Madeleine McCann: Kate and Gerry ‘hang on to hope’ ahead of her 18th birthday


Madeleine McCann’s parents have said they ‘hang on to hope, however small’ that they will see their daughter again as they marked the 14th anniversary of her disappearance alone.

In a message shared online, Kate and Gerry McCann noted that this year’s anniversary was even more poignant because it would have been missing Maddie’s 18th birthday.

The message, which was shared on the Find Madeleine website, read: ‘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.’

The couple said the pandemic had made this year ‘even more difficult for many reasons’ but added: ‘Thankfully the investigation to find Madeleine and her abductor has continued.

The then three-year-old Madeleine vanished from a holiday apartment in Portugal in 2007

Madeleine McCann’s parents have said they ‘hang on to hope, however small’ that they will see their daughter again as they prepare to mark the 14th anniversary of her disappearance alone

The disappearance of Madeleine McCann

Madeleine McCann, known as Maddie, disappeared from a holiday apartment in Portugal’s Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007.

She was on holiday with her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann; her two-year-old twin siblings; and a group of family friends and their children.

She and the twins had been left asleep at the apartment, while the McCanns and friends dined in a restaurant 55 metres (180 ft) away.

The parents checked on the children throughout the evening, until Kate discovered she was missing at 10pm.

What followed is widely regarded as one of the most reported on missing person investigations in the world.

Portuguese authorities closed their enquiries in July 2008 but Maddie’s parents continued with private detectives.

Scotland Yard launched their own investigation – Operation Grange – in 2011 and enquiries are ongoing.

‘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.’  

Kate and Gerry marked the anniversary privately after an outdoor prayer gathering was cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic. 

But the couple asked well wishers to come together remotely to remember and pray for Madeleine, just days before her milestone 18th birthday on May 12.

Three-year-old Madeleine, known as Maddie, vanished from a holiday apartment in Portugal’s Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007.

She had been left sleeping alone with her younger twin siblings while her parents were dining in a nearby tapas restaurant with friends.

Former GP Kate, 53 and heart doctor Gerry, 52 would normally attend the Sacred Heart Catholic church near their home with twins Sean and Amelie, now aged 16.

In the evening the family would walk a mile to the war memorial where many supporters congregate for the annual informal prayers. 

A candle still burns around the clock at Cross Green as a beacon of hope for the world’s most famous missing child.

British police have requested new funding to carry on the £12.5m global search for her which is set to be approved by the Home Office. 

The family will remember Madeleine privately on her 18th birthday on May 12

The family will remember Madeleine privately on her 18th birthday on May 12

Christian Brueckner (pictured) is the prime suspect in Maddie's disappearance

Madeleine McCann (pictured) vanished from the resort of Praia da Luz in Portugal in May 3 2007

Christian Brueckner (pictured left) left Portugal after three-year-old Madeline McCann (pictured right) disappeared on May 3, 2007. He is the prime suspect in the case

Madeleine McCann suspect Christian Brueckner IS set to be charged with rape of Irish tour rep on the Algarve in 2004

Christian Brueckner

Christian Brueckner

Christian Brueckner, the man suspected of abducting Madeleine McCann, is set to be charged with the 2004 rape of an Irish tour rep on the Algarve.

The German national is suspected of attacking Hazel Behan in her apartment in Praia da Rocha, three years before Maddie was snatched.

Police hope to charge Brueckner in the next 12 weeks.

He is currently serving a seven-year sentence for raping a 72-year-old American in 2005 and was named as the prime suspect in the Madeleine McCann case in June last year.

German prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters said the case against Brueckner was ‘in a good way’ and that he was ‘hopeful for a charge’.

Wolters explained there were stark parallels between the attack on Ms Behan, the rape of an American tourists – for which Brueckner was convicted – and the ‘abduction and murder of Madeleine McCann.’

Convicted paedophile and rapist Christian B (Brueckner), 44, remains under investigation as the prime suspect in Maddie’s abduction.

In June, Brueckner was identified the German man as a suspect in the case of Madeleine, who disappeared from an apartment in 2007 while her family was on holiday in the resort of Praia da Luz, Portugal.

Brueckner lived in the Algarve for much of the period from 1995 to 2007, and German prosecutors say he received a phone call from a Portuguese number around the time of Madeleine’s disappearance in May 2007. 

He made a living doing odd jobs in the area where Madeleine disappeared, and was also known to have burgled hotel rooms and holiday flats.  

He has two previous convictions for ‘sexual contact with girls’, authorities say, but they do not have enough evidence to hold him in prison on the strength of the McCann case alone.

Since taking the lead in the case earlier this year, German police have struggled to explain what evidence they have about Madeleine’s disappearance.  

In November, a leaked memo revealed that Portuguese investigators were ‘shocked’ by the lack of concrete evidence after being briefed on the case against Brueckner.

Before that, there was confusion about whether German authorities had specific evidence that Madeleine was dead, as they initially implied they did.       

In the UK, the case remains a missing persons inquiry, because there’s no ‘definitive evidence whether Madeleine is alive or dead’.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk