Wednesday 13 December 2017

McCanns say 'fluffy, worthless words' won't find Madeleine

Ellen Branagh in London

The parents of missing toddler Madeleine McCann lashed out yesterday at what they said was the torrent of "fluffy, worthless words" concerning their daughter's disappearance.

Calling for a full case review, Kate and Gerry McCann said it was now exactly three-and-a-half years since Madeleine went missing. They demanded "action" and for "somebody to do something".

The couple launched a petition to lobby the British and Portuguese governments for either a joint or independent review of the case.

"Essentially, for the last three-and-a-half years the authorities have not been doing anything proactive to help Madeleine," Mr McCann said. "That is despite our best efforts to encourage them to do so.

"I don't think it's right that the onus should fall on us -- the authorities really should be doing more."

The couple said they had not given up hope and spoke of their deep frustration at the lack of help from the British and Portuguese authorities.

"Children do get found years down the line," Mrs McCann said. "There's no evidence that Madeleine is not out there alive.

"It's just heartbreaking to think that nothing is getting done other than what we are having to do, other than our small team. I don't want to be appeased and that's what I feel we're getting at the moment.

"We need action, we don't need fluffy worthless words. We need somebody to do something. Madeleine is still missing, she's a little girl.

"Her abductor is still out there, so by not carrying on, we are putting other children at risk. More needs to be done."

The couple, from Rothley in Leicestershire, have met with the British Home Secretary, Theresa May, to ask for a review of the case.

Mr McCann said: "The onus is on the UK and Portuguese authorities. The authorities are not doing anything proactive."

Madeleine was three when she vanished from her family's holiday flat in Praia da Luz in the Algarve on May 3, 2007, as her parents dined with friends nearby.

Portuguese police launched a massive investigation with the support of British officers, but the inquiry was formally shelved in July 2008, without reaching any firm conclusions as to what happened.

Private detectives employed by the McCanns are still investigating the case. As well as the petition, the couple are appealing for continued financial support for the official Find Madeleine fund. As it stands, the fund will run out in the spring of next year.

Mr McCann said fundraising was a secondary objective to urging people to put pressure on the governments "to do what they should have done all along".

She continued: "In the interim, we are carrying on, we're interviewing witnesses, dealing with new information and continuing reviewing the information available to us.

The couple spoke of how their family was coping.

Mrs McCann said: "Sean and Amelie are great, they are doing really well, they seem to have taken everything on board and coped really well.

"We're doing okay, we make the best of it. Life is not normal, I guess it's a new kind of normal.

"A friend of mine heard a radio interview with a man who had been through a tragedy. He described the pain as being like a boulder and said it's not like the boulder gets any lighter, you just get stronger.

"You adapt to the situation, you learn different coping mechanisms. It doesn't mean the pain is any less, it doesn't mean the whole issue is any less important.

"We haven't got our daughter, Sean and Amelie haven't got their sister. Our family isn't complete.

"It doesn't matter how tired you are, we're on this treadmill and we can't stop trying to find Madeleine or at the very least find out what's happened.

"That ordeal would be much more bearable if we had more assistance."

Irish Independent

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