Madeleine McCann’s parents send poignant message for her 20th birthday

‘We love you and we’re waiting for you’ write parents, 16 years after disappearance

William Mata
Friday 12 May 2023 10:13 BST
Madeleine McCann: A timeline of key dates and developments

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Louise Thomas

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Madeleine McCann’s parents shared a tender message to their lost child on her 20th birthday on Friday.

The youngster was just three when she vanished from the family’s holiday home in  Praia da Luz, Portugal, on May 3, 2007. She has been presumed dead by some authorities but her family has not given up hope she might still be alive.

On the Facebook page Find Madeleine Campaign, they wrote: “Happy birthday Madeleine! We love you and we’re waiting for you. We’re never going to give up.”

The Leicestershire couple have continued to campaign despite more than 15 years passing and they shared the message alongside a picture of Madeleine.

“Madeleine McCann is 20 years old today,” a caption added.

“She’s still missing, still missed and we are never going to give up trying to find her.”

Nobody has been brought to justice over the event. Christian Brueckner, a German convict, has been considered a suspect as he was staying near Praia da Luz around the same time but has denied any involvement. He was identified in 2020.

Leicestershire-based Mr and Mrs McCann went out with friends for a meal on the night Madeleine disappeared - and the group was nicknamed the Tapas Seven by tabloids. They dined only 54 metres away from where Madeleine was sleeping. Their younger twin daughters were also in the apartment but did not leave.

Madeleine McCann
Madeleine McCann (PA Media)

The Metropolitan Police took over the investigation, Operation Grange, in 2011 but they were unable to make any significant steps forward.

Dr Fiona Payne, one of the Tapas Seven, spoke at a candle-lit vigil to mark the 16th anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance earlier in May. She read out the poem ‘Hope is the thing with feathers’ by Emily Dickinson. The McCanns were present, according to The Mirror, and hugged Dr Payne but did not speak.

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