YOUNG Sammy Snowdon has given himself and his Mum the greatest birthday present of all - his safe return.

And family members are hoping for many happy returns after his first birthday next Tuesday, his mother's a couple of days later and the world's most famous birthday, Christmas, on Sunday week.

"I was wrapping Christmas presents and wondering why," Sammy's grandmother, Marea Ryan, said..

"I wasn't going to be doing Christmas if Sammy wasn't back," she said.

She, husband David Ryan and Sammy's mum, Talia Ward, returned to ground zero, Alford Park, today.

It was from here that Sammy was taken away by his father, Earl Snowdon almost a month ago.

Ms Ward said family members thought it was important to restore the area in their minds as a place they could have fun as a family.

Marea Ryan, Sammy Ward, Talia Ward and David Ryan reunited after almost a month apart.
Marea Ryan, Sammy Ward, Talia Ward and David Ryan reunited after almost a month apart. Scott Kovacevic

But most of all, they wanted to thank Gympie people, including police, Child Protection workers, all their Facebook and email supporters and The Gympie Times, for helping support them and helping to get Samuel back home to Gympie.

"I just want to say a massive thank you to the community," Ms Ward said.

"The support we received was unbelievable.

READ MORE: Police believe father took missing baby south

"If we could say thanks to everyone in the community who helped us, we would, but there are so many," she said.

"The police were really kind to us," Mrs Ryan said.

"And they were really tolerant, because we were getting really wound up.

"We can't say much about what happened, but we believe they found Sammy at Hervey Bay and we picked him up from Maryborough police station.

"We're just so grateful.

"We weren't sure we would have the strength to get our boy back, but the love and support the community gave us made us strong.

"This has been the greatest Christmas present.

Marea Ryan with young Sammy Snowdon.
Marea Ryan with young Sammy Snowdon. Scott Kovacevic

Over this time I've met some real life angels," Ms Ward said.

"That includes the police, the Child Protection people, all the people who have supported us on Facebook and through emails and we also want to thank The Gympie Times and its readers. They've all shown they have real heart and we are so very grateful," she said. I've always believed Gympie had a wonderful community spirit and now we know it's true."

Federal and state police from four states helped in the search.

Gympie Times


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