Madeline McCann's parents claim Cleo Smith's rescue gives them hope

Madeleine McCann’s parents ‘have hope’ their daughter will be found alive after ‘Australia’s Maddie’ Cleo Smith, four, was rescued 18 DAYS after vanishing, friends say

  • Cleo Smith, 4, was abducted from her family’s tent in Western Australia 
  • Police rescued the young girl after raiding a house 18 days after her kidnap
  • Friends of Kate and Gerry McCann say the couple ‘have hope’ after the rescue
  • Madeleine McCann vanished from a hotel in Portugal in May 2007 

A four-year-old Australian girl abducted from a campsite and missing for 18 days was discovered ‘alive and well’ during a raid on a locked house. 

The dramatic rescue, which was filmed by Australian Police, has provided hope for the parents of Madeleine McCann, who has been missing since May 3, 2007. 

Kate and Gerry McCann, 53, have continued the search for their daughter who turned 18 in May. The Metropolitan Police are continuing to treat Madeleine’s disappearance as a missing person’s enquiry. 

A source close to the family said: ‘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.’

Sources close to Kate and Gerry McCann, parents of missing Madeleine said the couple have taken hope from the successful operation to find a four-year-old Australian girl, Cleo Smith, who was missing for 18 days

Cleo Smith, pictured, was kidnapped from her family’s tent while on holiday in remote Western Australia. Police found the youngster following a tip off

Madeleine McCann, pictured, went missing while on a family holiday in Praia da Luz in Portugal on May 3, 2007

The source told The Sun: ‘They are thankful that she had been found, and share her parents’ joy and relief at the outcome.’

Madeleine McCann went missing while on a family holiday in Praia da Luz. The Metropolitan Police continues to treat her case as a missing persons inquiry, although German police suspect the youngster was murdered.   

They suspect convicted sex offender Christian Brueckner, who was in the area, is responsible for Madeleine’s disappearance.  

Cleo Smith was dubbed the ‘Aussie Maddie’ after she went missing from her family’s tent in Western Australia on October 16. 

The suspected abduction prompted a massive search which ended on a raid on a home in Carnarvon – a short drive from where the youngster vanished. 

Detective Cameron Blaine, one of four officers who raided the home said: ‘One of the guys jumped in front of me and picked her up.’

Blaine said that after the initial shock he asked the little girl her name three times before receiving her electrifying response: ‘My name is Cleo.’ 

Police admitted ‘seasoned detectives’ were ‘openly crying with relief’ at the discovery and when Cleo was reunited with her parents at a hospital a short time later.

Her mother Ellie took to social media to express her relief. ‘Our family is whole again,’ she posted on Instagram under a photo of Cleo.

Police later released an image of the beaming youngster on a hospital bed holding an ice pop, waving and smiling.

Officers said she was in good spirits and bouncing around like ‘a little energizer bunny.’

‘It’s very rare. It’s something we all hoped in our hearts, and it’s come true,’ police deputy commissioner Col Blanch said. 

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