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10 Years Later, Parents of Missing British Girl Hopeful

  • Associated Press

Kate and Gerry McCann, whose daughter Madeleine disappeared from a holiday flat in Portugal 10 years ago, talk during a BBC TV interview in Loughborough, England, April 28, 2017.

The parents of Madeleine McCann, the 3-year-old British girl who vanished during a family vacation to Portugal in 2007, say they are still hopeful they will one day be reunited with their daughter as they mark the 10th anniversary of her disappearance.

In an interview with the British media released Sunday, the McCanns said they felt encouraged by progress British police have made in the case in the past five years.

Scotland Yard said last week that, a decade later, detectives are pursuing critical leads to trace Madeleine, who disappeared from a vacation home in Portugal’s Algarve region on the night of May 3, 2007. Her parents had gone out to a tapas bar nearby after putting her and her twin siblings to bed.

FILE - Kate and Gerry McCann pose with a missing poster, an age progression computer generated image of their daughter Madeleine at 9 years old, as they mark their daughter Madeleine's birthday and the fifth anniversary of her disappearance in London, May 2, 2012.
FILE - Kate and Gerry McCann pose with a missing poster, an age progression computer generated image of their daughter Madeleine at 9 years old, as they mark their daughter Madeleine's birthday and the fifth anniversary of her disappearance in London, May 2, 2012.

Abduction a mystery

Despite an investigation costing more than 11 million pounds ($14 million) 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, 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 is 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.”

His wife, Kate, agreed.

“My hope for Madeleine being out there is no less than it was almost 10 years ago,” she said. “I never thought we’d still be in this situation, so far along the line. It’s a huge amount of time ... it’s a hard marker of time.”

Interest around the globe

The case has sparked global interest partly because of the McCanns’ campaign to publicize 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.

FILE- Former detective Goncalo Amaral poses with his book, July 24, 2008, whose title translates as "The Truth in the Lies," during its launch in Lisbon. Amaral says in the book he is convinced that Madeleine McCann died in the vacation apartment from where she went missing.
FILE- Former detective Goncalo Amaral poses with his book, July 24, 2008, whose title translates as "The Truth in the Lies," during its launch in Lisbon. Amaral says in the book he is convinced that Madeleine McCann died in the vacation apartment from where she went missing.



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,” Gerry McCann said. “At some point you’ve got to realize that time is not frozen.”

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

“I obviously have to think about what age she is and something that, whenever we find her, will still be appropriate. So there’s a lot of thought that goes into it,” she said. “But I couldn’t not, you know. She’s still our daughter, she’ll always be our daughter.”

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