Thursday 23 November 2017

We still have hope we can find Maddy, say McCanns

Madeleine McCann, who disappeared nearly ten years ago Photo: Family handout/PA Wire
Madeleine McCann, who disappeared nearly ten years ago Photo: Family handout/PA Wire

Sylvia Hui

The parents of Madeleine McCann have not given up hope 10 years after her disappearance and say they still hope to be reunited with the girl who vanished aged three during a family holiday to Portugal in 2007.

The McCanns said yesterday they felt encouraged by the "real progress" that British police have made in the case in the past five years.

Scotland Yard said last week that, a decade later, detectives are still pursuing "critical" leads to trace Madelein.

Despite an investigation costing more than €13m, so far, police said there was no "definitive evidence" on whether Madeleine - who would be almost 14 now - is alive or dead.

The girl was abducted from the apartment on May 3, 2007, they said, but how and why it happened is still largely a mystery.

One theory that police say hasn't been ruled out is a "burglary gone wrong".

Gerry McCann (48) acknowledged it was "devastating" not to have found her, but added: "No parent is going to give up on their child, unless they know for certain their child is dead. And we just don't have any evidence."

Kate McCann added: "My hope for Madeleine being out there is no less than it was almost 10 years ago.

"I never thought we'd still be in this situation, so far along the line. It's a huge amount of time's a hard marker of time."

The case has sparked global interest partly because of the McCanns's campaign to publicise their case in an attempt to find Madeleine. The couple also said they planned to challenge a court ruling that cleared a former Portuguese detective of breaching libel laws after he published a book alleging they were involved in Madeleine's disappearance.

Asked how the family was coping, the McCanns said that, like other families who have suffered tragedies, they are trying to move on and focus on their 12-year-old twins.

"You adapt and you have a new normality," Mr McCann said. "At some point you've got to realise that time is not frozen."

His wife said that she still bought Madeleine birthday and Christmas presents every year.

Irish Independent

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