down a missing four-year-old girl in Australia.

A police raid of a house in Carnarvon found Cleo Smith alive and well on Monday after she vanished from a family campsite some 18 days before.

She had been dubbed the 'Australian Madeleine McCann' as her disappearance bore a striking resemblance to that of the then three-year-old English girl, who went missing in 2007 on holiday in Portugal.

Kate and Gerry McCann are reportedly "thankful" that Cleo was found and have been reminded that there is always hope, reports The Mirror.

A source close to the McCann family claimed to The Sun: "Kate and Gerry knew about the case which has had a lot of publicity here and like many people were willing the child to be found safe and well.

"It’s the news every parent of a missing child hopes and prays for no matter how long it has been.

"Kidnapped children can be found, this case is proof and gives Kate and Gerry and all those other families of missing people hope.

"They never stop hoping for that happy and positive news."

Cleo's disappearance had sparked a frantic search which came to an end when officers broke into a locked home and found Cleo in one of the rooms.

She was found in Carnarvon, a town about 100 km (62 miles) south of the campsite, at about 1am Australian time on Wednesday.

A 36-year-old man has been taken into custody in relation to the disappearance.

Police said the abduction appears to have been opportunistic and they expect to file charges soon.

Her relieved mum Ellie Smith took to Instagram to say: "Our family is whole again."

WA Police Deputy Commissioner Col Blanch said after the discovery: "It’s my privilege to announce that in the early hours of this morning, the Western Australia police force rescued Cleo Smith. Cleo is alive and well.

"This is the outcome we all hoped and prayed for."

He added that "incredible police work" had led to Cleo's rescue and that the force would have "more to say" in the coming days.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison also welcomed the "wonderful, relieving news".

"Cleo Smith has been found and is home safe and sound. Our prayers answered," he said on Twitter.

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