Police in Queensland are leading a desperate land and air search for a missing three-year-old girl amid fears she may have been snatched from her family home in the remote southeast of the country.
Officers searching for Chloe Campbell issued a 'child abduction alert' shortly after 9am local time, meaning a message was broadcast on local radio every 15 minutes.
The toddler was last seen by her parents at their Ridgeway Street home in Childers, south of Bundaberg, about 7am on Thursday. She had been sleeping in the lounge of the Campbell household with her two older sisters Janae, 8, and Brittney, five.
Her parents said a window in the room had been left open and there were adult sized footprints on a car below.
The case has already drawn comparisons with that of the disappearance of British toddler Madeleine McCann from the Portuguese resort of Praia Da Luz in 2007.
The small town of Childers, where the girl went missing, has a population of around 1,500 people. The distraught father of the missing girl told the Sydney Morning Herald that he believes someone who knows the family took her.
He told the newspaper that he was blaming himself for her disappearance as he usually shuts the windows of the home at night to keep out mosquitoes, but believes one of the latches must not have been closed properly.
"I don’t think there’s any possible way she’s wandered off," Mr Campbell said.
"She wouldn’t leave the yard by herself."
Chloe is described as Caucasian, with light-brown shoulder-length hair, about 100cm tall and was wearing orange shorts and a yellow shirt with butterflies and bees pictured on the front.
Her sleeping bag, which was patterned with wizards and dragons has also disappeared as well as a stuffed dog she slept with.
Mr Campbell said he believes the person who took the girl knew where she was sleeping and knew how to get into the house.
"I think it's got to be someone who knows me, in how they got in, where she sleeps," Mr Campbell told AAP.
"They knew she was sleeping in front of the TV."
In a desperate TV appeal he appealed for his daughter to be returned unharmed. "Just don't hurt her, she's tiny," he told reporters.Reuse content