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Madeleine McCann parents still ‘cling to hope’ ahead of her 18th birthday

Fifteen years after her disappearance and ahead of her 18th birthday, Kate and Gerry McCann say they'll never stop giving up on their daughter.


by Jennifer McShane
04th May 2021
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Madeleine McCann was just three years old, on holidays in Portugal with her family, and after having spent the day of May 3rd, 2007 at the kids club of the Ocean Club resort at Praia da Luz on the Algarve, disappeared from her bedroom, seemingly without a trace.

She will be 18 on May 12th.

Everyone knows the tragic story; the media frenzy, the haunted faces of her parents Kate and Gerry McCann, who have devoted their lives to their daughter, never giving up that they would find answers. None of us forgets their horror, their panic. They were dining only meters away with friends.

Just this week, Kate and Gerry McCann posted a statement on the Official Find Madeleine Campaign website to say the milestone and the global pandemic have made this year even harder for the family.

“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. Enough said,” their statement said.

“The Covid pandemic has made this year even more difficult for many reasons but thankfully the investigation to find Madeleine and her abductor has continued. We hang on to the hope, however small, that we will see Madeleine again. As we have said repeatedly, we need to know what has happened to our lovely daughter, no matter what. We are very grateful to the police for their continued efforts.”

“We still receive so many positive words and good wishes despite the years that have gone by. It all helps and for that, we are truly grateful – thank you.”

The Metropolitan Police continue to treat Madeleine’s disappearance as a missing person inquiry, however, German investigators currently have a prime suspect, a convicted sex offender who they believe abducted and murdered the then three-year-old.

“We have established that he lived on and off in the Algarve between 1995 and 2007. He is connected to the area of Praia da Luz and surrounding regions, and spent some short spells in Germany,” they said last year in what they deemed new and “significant evidence” surfacing in the case.

“All we have ever wanted is to find her, uncover the truth and bring those responsible to justice. We will never give up hope of finding Madeleine alive but whatever the outcome may be, we need to know, as we need to find peace,” Kate and Gerry said at the time.