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falling in less than two weeks' time, the McCanns were keen that the picture's presentation does not quickly become out-of-date.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
Sport
sportSo, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Arts and Entertainment
Dennis speaks to his French teacher
tvThe Boy in the Dress, TV review
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia was one of the 300 US cinemas screening
filmTim Walker settles down to watch the controversial gross-out satire
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Life and Style
Mark's crab tarts are just the right size
food + drinkMark Hix cooks up some snacks that pack a punch
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
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

Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant- NY- Investment Bank

Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...

Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

Day In a Page

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect