MADEELINE McCann’s parents have revealed that they “have hope” they will find their daughter after missing Cleo Smith was found alive and well.
The tot, dubbed “Australia’s Maddie”, vanished from a campsite but was found unharmed 18 days later.
Kate and Gerry McCann, both 53, had been following the case of the missing four-year-old which had some striking similarities to their own daughter’s disappearance.
Her discovery has given the McCann’s newfound hope that their daughter could still be alive after vanishing over 14 years ago.
Maddie, 3, vanished from her bed on May 3, 2007, while on holiday with her parents and family friends at a resort in Praia da Luz, Portugal.
British cops have requested new funding to carry on the £12.5million global search for her which is set to be approved by the Home Office.
A source close to the family told The Sun that the couple were “willing” for little Cleo to be found alive.
They added: “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 is has been.
“They are thankful that she had been found, and share her parents’ joy and relief at the outcome.”
Cleo, who was allegedly kidnapped by a stranger, was rescued by police in a 1am sting following a sudden tip off.
Officers asked her what her name was when they discoverd her alone in a bedroom, with the youngster replying “My name is Cleo.”
Cops in Australia have arrested a 36-year-old man in connection with her disappearance, who has no connection with her family.
The young girl was found in a strangers house in Carnarvon in Western Australia – 47 miles from Blowhills Campsite where she had vanished from on October 16 and just two miles from her family home.
Heartwarming pictures show the moment that little Cleo was rescued by a police officer who told her they were taking her to see her parents.
The rescued youngster’s delighted mum Ellie Smith said that her “family is whole again.”
It comes after Kate and Gerry were given fresh hope their daughter could still be alive after a boy snatched in China was reunited with his family after being missing for 24 years.
The doctors repeated their pledge to “never give up” on finding Maddie after Guo Xinzhen, who was as kidnapped aged two by human traffickers nears his home in Shandong province in 1997, was found.
‘HAPPY POSITIVE NEWS’
Maddie, who would be 18 now, was just nine days away frome her fourth birthday when she was snatched while her parents were dining with pats at a nearby tapas restaurant.
The family source added: “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.”
The couple from Rothley, Leicestershire, wrote in May that they “hang onto hope however small” that they will be reunited with their “lovely” daughter one day as they remember her on the painful 14th anniversary of her disappearance.
They posted: “Every May is tough – a reminder of years passed, of years together lost, or stolen.
“This year it is particularly poignant as we should be celebrating Madeleine’s 18th birthday.”
Convicted paedophile and rapist Christian B, 44, remains under investigation as the prime suspect in Maddie’s abduction
The Sun exclusively revealed that German investigators have reportedly been given fresh leads into Christian B’s background – raising hopes of more clues into the notorious cold case.