Miracle as ‘Aussie Maddie McCann’ found alive after tot vanished from campsite

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A four-year-old girl who vanished from a campsite in Australia 18 days ago has been miraculously found safe and well.

The family of Cleo Smith, who was branded the country's 'Madeleine McCann', feared the worst after she went missing from a site in Carnarvon on October 16.

Her disappearance sparked a frantic search, which came to an end when officers broke into a home and found Cleo in one of the rooms. Today police said a man had been taken into custody following the 1am raid.

Delighted to announce her return, deputy commissioner Col Blanch said: “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.

“One of the officers picked her up into his arms and asked her, ‘What’s your name?’ She said, ‘My name is Cleo.’”

A short time later police were able to reunite Cleo with her family, the Mirror reports.

The toddler's mum, Ellie Smith, said that her daughter and her sleeping bag were missing from the family tent when the family awoke.

The deputy commissioner said: “This is the outcome we all hoped and prayed for."

He said that "incredible police work" had led to Cleo's rescue, but did not provide any further information.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison wrote on Twitter: “Our prayers answered. Thank you to the many police officers involved in finding Cleo and supporting her family.”

Police have said they were at the campsite less than an hour after Cleo was found to be not in the tent by her mum.

A call was logged at 6.23am by Ellie to say that her daughter was missing – almost straight away – despite having initially felt that she spent hours looking for Cleo first.

"Police arrived at 7.10am and by 7.26am set up a protected site," revealed Det Superintendent Rob Wilde.

Then by 11am homicide detectives were at the scene and searches were taking place of cars at the campsite.

Det Supt Wilde said that police had responded to around 200 possible sightings of Cleo around the country but none have been the little girl.

"Unfortunately all of those have proved unfruitful," Mr Wilde said.

"That's been national as well, other policing jurisdictions have helped us and followed those leads through for us, so we're very grateful for that."

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