McCann's anxious wait for appeal response

The parents of Madeleine McCann hope today will bring a significant response to the release of an image of how the little girl may look now if still alive.

Private detectives and telephone hotline staff are this morning primed to receive fresh leads from the age progression picture, which was unveiled yesterday by US chat show host Oprah Winfrey.



Gerry and Kate McCann employed a forensic imaging artist to produce a photographic impression of how the missing youngster would have aged in the two years since she vanished from the family's holiday apartment in Portugal.



It features on posters being distributed globally and the couple believe it could prove "crucial" in finding out what happened to her.



In a statement issued last night ahead of Sunday, the second anniversary of their daughter's apparent abduction, the McCanns said: "It is two long years since Madeleine was taken. It is two years since we were a happy family of five.



"The pain and anxiety does not lessen, but our determination to find our beautiful daughter remains steadfast.



"We are no longer looking for a four-year-old little girl - but a six-year-old one. This is crucial.



"We are hoping that the new, age-progressed image of Madeleine aged six, produced by the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children in Washington, will help people to see what Madeleine may look like today."



The Madeleine of those now familiar family photos was just three-years-old when she went missing in Praia da Luz on May 3 2007.



If still alive - and the McCanns believe there is a "very real likelihood" she is - she would now be five, nearly six, years old.



Unveiled ahead of an interview to be broadcast next week with Oprah Winfrey, the image depicts the child at six years of age.



With Madeleine's birthday falling in less than two weeks' time, the McCanns were keen that the picture's presentation does not quickly become out-of-date.



The expert used photographs of Mr and Mrs McCann at around the same age to produce the age progression image.



The striking picture shows a smiling Madeleine, wearing a pink head-band in her fair, shoulder-length hair.



The couple, from Rothley in Leicestershire, believe it is the most realistic depiction possible of how she might look today, said their spokesman, Clarence Mitchell.



It is published on the posters alongside an old photograph of Madeleine, for comparison, under the headings Have You Seen This Little Girl? and Don't Give Up On Me.



The distinctive mark in her right eye is evident in both pictures - but the age difference is compelling.



The posters urge anyone who has seen Madeleine to contact their local police force immediately or alternatively, call +44 (0)845 838 4699 or visit www.findmadeleine.com .



All information will be dealt with confidentially and can be given anonymously.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Area Sales Manager - Midlands

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer - 3-4 Month Fixed Contract - £30-£35k pro rata

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a 3-4 month pro rata fi...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £26,000+

£16000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Telesales Executive is requir...

Recruitment Genius: Area Sales Manager

£25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join ...

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map