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Jamie Kaiwai's family 'triggered' by missing three-year-old Axle in similar area

Three-year-old Axle made a miraculous return home to his family yesterday after spending a night lost in the cold bush. But another family with an eerily similar story are still holding out hope for their missing loved one.

Composite image of Jamie Kaiwai and Axle Hambleyn.

In October 2019, Jamie Kaiwai disappeared from a similar area, near Tolaga Bay, as Axle Hambleyn this week.

Kaiwai's cousin Jonique Oli Alainu'uese said her family was affected by the news of the youngster going missing.

"It was quite quite triggering. It immediately took us back to the darkest time in our lives with Jamie missing," she told 1 NEWS.

"I saw the post of him missing and thought about my hometown. I was so worried and really happy it turned out for the best.

"We were so relieved. We cried happy tears for him and his family."

Alainu'uese said she felt the pain of Axle's family being in the dark about where he was after facing a similar experience in 2019, but as a parent herself with a child a similar age she said it would have been any parents "worst nightmare".

Alainu'uese said the area where Axle went missing was cold, dark without street lights and had wild boars - all fears that would have been running through his family's minds.

The toddler, who survived around 21 hours lost in the cold bush wearing only a nappy, t-shirt and gumboots, was found yesterday morning in miraculously good condition, although he was hungry.

Alainu'uese said her family will always hold hope for Kaiwai too.

"We still have hope, we'll never give up hope ... we'll never stop looking," she said.

People still physically go out searching for Kaiwai, there's still a strong social media campaign to find her and Alainu'uese said she is still putting pressure on police over the job they did.

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They've now launched a social media campaign to keep Jamie Kaiwai's movements in the public's mind. Source: 1 NEWS

But for Axle, Alainu'uese credited everyone involved in the search for the youngster after he wandered off from his rural home in Mangatuna Tuesday afternoon, adding that her own family were offering up food and support in the ways they could while he was missing.

She said the community response and search operation for Axle was "beautifully co-ordinated".

"I send my love to Axle's and his family and our hometown. Our family were with you yesterday."