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Mum's tears of joy as Chloe Campbell, 3, found safe

CHLOE Campbell, the little girl feared abducted from Childers, has been found safe and well in what police are describing as a 'dream come true'.

Police said the girl was found at the local showgrounds just opposite her home at 1am on Saturday.

She was taken to Bundaberg Hospital for a medical examination and has been reunited with her mother.

Inspector Kevin Guteridge says local police discovered her at the showgrounds "quite randomly".

"It's one of those dreams that came true ... the greatest possible outcome for everyone," he said.

The News-Mail reported just after 1am that Chloe had been found, ending a frantic 42 hour search for the toddler.

Chloe's mum Tammy O'Donnell told media she was "overjoyed".

"(I'm) over the world; there is no other word to really describe how I'm feeling, just overjoyed," a super-relieved Ms O'Donnell said.

"Thank you to everyone, and everyone that called in to help bring Chloe home safe and happy."

Ms O'Donnell said she raced from Childers to Bundaberg hospital as soon as she heard the news.

"I was just in tears... I ran in the room basically.

"I just laid on the bed with her and gave her cuddles for a while and then we just came home to let everyone know.''

Police feared the girl had been abducted after footprints were found on a car underneath an open window to the family home.

Both her parents made emotional appeals for her return.

They were convinced there was no way she would have wandered from the family home.

"We have no idea as to how she came to be here. We are looking at every aspect of that and maintaining a very open mind,'' Insp Guteridge said.

"It is an absolute miracle she has returned to us."

Earlier, police were given security footage from a residential CCTV camera which is understood to show two men and a young child walking about 200 yards from where Chloe disappeared.

Local resident Les Fennell, who passed the CCTV data to police, said the video showed the men and a young child - who could not be identified as being a boy or a girl - walking south by the railway line.

He told News Corp that the child was walking about 15 yards ahead of the men as they passed behind a toilet block as dawn approached.

Some 20 minutes later the men returned north in the direction they had come but this time without the child.

"The sun had just started coming up...and it was about the same time the child was missing.'

Police are expected to learn from Chloe's mother - who will 'interview' her daughter - just where she has been and who took her away.

Police had searched throughout the night using an infra-red camera without success - and scores of volunteers and police on foot, motor bikes and horses had continued the hunt around the town and in nearby bushland.

"I don't think there's any possible way she's wandered off," Mr Campbell had told the media.

"She wouldn't leave the yard by herself."

He said the family usually closed the windows of their Childers home at dusk each night to keep out mosquitoes, but he believes that one of the latches had not caught.

"That's why we are blaming ourselves," he had said, fighting back tears.

Police issued a "child abduction alert" shortly after 9am on Thursday and requested the message be broadcast on local radios every 15 minutes.

No stone being left unturned in search for little Chloe

 

EARLIER: POLICE say no stone is being left unturned following the disappearance of missing Childers girl Chloe Campbell.

Speaking in Childers, Inspector Kevin Guteridge and Detective Inspector Bruce mcNab said they were continuing with proactive air searches and an extended search by SES volunteers and community representatives in conjunction with police.

"We're getting information from a number of areas," Det Insp McNab said.

"We've got specialist detectives from Wide Bay Burnett and also central region and from State Crime Command in Brisbane assisting us in the current strategies we have in place."

Det Insp McNab confirmed that garbage collected in the neighbourhood the morning Chloe went missing had been identified and was also being searched.

UPDATE 2.10PM FRIDAY: Police have confirmed they are searching the Childers Waste Management Facility and examining all angles in their search for little Chloe Campbell.

Speaking at a press conference in Childers, Inspector Kevin Guteridge said police "couldn't afford to have closed minds" in the search for the little child, who went missing the same day bins were collected in the neighbourhood.

UPDATE 1.40PM FRIDAY: Childers mum Tammy O'Donnell has spoken of her pain as she pleads with anyone who has Chloe to have the "guts" to bring her home.

Speaking to Channel Seven in Childers, a tearful Ms O'Donnell said finding her daughter missing was like a bad dream.

"There's no way to describe it," she said.

"It's like a nightmare I can't wake up from."

Ms O'Donnell said the family mostly kept to themselves and stayed and home.

"I'd just like to say if anyone out there has any information please come forward," she said.

"All I've got at the moment is hope."

Ms O'Donnell, who described her young daughter as "beautiful, kind, loving and funny", said it was a painful thing to have to answer when another of her daughters asked 'what if Chloe doesn't come home'.

She spoke directly to anyone who might have taken Chloe, telling them to give her daughter back.

"You were gutsy enough to take her, now have the guts to bring her home," Ms O'Donnell said. 

Happier times: A photo of Chloe Campbell's mum Tammy before her daughter went missing.
Happier times: A photo of Chloe Campbell's mum Tammy before her daughter went missing. contributed

UPDATE 11.56AM FRIDAY: Bundaberg Police Inspector Kevin Guteridge has pleaded with the public to give police any information they might have on the disappearance of little Chloe Campbell.

Insp Guteridge said an infra-red camera search last night failed to find any sign of the young girl.

Another air search was carried out at first light this morning. 

Seventy SES volunteers have now joined the search, with community volunteers on motorbikes and horses looking for Chloe.

Insp Guteridge told Isis Town & Country reporter Melinda Bradford that some items had been identified at the scene, but he was not privy to what they were and said they would be subjected to analysis at a later time.

Insp Guteridge reiterated how vital it was for the public to come forward with any information whatsoever, no matter how small or meaningless they might think it was.

He said police were carrying out routine investigations and were using every resource available and not ruling anything out in the search for Chloe. 

UPDATE 11.48AM FRIDAY: Police are continuing an urgent appeal for public assistance following the suspected abduction of three-year-old girl Chloe Campbell from a Childers residence yesterday morning.

An extensive land and air search is continuing in the Childers area today involving police and SES volunteers.

Chloe was reported missing after disappearing from the Ridgeway Street address sometime before 7am yesterday.

She is described as being Caucasian, about 100cm tall with fair shoulder-length hair.

Chloe was last seen wearing a white shirt with butterflies and bees pictured on the front and yellow pants with love hearts.

A blue soft toy and a grey blanket are also missing from the home.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Child Abduction Alert hotline on 131 564 or Triple Zero to provide life-threatening information.

UPDATE 11.08AM FRIDAY: Forensic crews have spent the morning examining the Campbell family's Ridgeway St home for clues on the disappearance of three-year-old Chloe Campbell.

SES volunteers and police officers could still be seen in the street today as the search continues to find the missing child.

The search area extended to the back of the Childers Woolworths store this morning, with crews also moving in on more bushland and paddocks. 

At the scene, SES volunteers told Isis Town & Country reporter Melinda Bradford they were determined to find little Chloe, and would not give up. 

UPDATE 7.51AM FRIDAY: Kevin Savage, who lives just four doors down from the Campbell family, said he was surprised his neighbourhood had been turned into a wide-scale police investigation.

"In this town it doesn't happen," Mr Savage said.

He said the Campbells seemed like a normal family and he would often see Chloe and her sisters playing in the neighbourhood - but they never ventured far from home.

He said while he hoped nothing sinister had happened, he felt that it wasn't just a simple case of a young girl who had wandered off.

"Being three years old, she's not one to wander very far," Mr Savage said.

"This is all a bit spooky, really."

Chloe's father, Garth Campbell, said there was no way his youngest daughter would have left their family home alone, state media reported last night.

He said he believed whoever took her knew where she slept.

Police vowed to continue to search as long as they needed to, and appealed to the public for any information that might help them in their investigation.

Anyone with information on Chloe's disappearance should call 131 564 immediately or Bundaberg Police on 4153 9111.

Missing girl Chloe Campbell.
Missing girl Chloe Campbell.

UPDATE 6.33AM FRIDAY: The frantic search for missing three-year-old Chloe Campbell is continuing this morning, almost 24 hours after the tiny girl  was reported missing.

Police yesterday said they had grave concerns for the safety of Chloe, amid fears she had been abducted.

The search yesterday widened to bushland, open paddocks and cane fields on the edge of Childers. 

Chloe's father, Garth Campbell, pleaded with whoever had his daughter not to harm her. He believes whoever has her is known to the family.

Chloe is described as being Caucasian in appearance, with light-brown shoulder-length hair and around 100cm tall.

She is wearing orange shorts and a yellow-coloured shirt with butterflies and bees pictured on the front.

Anyone with information should call Bundaberg Police immediately on 4153 9111 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

UPDATE 7.21PM THURSDAY: A DISTRAUGHT Garth Campbell has appeared on national television tonight pleading with the person or persons who took his infant daughter from her bed.

The father asked that his daughter not be harmed.

"Just don't hurt her, she's just tiny," he said.

Mr Campbell told Channel Nine he believed whoever took his daughter was known to the family because Chloe was not sleeping in her bedroom but in the lounge with her sisters. 

He said he could not help but think of the Daniel Morcombe case. 

UPDATE 4.21PM THURSDAY: POLICE have confirmed they hold serious concerns for 3-year-old Chloe Campbell who was discovered missing from her home in Childers, Queensland, this morning. 

About 40 SES volunteers, police and members of the community are scouring the terrain near the little girl's family home while the RACQ Careflight helicopter has also joined in the search. 

The search is expected to continue into the night. 

Bundaberg police were contacted at 7am this morning by the girl's distraught mother to report the child missing from their Ridgeway St home near the town's showgrounds. 

A neighbour reported seeing someone near the family home last night, while the Courier Mail reported a footprint was found on the roof of a car parked under Chloe's bedroom window. 

Forensic teams have fingerprinted the home and vehicles parked near the property.

The search began near the home but has widened as the day has gone on with police door knocking homes in the area.

Chloe is described as being Caucasian in appearance, with light-brown shoulder-length hair and around 100cm tall.

She is wearing orange shorts and a yellow-coloured shirt with butterflies and bees pictured on the front.

Anyone with information should call Bundaberg Police immediately on 4153 9111 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

UPDATE 1PM THURSDAY: Bundaberg Police Inspector Kevin Guteridge and South Kolan Police Sergeant Robert Jorna addressed the media in Childers around lunchtime.

Sgt Jorna, who is co-ordinating the helicopter and SES search, said about 40 SES volunteers were participating in today's search.

The officers said they were searching surrounding bushland, open paddocks, cane farms and some dams and thicker bushland areas.

The search has so far been focused close to the house, but is widening as the day goes on.

UPDATE: 11.55AM THURSDAY: Police are currently searching and door-knocking around the area and in the surrounding streets near Childers' Showground.

Local State Emergency Service (SES) are continuing to assist police with the search.

Police would also like to clarify that Chloe was last seen wearing yellow pants with love hearts on them and a white-coloured shirt with butterflies and bees pictured on the front.

UPDATE 11.10AM THURSDAY: Mystery shrouds the disappearance of a three-year-old girl from Childers, with police holding grave concerns her safety.

Forensic teams have fingerprinted the home and vehicles parked on the property, with several streets surrounding the area of Ridgeway St cordoned off.

One neighbour, who was visibly upset, told a NewsMail reporter she had seen someone hanging around outside the home last night.

UPDATE 10.50AM THURSDAY: A bus load of SES has arrived in Childers to help search for missing girl Chloe Campbell.

Crews are currently focusing their search on the Isis High School and Childers showgrounds areas.

This morning, the Courier Mail reported a footprint was found on the roof of a car parked under the window of Chloe Campbell's bedroom.

UPDATE 10.40AM THURSDAY: Bundaberg police have confirmed both parents were home at the time Childers three-year-old Chloe Campbell went missing.

Bundaberg Police sergeant Mick Ward said police were taking the matter very seriously.

"We hold grave concerns about the manner in which she has disappeared," he said.

EARLIER THURSDAY: The Queensland Police Service is still seeking urgent public assistance to help locate three-year-old Chloe Campbell who was reported missing from a residence on Ridgeway Street sometime before 7am.

EARLIER THURSDAY: The Queensland Police Service is seeking urgent public assistance to help locate a three-year-old girl who may be at risk after being taken from a residence on Ridgeway Street, Childers around two hours ago.

It is also believed she may be carrying a blue soft toy, shaped like a dog and possibly a grey blanket.

Ring 131 564 to provide information about this abduction/incident.

Please ring 000 for life threatening information about this incident.

Missing Childers girl Chloe Campbell.
Missing Childers girl Chloe Campbell.

EARLIER THURSDAY: A frantic search is under way in Childers to find a missing three-year-old girl.

A Bundaberg Police spokeswoman said the little girl went missing from her home near the showgrounds about 7am today.

She is wearing yellow pants with blue and pink love hearts and a white shirt with insects.

"She is possibly carrying a blue puppy toy and a grey blanket with dragons on it," she said.

Topics:  childers, chloe campbell, missing person


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