Kate McCann believes missing daughter Madeleine 'is not a million miles from Algarve'

'I've always said Praia da Luz is the place where I feel closest to her'

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The Independent Online

Kate McCann has said she believes her daughter's kidnapper did not take her "a million miles" from the Algarve.

Madeleine McCann was three-years-old when she disappeared from the family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in Portugal in May 2007 while her parents ate at a nearby restaurant.

Mrs McCann, from Rothley in Leicestershire, said that, nearly nine years on, she and her husband Gerry would "never give up" hope of finding their daughter.

Madeleine McCann Getty

The 47-year-old, who is an ambassador for the charity Missing People, said her research into similar cases has led her to believe abducted children are not usually taken far from the scene.

She told the Sun: "That's where she last was and I don't think she's been taken a million miles from there. I've always said Praia da Luz is the place where I feel closest to her."

"The urge to look for Madeleine absolutely hasn't changed at all. You hear all the time about people who have been missing for years being found. There have been so many cases like that.

"We will never give up. You couldn't settle if you thought about giving up. I want an end, an answer. Whatever that it is."

Mrs McCann added Child Rescue Alerts, early warning messages she helped to launch, could have "mobilised" people at the time of Madeleine's disappearance.

Since 2011, the Met have been assisting in the search for clues as to what happened to the youngster with officers visiting the holiday resort in 2014.

The British investigation into Madeleine's disappearance has since been scaled down from 29 officers to four. Scotland Yard have insisted the probe will still continue, but with a smaller team.

The couple had previously praised the "meticulous and painstaking work" of detectives, and have again offered thanks to the police.

Costs of the ensuing investigations have reached £10 million and after a Home Office review of the case started four years ago. A further £2 million is budgeted for the year ahead.

In a heart-felt Christmas message last year Mr and Mrs McCann said: "It is our ninth Christmas without Madeleine. As always, she is very much on our mind and in our hearts and Christmas preparations.

"We have not lost hope that we may get to celebrate another Christmas with her.

"If anything can drive us on, that most definitely will."

Additional reporting by Press Association