Every year, a quarter of a million children go missing in Europe. That's one every two minutes, every day of every year.
Fifty-four per-cent are runaways, according to Missing Children Europe, which collates data across member states. The next largest group are parental abductions. Just 29 are "criminal abductions", and only half of those are by a stranger.
Police say if a stranger-abducted child isn't found within four hours of being taken, their chances of ever being found are slim.
It's a tiny proportion of all crime, and there is only an infinitesimal chance of it ever happening, yet when we parents lose sight of our child in a shopping centre, town, on a beach or holiday it is probably our single biggest fear.
It incites immediate panic, and it has happened to me.
The child, my son, was about six and went missing on a French camp site.
I don't know how, it took all of a minute my back was turned and I can't remember a single thing but the manic sense of fearfulness. He was found in less than 30 minutes, perfectly fine.
I wasn't. I thought my head would explode.
I wasn't one of those who publicly berated Gerry and Kate McCann when their daughter Madeleine went missing. No, they shouldn't have left her. Yes, they were nearby but that's not the point and nobody could have foreseen what would happen. I imagine they have beaten themselves up every minute of every day since.
Yet even though we cannot conceive how her disappearance must be for them, as a lived agonising experience, we can probably guess at some point during their futile, crazy search over the years, they thought that maybe, just perhaps, she was picked up by a lonely, deranged couple desperate for a child of their own, unable to have one.
And maybe, in a corner of Europe she has lived out a happy, innocent life, completely unaware of her origins.
It's the stuff of novels and sentimental straight-to-TV movies. And yet, wouldn't you cling on to that tenuous, unlikely hope too?
It seems now as if the worst possible version of events may have come to pass instead. A German drifter, already in prison for child sexual offences, is now the prime suspect in the extraordinary tale of this little blonde four-year-old, who represents just 0.006pc of a dubiously infamous group. Yet can you name a single other?
Madeleine's story has been converted into books, films, TV series, countless articles, features and conspiracy theories.
Perhaps the only thing left to the McCanns will never be "closure", but perhaps some peace and justice.