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On 7 June, Spanish police received a phone call from a man claiming to know the whereabouts of Madeleine, using a mobile phone registered in Argentina. The call was described as "credible".

In June, Spanish investigative journalist Antonio Toscano claimed that the four-year-old was abducted by a French sex offender, as part of a Europe-wide paedophile network. Then, on 28 June, Toscano claimed that Madeleine was alive and well in Europe but Madeleine's parents refused to meet with him. Determined to leave no stone unturned, police also examined hundreds of reports from psychics and clairvoyants claiming to know the location of Madeleine. The police said that they decided to check them all in case they might contain a message from the kidnapper.

The investigation was thrown into confusion on 10 June when the detective coordinating the hunt, Gonçalo Amaral, head of the regional Polícia Judiciária, and four other Portuguese police officers, were charged with alleged offences relating to the inquiry into the disappearance of Joana Cipriano, from a village seven miles (11 km) from where Madeleine disappeared.



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PostSubject: news of may 2007   Wed Jul 07, 2010 5:03 pm



Three year-old feared abducted in Portugal


TELEGRAPH: FRIDAY 04 MAY 2007

By staff and agencies

Last Updated: 12:01am BST 04/05/2007



By staff and agencies
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 04/05/2007


A three-year-old British girl has gone missing while on a family holiday in Portugal, the Foreign Office said today.



Portuguese police are investigating the disappearance from a holiday complex in Praia da Luz in the western Algarve.



A Foreign Office spokesman said that he understood the girl's parents had gone to have dinner once their children were asleep last night, but returned to check on them only to find the girl had gone missing





"They reported it straight away," he said, adding that consular assistance was being offered

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PostSubject: Re: news of may 2007   Fri Jul 09, 2010 7:06 pm

British girl, 3, 'abducted' from resort in Algarve

From Times Online May 4, 2007

Sam Knight and agencies


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Madeleine McCann, bottom right, with her parents and twin siblings

Police are searching for a 3-year-old British girl who went missing on a family holiday in Portugal last night and may have been abducted.

Madeleine McCann disappeared from her family's hotel room at the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz, in the Algarve, while her parents were eating tapas just 50 metres away.
According to friends and relatives, her mother, Kate McCann, came back to check on her threechildren and found Madeleine's 18-month-old brother and sister asleep in cots on either side of her empty bed. The window had been forced open and the door left ajar.

"They were all sound asleep, windows shut, shutters shut," said Trish Cameron, Madeleine's aunt. "Kate went back at 10pm to check, the front door was lying open, the window had been tampered with, the shutters had been jammied open, and Madeleine was missing."

"It looks as if somebody has come in the window, that's either been watching or they've targeted her."

The McCanns, from Rothley, Leicestershire, are on holiday with eight other couples and their young children. Madeleine, described by Ms Cameron, as an "absolutely gorgeous, wee girl", is almost four and due to start school in September.

"Everybody has been praying all night," Ms Cameron told BBC News 24. "Everybody's just... We can't believe this has happened."

John Hill, the manager at the British-run Mark Warner resort, said Madeleine's parents and twin siblings were distraught and that sniffer dogs had been brought in to comb the resort, while border police in Portugal and Spain had been alerted to her disappearance.

He denied reports that the windows to the apartment had been forced open, while another spokesman said a set of French windows had been left unlocked.

"It was a very emotional and very frantic night and everyone did a fantastic job of getting involved and trying to search the area," said Mr Hill, who added that residents of the Portuguese village joined hotel guests and staff to trawl along the beach and local roads, looking for signs of the girl.

"As you can imagine, Madeleine's parents are distraught and not doing very well at all."

Mr Hill said there was no physical evidence as yet that the girl had been abducted and that the staff at the Ocean Club, a holiday resort of villa-style rooms, boutiques and restaurants, were still hoping to find her nearby.




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"It's still questionable as to whether it's an abduction," he said. "We are hoping that Madeleine is found as soon as possible and safe and well. Everybody here is just wishing that she is found as soon as possible."

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said that the alarm had been raised immediately by the girl's parents and that the British Consul in Portimao, Bill Henderson, had gone to the resort to offer what support he could.

A spokesman for Mark Warner, which has run the Ocean Club for two years, said that a drop-in creche was available to look after children while parents ate their dinner between 7 and 11.30pm at the resort but that Mrs McCann and her husband, Gerry, chose not to use it. Instead they ate very close to their room and went back to check on their children every half an hour.

The spokesman said that the holiday company was willing to fly out members of the McCann family to help with the search.

"Our priority is to find the girl and to make sure that the parents are OK and there are masses of people working on that," he said. "Our staff are looking after them at the moment in whatever way they can but we can only imagine how awful it is for them. We are all hoping that she is asleep under a bush somewhere and we will find her soon."

The spokesman said that apartment the family were staying in was surrounded by other villas, all of which have "quite sophisticated" locks on the doors. Guests are being asked if they saw anyone acting suspiciously in the area, he said, adding that Mark Warner, which has a reputation for running family-friendly holidays, has never had cases of missing or abducted children before.

"We are hoping it's not that, though," he said. "It's the last thing we want but we have to investigate all avenues."

Neighbours in Leicestershire, where Mr McCann works as a cardiologist and his wife is also believed to be a doctor, described the family as "delightful".

"We are absolutely devastated. They are a really nice family and good neighbours," said Penny Noble. "They are delightful. We see them take their bikes up and down and going for walks. Madeleine is a very happy-go-lucky little girl."

Tracey Horsfield, a nurse, said: "They seem a really lovely family, protective of their children. I see them going up and down the crescent. They are a protective family who idolise their kids. I am hoping and praying that she has not been abducted and that she has wandered off. They would not let her out of their sight."





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PostSubject: Re: news of may 2007   Fri Jul 09, 2010 7:10 pm

Parents checked sleeping child every half-hour
but still she was abducted

From The Times May 5, 2007
David Brown in the Algarve and Rajeev Syal






A desperate search for a three-year-old British girl continued last night after she disappeared from an upmarket beach resort in Portugal while her parents dined near by.

Despite their half-hourly checks on her as she slept, Madeleine McCann went missing from her parents? rented holiday apartment in the Algarve on Thursday night as they ate tapas only 50 yards away.

Relatives claimed that she had been abducted from the Ocean Club resort, run by the holiday company Mark Warner, in the seaside village of Praia da Luz.

Her parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, both 38-year-old doctors from Rothley, Leicestershire, were being comforted last night by friends and consular officials.

Madeleine, known as Maddy, vanished after being left to sleep between her brother and sister, two-year-old twins.

Mr McCann and his wife, who was clutching Madeleine's pink teddy bear to her chest, made a public appeal last night for the return of their daughter.

Mr McCann said: ?Words cannot describe the anguish and concern we are feeling at the loss of our daughter Madeleine. We now request that if you have any information about Madeleine's disappearance, no matter how trivial, contact the Portuguese police so we can have her back. Please, if you have Madeleine, let her come back to mummy, daddy and her brother and sister.?

The family have moved to another apartment 150 yards from the one from where their daughter is said to have been taken.

The McCanns went to Portugal last Saturday with a group of eight couples, friends said. Mr McCann, a cardiologist, and his wife, a GP, went out for a meal at a tapas bar within the complex at 8.30pm on Thursday, leaving Madeleine sleeping between Sean and Amelie, the twins. The couple checked on their children every half an hour and ensured that the doors were locked, it was said.

The resort offered a creche service but the McCanns chose to leave the children sleeping at the apartment, taking turns to check on them. Between their checks at 9.30pm and 10pm, the apartment was broken into through a window and Madeleine was taken, according to her aunt. Trish Cameron, Mr McCann's sister, from Dum-barton, near Glasgow, said it appeared that someone had been spying on Madeleine and had targeted her for abduction.

?The front door was open, the window had been tampered with, the shutters had been jemmied open and Madeleine was missing,? she said. ?Nothing had been touched in the apartment, no valuables taken, no passports. They think someone must have come in the window and gone out the door with her.?

Police were called at 10.20pm as Madeleine's parents became increasingly anxious. Soon, fellow guests were notified. About 60 staff and holidaymakers searched until 4.30am, while police notified border police, Spanish police and airports.

Three police vans and three police cars were at the scene as officers searched the family's apartment. Others searched the beach 200 yards away.

Specialists fingerprinted the windowsill of the apartment. Sniffer dogs were brought in by Portuguese detectives and unconfirmed reports indicated that Madeleine's scent had been picked up.

The resort caters for 1,000 holidaymakers and is set in lush subtropical gardens. It is made up of self-catering villas and apartment blocks and has several bars and restaurants.

John Hill, the manager at Ocean Club, said that reports that the flat had been broken into had yet to be confirmed.

But Jill Renwick, a family friend, told GMTV that the McCanns were certain that Madeleine had been abducted.

?They were just watching the hotel room and going back every half-hour and the shutters had been broken open and they had gone into the room and taken Madeleine,? she said. ?They went out about 8, went back in at 9, they were fine, went back in at 10 and she was gone.?

Ms Renwick said that it was the McCanns? first holiday of this sort. ?They are very, very anxious parents and very careful, and they chose Mark Warner because it is a family-friendly resort.?

A spokesman for Mark Warner, which has run the resort for two years, said that looking after the McCanns was their priority. ?If necessary, the company will fly other family members out to the Ocean Club. We are all hoping that she is asleep under a bush somewhere and we will find her soon,? he said.

Guests are being asked if they saw anyone acting suspiciously in the area, he said, adding that Mark Warner had never had cases of missing or abducted children before.

He said that Mark Warner offered a baby-sitting service. ?Those facilities were available but, for whatever reason, they were not being used,? he said. Another spokeswoman for Mark Warner said that in the Algarve, unlike most of their resorts, the company did not supply a ?room listening? service, where nannies regularly listen at the door of sleeping children.

John Stephen Buck, the British Ambassador to Portugal, travelled to the Algarve yesterday, as did Craig Mayhew, Mark Warner UK operations director, and a counsellor. The McCanns remain at the police station in Portim?, helping police to piece together what has happened.

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman said that the Serious Organised Crime Agency was liaising with British and Portuguese police. He added that two officials from the British Consulate in Portim? were with the family.




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PostSubject: Re: news of may 2007   Sat Jul 10, 2010 11:52 am

Sun offers 10k poster reward


SUN: SATURDAY 05 MAY 2007

By JAMES CLENCH

Published: 05 May 2007





THE Sun handed out hundreds of posters offering a £10,000 reward for information leading to little Maddie McCann being found.

We printed them in both English and Portuguese within minutes of news breaking about her disappearance.

The posters were flown to Portugal where our reporters began handing them to tourists and locals at Lisbon airport.

They were also ready to flood the Praia da Luz resort area and target local TV and radio.

Senior cop Antonia Gamos said: “All of Portugal is worried about this girl.”

The Foreign Office urged anyone with information to speak out.

If you live in Portugal you can download a copy of the poster, by clicking here, to play your part in the search for Madeleine.

OUR reward is for anyone supplying information directly leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible. It will be paid at the discretion of the Editor.


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PostSubject: Re: news of may 2007   Sat Jul 10, 2010 11:56 am


We have evidence indicating a kidnap - Police chief in Portugal yesterday Sunday Mail

By Lynn Mcpherson in Praia da Luz
May 6 2007

Detectives hunting little Maddie say she was snatched from her bed

FEARS that a British girl missing in Portugal had been abducted escalated yesterday as police said they had evidence and a suspect.

Madeleine McCann, three, disappeared from her apartment on the Algarve on Thursday night, while her parents ate at a restaurant 150 yards away.

Her Scots dad Gerry and mum Kate had locked sleeping Maddie and twins Amelie and Sean in their bedroom.

Last night Faro police chief Guilhermino Encarnacao said: "We have evidence which indicates a kidnap."

He said they had a suspect and believed Maddie was alive and within three miles of the resort in Praia da Luz.

She had been on holiday at the Mark Warner's Ocean Club with her doctor parents Gerry and Kate and their two-year-old twins.

Encarnacao said police had "a profile" for a suspect but declined to give details "to safeguard the child's life".

He denied police had been slow to respond to the suspected abduction - getting to the scene within 10 minutes of the alarm being raised.

Around 150 agents are investigating in Portugal and they are in contact with British police, Europol and Interpol.

Police had received 30,000 telephone calls after Maddie was reported missing.

Maddie's mum and dad - who met in Glasgow - made an emotional appeal late on Friday night at the luxury resort 120 miles south of Lisbon.

The couple, who live in Leicestershire, urged anyone with information to contact police as intensive searches around the resort continued.

Gerry, 38, said: "Please, if you have Madeleine, let her come home to her mummy, daddy, brother and sister.

"We cannot describe the anguish and despair we are feeling as parents of our beautiful daughter Madeleine.

"We request that anyone with any information relating to Madeleine's disappearance, no matter how trivial, contact the Portuguese police and help us get her back safely."

Relatives of the McCanns travelled from Glasgow to Manchester early yesterday to fly to the Algarve and offer support to Maddie's parents.

She went missing as they dined while taking turns to check on their children.

The Ocean Club resort has a creche service but the couple had left the kids sleeping in their apartment.

Heart surgeon Gerry checked on them about 9pm. When his wife looked in about half an hour later, Maddie was gone.

She found the bedroom's outside shutter had been opened - fuelling fears someone had taken the girl.

The McCanns, who are on holiday with a number of other families, were joined by tourists, hotel staff and police as they searched in vain through the night. Sniffer dogs are said to have lost Maddie's scent at a supermarket 400 yards away.

Posters in English and Portuguese were put up around the resort and pictures of Maddie have been been distributed. Ports and airports were on alert.

The family's original holiday apartment was being treated as a crime scene and police were running forensic tests.

Yesterday, Gerry returned to the apartment alone. He left carrying a suitcase and a bucket and spade. After leaving the twins in the care of relatives, the shattered couple walked through the complex hand in hand.

They later had a meeting with British ambassador John Buck and three family liaison officers from Leicestershire police.

Earlier Madeleine's great aunt Nora defended the couple's decision to have a meal while their children were in the apartment.

She pointed out that it was clearly visible from the tapas restaurant where they dined. She said: "They are doctors. They are intelligent people."

Maddie's aunt Phil McCann told yesterday how she has already bought her niece a birthday present.

Maddie will be four on Saturday.

Phil, 43, from Ullapool, revealed she was "elated" that police believe Maddie is still alive.

She said: "She's a normal wee lassie, full of life. She's fascinated by pink like most wee girls. She's a real Barbie girl.

She's got a wee pink bike with pink ribbons. We were due to go and visit them this week until this happened.

"I bought her a Scooby Doo scooter for her birthday."

The last time Phil saw her was when 46 friends and family holidayed in Ireland at Easter.

She said: "She's just learned to swim from taking lessons and in Donegal, she had her water wings off for the first time. "She is a confident wee girl who is wary of strangers."





---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Britons join search for lost toddler



TIMES: SUNDAY 6 MAY 2007

From The Sunday Times May 6, 2007
John Follain, Praia da Luz and Jon Ungoed-Thomas

Police profile abduction suspect as hunt for
missing toddler widens



She should have returned home safely this weekend. Instead, on the boulevards and whitewashed apartments of the Algarve yesterday, pictures of Madeleine McCann?s three-year-old face were fluttering in the warm coastal breeze.

Along with her parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, who are both doctors, and her close-knit extended family, it seemed that everyone in the resort of Praia da Luz was keeping a vigil for her safe return. They were praying that she would be home to blow out the candles on her birthday cake next Saturday.

?Everyone knows what it?s like when a child goes missing for a short while and you worry like mad,? said Brian Kennedy, Kate McCann?s uncle. ?As the days go by it gets harder because you start by hoping for the best and then begin to start fearing the worst.

?Friends are planning a party for her birthday on Saturday and baking her a cake on the Dr Who theme because it?s one of her favourite programmes. I?ve told them to continue with those plans. We?ve got to remain optimistic.?




Guilhermino Encarnacao,

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Guilhermino Encarnacao, head of the judicial police in Faro, said that Madeleine had been abducted from the Ocean Club complex on Thursday evening. She is believed to have been taken as she slept alongside twins Sean and Amelie, her two-year-old brother and sister, in their apartment in the Mark Warner complex. Her parents had been dining with friends at a tapas bar nearby, checking on the children every half hour.

An image of a suspect was being drawn up by police. Encarnacao believed the three-year-old was still alive. Searches were going on including at two campsites a few miles away.

In a televised statement broadcast across Portugal yesterday, Gerry McCann, a hospital cardiologist from Leicestershire, appealed for the safe return of his daughter.

?Words cannot describe the anguish and despair that we are feeling,? he said. ?Please, if you have Madeleine, let her come home to her mummy, daddy, brother and sister.?

McCann and his wife, both 39, yesterday walked hand in hand through the apartment complex. They had lunch with the twins at the same tapas bar as the evening before. McCann returned alone to the apartment, emerging with a suitcase and a bucket and spade for the twins.

A friend at the resort, who did not wish to be named, said: ?It?s a nightmare. Every time the parents see Madeleine?s face on television they fall apart. We all do. We haven?t slept for 24 hours. Please God they find her. The longer it goes on, the worse it is. All we can do is pray.?

Police were conducting checks at airports and more than 150 officers were searching the area. Hundreds of tourists, British ex-pats and local Portuguese were also helping with the search.

Madeleine?s relatives and crime experts now suspect that she was targeted by someone who had been watching the family during their holiday. Roy Ramm, a former Scotland Yard commander, said: ?This is somebody who has planned this abduction quite carefully. He has probably looked and observed this child during the day.?

McCann, a consultant at Leicester?s Glenfield hospital, and his wife, a part-time GP, were on a week-long holiday with three other couples and five other children when Madeleine was abducted shortly before 10pm on Thursday.

The children could have been left in a free cr?he in the complex. A babysitting service was also available for between ?12 (?Cool and ?15 an hour.

But the McCanns were eating only about 150ft from their apartment. It is thought they felt they were close enough to watch over their children.

Hotel sources said the apartment?s french doors ? which faced the restaurant where the McCanns were eating ? were unlocked by the couple. Their line of view was, however, obscured by bougainvillea and palm trees.

At 9.30pm Gerry McCann checked his children and they were sound asleep, with Madeleine lying with her comfort blanket. Thirty minutes later his wife returned and found Madeleine gone and the shutter of the rear window open.

Trish Cameron, McCann?s sister, said: ?Kate came screaming back to the group crying, ?They?ve taken her, they?ve taken her?. Gerry was crying and roaring like a bull.?

John Hill, the Ocean Club manager, said the alarm was raised by the family between 10pm and 10.15pm: ?The staff, many guests and the best part of the village started looking right away, a total of 40 to 65 people. The police were called and started taking details from the family and then took the decision to escalate the search.?

Silvia Batisa, head of administration at the complex, helped to comfort the family and interpret their interviews with the police: ?The parents were devastated, in a panic. They wanted more police and dogs immediately. Kate said all the time, ?Please find my daughter? and ?Madeleine is beautiful?.?

She recalled that the twins were still asleep in their two cots and there was the small, bright pink wool blanket that Madeleine likes to hold when she sleeps. ?We walked out quickly so as not to wake up the twins. The parents immediately said, ?She?s been kidnapped?,? said Batisa.

Paul Moyes, 58, from Middlewich, Cheshire, was among those who helped to look for the missing child: ?At 11.30pm there was a knock on the door and there was a distressed gentleman saying that a child had been abducted and could we help with the search. Everybody got involved.?

It is not known how the abductor entered the flat. Staff believe it was likely that entry would have been through the french doors because the shutters would have been damaged if they had been prised open.

From the outset, the McCanns were convinced their daughter had been abducted. There have been complaints from relatives that the police were slow to respond to the situation.

Speaking from her home in Glasgow, Philomena McCann, Madeleine?s aunt, said: ?The local policeman was doing very little. The area was not cordoned off for hours and hours. Kate and Gerry [were] frustrated at the lack of activity. [The police] tried to downplay the enormity of it and said Madeleine had perhaps wandered off. That is the most ridiculous suggestion.?

Nigel Ragg, head of marketing at Mark Warner Holidays, defended the police operation. ?It was felt by our staff that the police reacted quickly. The search was escalated throughout the evening,? he said.

The McCanns, who are both Roman Catholics, met as medical students at Glasgow University and were married nine years ago. They spent a period working in Holland and moved to their home in Rothley, Leicestershire, about two years ago.

Father Keith Tomlinson, the priest who baptised the twins a year ago at the Sacred Heart church in Rothley, the family?s church, said: ?They are a lovely family. This is a terrible time and our hearts here are with them. We will be praying for them.

?They came here most weeks and brought Madeleine. She is a nice bouncy happy little girl. They are friendly and open and obviously love one another and you sense that this is a husband and wife who are united in love and who adore their children.?

Julio Barroros, the local mayor, said: ?We all hope that Maddy will come home for her family and that England can breathe when she appears.?

Additional reporting: Will Iredale

Child watch

British law does not set out the minimum age when parents can leave children alone, but it does stipulate that it is an offence if doing so might put them at risk, writes Jonathan Leake.

Experts are divided on just what this means in practice. The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children believes that babies and toddlers should never be left alone, whether asleep or awake, even for a few minutes.

Madeleine McCann, the three-year-old apparently snatched from her bed, was in an apartment in a Portuguese holiday complex while her parents dined and checked on her at least every half hour.

?It doesn?t take long for unsupervised young children or babies to injure themselves,? said Chris Cloke, head of child protection awareness at the charity. ?Put simply, it is too risky to leave them alone at all at such a young age.?

Other experts take a more flexible view. ?It?s the context that is important,? said Professor Carolyn Hamilton, who runs the Children?s Legal Centre, a charity concerned with law and policy. ?This couple had . . . clearly made a responsible assessment of the risks and decided that they were minimal. They could not have predicted the possibility of abduction.?

Accidents are the biggest cause of death for children over the age of one. In 2005 about 250 children aged under 15 died in Britain and more than 2m were taken to hospital, with about half of accidents happening in the home.

However, many accidents happen while children are under supervision and are caused by, for instance, lack of stair gates.

Ben Needham, who vanished on the Greek island of Kos in 1991 aged 21 months, was being supervised by his grandparents who lost sight of him for only a few minutes. He has never been found.




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PostSubject: Re: news of may 2007   Sat Jul 10, 2010 12:05 pm

It's Maddy's birthday on Saturday and
we're still making her a Dr Who cake


MAIL: SUNDAY 6 MAY 2007

Last updated at 10:36am on 6th May 2007

Just as she did last year, a family friend is making a special birthday cake for Madeleine.
Only this year she is hoping the little girl, who turns four on Saturday, will be home to taste it.

Madeleine's great-uncle, Brian Kennedy, said the cake has a Dr Who theme because the toddler is such a big fan.

'Last year the friend made Madeleine a cake with a Wallace And Gromit theme,' he said. 'This year she's making a Dr Who one and we have told her to carry on making it.'



It typifies the response of Madeleine's family, who remain in Britain: they are striving to remain positive and strong, yet they live with pain and uncertainty.

They will the phone to ring with good news, yet at the same time they fear it ringing - because it might just be heartbreak on the end of the line.

As Mr Kennedy, a retired headmaster, said yesterday: 'We fear the worst but we are hoping for the best.'

Mr Kennedy said prayers were being said in the family's home village of Rothley, Leicestershire, and he and his wife, Janet, attended a prayer meeting last night at the village church, close to the McCanns' home.




Mr Kennedy, who lives just a few roads away from Madeleine's parents, added: 'It is a very difficult time. You lose a child for a few minutes and you worry about them.

'They are highly responsible parents who are absolutely devoted to their family. I can only imagine what they are like at the moment.'

He added: 'Madeleine is a lovely girl, an intelligent, bright child. We are the only close relatives the family have in the area and we see them most weeks. You won't find more caring parents.'

Last night more relatives flew out to Portugal to help the search, as most of the rest of the family gathered at Mr McCann's mother's home in Glasgow.

Mr McCann's sister-in-law Diane, 39, said: 'Gerry is trying to keep things together. All three children are their pride and joy but Madeleine was the first. They'd spent five years trying for a child through IVF treatment before Madeleine appeared.

'It's the sort of situation no parent would ever want to find themselves in and we just hope and pray Madeleine will be found.'
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PostSubject: Re: news of may 2007   Sat Jul 10, 2010 12:09 pm

FIND PRIME SUSPECT

PEOPLE: SUNDAY 06 MAY 2007

Rachael Bletchly In Praia Da Luz, Portugal 6 May 2007


Maddie is alive but in sicko hands - but police refuse to hand out his picture
KIDNAPPED toddler Maddie McCann was believed to be ALIVE last night - but in the clutches of a child sex pervert.

Portuguese detectives revealed they were hunting a prime suspect and have an identikit image him.

But they only added to tension between the three-year-old "little princess's" family and police by REFUSING to issue the image of the suspect or give more details.


As Maddie's anguished parents - heart consultant Gerry McCann and GP Kate, both 38 - tried to carry on with their Algarve holiday for the sake of their other two toddlers, senior investigator Guihermino Encarnaca said: "There is a prime suspect and there is a portrait sketch of the suspect.



"I am not going to reveal it or give more information at this stage because it may put the girl's life in danger.



"But I do believe she is still alive."



Mr Encarnaca who is investigating 30 "strong" leads, added: "As for the reason she was taken - in Portugal kidnap is not just for money but can be for sexual abuse."



But relatives of the distraught parents from the upmarket village of Rothley, Leics, insisted that police had bungled the first few critical hours of the investigation at the luxury Mark Warner Ocean Summer Club resort in Praia da Luz.



As hundreds of officers, local Portuguese, British holidaymakers and even expatriate Brits who drove from other parts of the Algarve joined a desperate search of surrounding countryside, Gerry's sister Philomena McCann said: "The police were doing very little after Maddie vanished.



"Gerry and Kate were left on their own and Mark Warner staff had to organise the searches. The police did nothing for hours and hours."



And when Maddie's godmother and great-aunt, Nora Healy, was asked what she thought about the police response she raised her eyebrows and said: "Well, it upped a gear when the British ambassador arrived."



The relatives who had flown to the Algarve to comfort the distressed parents also hit out at suggestions that Gerry and Kate had not been looking after their children properly.



Blonde blue-eyed Maddie, four next Saturday, was snatched from their holiday apartment on Thursday evening as she slept with her brother and sister, two-year-old twins Sean and Amelie.



The McCanns, who had been enjoying a £1,600 week-long break with nine other doctor friends, were dining at a tapas bar 40 yards from their apartment and were checking the children every half hour.



Great-aunt Nora said: "Please don't say they weren't watching them. They could see the apartment from where they were and they were checking them.



"These are doctors, these are intelligent people."



And retired headmaster Brian Kennedy - the uncle of Maddie's mumwho lives in the same village - said: "The children were left only in the sense that when you put your children to bed you don't stay in the room all night. They are highly responsible parents who are devoted to their family."



All three children were conceived after Kate had IVF treatment.



Gerry's sister Philomena added: "They love Maddie so much. She is the centre of their universe. Maddie is such an integral part of the family and a loving big sister to the twins. She is their Pied Piper.



"She is their little princess and the focus of everything for the whole family."



Mr Kennedy and his wife Janet attended a prayer meeting for Maddie last night at Rothley parish church. He added: "We fear the worst but we are hoping for the best."



British Ambassador John Buck has been with the family throughout their ordeal. Yesterday three family liaison officers from Leicestershire Police flew in to help the parents deal with the Portuguese authorities.



Gerry and a relative were allowed back in the apartment briefly to collect a suitcase of clothes and the children's bucket and spade as the massive search for Maddie continued.



Manchester manDave Shelton, 38, who has lived in Praia da Luz for 16 years running an air conditioning company, has been co-ordinating the hunt.



He said: "I came here first on Friday morning, I speak a little Portuguese and was helping police knock on the doors of all the apartments. Then people just started coming out of the woodwork saying 'Lookwe've heard, what can we do to help?'"



Using a map provided by the local mayor and aided by extra maps downloaded from the internet, around 800 people have so far taken part searching an area from the resort to the next village of Quatro Estradas around three miles away. Meanwhile Senor Encarnaca, head of the local Policia Judiciari - the Portuguese CID - denied his officers had been slow to respond.



He said local uniform cops - the Guardia Nacional Republicana or GNR - had been on the scene within five minutes of a call at 10.40pm and that his officers were there before midnight coordinating searches.



He insisted he was happy with the parents' account of the tragic events and they were not suspects.



But GNR Captain Marco Henriques said Maddie's parents could face prosecution for leaving a child once the investigation was completed.



Local mayor Julio Barosso said: "We will do all we can to help find this little girl.



"We are hoping Madeleine will come back to her parents and that England can breathe again.



"I hope from the bottom of my heart that this story does not have a bad ending."



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PostSubject: Re: news of may 2007   Sat Jul 10, 2010 12:12 pm

Parents' anguish for Maddie

SUN: SUNDAY 06 MAY 2007

By ONLINE REPORTER

Published: 06 May 2007


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THE mother of missing three-year-old Madeleine McCann wept for her daughter today at an emotional Mother’s Day service.
Kate McCann and husband Gerry were joined by family from the UK at a Portuguese mass in the resort of Praia da Luz, three days after the youngster disappeared.

Their visit to the church fell on Mother’s Day which is marked in Portugal with flowers which are laid at the feet of the Virgin Mary during the service.

In an emotional mass, Madeleine’s mother was quietly presented with a bunch of five roses by 14-year-old Altar girl Emily Seromenho, whose own mother is English.

At the end of the service, Mrs McCann then lined up with Portuguese mothers and walked to the Altar laying her flowers at the foot of the Virgin Mary.

Pausing momentarily and gazing up at the statue Mrs McCann rejoined her family and prayed silently for Madeleine’s safe return.

Portuguese police believe the missing three-year-old British girl was abducted.

Guilhermino Encarnacao, director of the judicial police in the Faro region, said police were hopeful she was still alive and believe she is still in Portugal, possibly even in the Algarve.

He added that detectives have a suspect in mind but refused to reveal any details other than to say that they had an artist’s impression, for fear of endangering Madeleine’s life.

It is not clear whether this means that police are looking for a specific, named individual, or simply someone fitting a description.

Speaking 24 hours after discovering three-year-old Maddie had vanished from their holiday apartment, distraught dad Gerry said: “Words cannot describe the anguish and despair we are feeling as the parents of a beautiful daughter.”

As wife Kate poignantly clutched Maddie’s pink teddy, he added haltingly: “We request anyone with any information relating to Madeleine’s disappearance should please contact Portuguese police to help us get her back to safety.

“Please if you have Madeleine, please let her come home to her mummy, daddy, brother and sister. Everyone can understand how distressing this current situation is.”

The couple, both 38-year-old doctors, looked red-eyed as they stood just yards from their holiday flat. Earlier, shattered relatives and friends told of the heart-stopping moment mum Kate discovered her precious daughter was missing.

Kate and Gerry, a consultant cardiologist, had left Maddie asleep with their baby twins as they ate at a tapas restaurant 50 yards from their holiday apartment in Portugal’s Algarve.

The pair took turns to check on the children every half hour. But when Kate returned to the room at 10pm on Thursday there was no sign of her angel-faced girl.

As a desperate police hunt continued in the resort of Praia da Luz last night, Maddie’s aunt Trish Cameron told how distraught Gerry described the scene in a frantic late-night phone call.

Trish, of Dumbarton, Scotland, said: “The kids were all sound asleep, windows shut, shutters shut.

“Kate went back at 10pm to check. The front door was lying open, the window had been tampered with, the shutters had been jemmied open and Maddie was missing.

“She came screaming back to the group crying, ?They’ve taken her, they’ve taken her’. Gerry was crying and roaring like a bull.

“Obviously someone has been watching them, watching the children, seeing where they stayed and seeing they were left alone. It just doesn’t bear thinking about.”

Maddie’s brother and sister ? two-year-old IVF twins Sean and Amelie ? were left safely in their cots.


Trish, who plans to jet out to help with the search, went on: “Kate ran and told my brother. He was distraught on the phone to me, breaking his heart.

“He said, ?Maddie’s been abducted, she’s been abducted’. Nothing else was touched in the apartment, no valuables taken, no passports.” Describing Maddie, Trish added: “She’s an absolutely beautiful wee blonde girl, with blue-green eyes.

“One distinguishing feature is that the pupil of her right eye runs down into the iris.”

Cops yesterday cordoned off the apartment and officers with sniffer dogs were leading the search.

The Sun has offered a £10,000 reward for information that may lead to the youngster being found.

If you live in Portugal you can download a copy of the poster, by clicking here, to play your part in the search for Madeleine.

Maddie ? also an IVF baby ? was reportedly wearing pink, short-sleeved pyjamas with a cartoon Eeyore on the top.

Last night local reports claimed dogs tracked her scent to a supermarket before the trail ran cold. The store’s CCTV cameras were so basic they did not make recordings.

Meanwhile British tourist George Burke claimed he had seen a couple carrying a young child early yesterday morning. Mr Burke, from Liverpool, was driving back from Lagos, just a few miles from Praia de Luz. He said: “I couldn’t see them clearly as it was dark and windy ? but I thought it was odd. They scurried down a side road.”

Kate and Gerry, from Rothley, Leics, are believed to have been on holiday with a group of other medical workers. The party comprised nine adults and eight children. It is understood Maddie, who turns four next Saturday, is due to start school in September.



Distraught Kate rang long-time friends Jon and Michelle Corner, the twins’ godparents, at their Merseyside home to break the news.

Jon, whose wife grew up with GP Kate in their home city of Liverpool, said: “She phoned at about 3am. She just blurted out that Maddie had been abducted.

“She said, ?They’ve broken the shutter on the window and taken my little girl’. She’s still devastated. She’s very upset that the police don’t seem to be doing anything.”

The McCanns were staying at the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz, western Algarve ? a popular spot with Brits. They booked the break with holiday firm Mark Warner.

The complex consists of individual villa-style accommodation mixed with small bars, restaurants, cafés, boutiques and shops.

Resort boss John Hill said 70 staff and guests searched until 4.30am after the family raised the alarm, while border police, Spanish cops and airports were notified. He said: “It was a very emotional and frantic night.”

But he insisted there was NO physical evidence Maddie had been abducted from the apartment. He said: “We are still hoping Madeleine is asleep under a bush and we’ll find her soon.”

He said the family’s apartment was surrounded by others ? all with “sophisticated” door locks.

Guests were quizzed to check if they saw anyone acting suspiciously. Mr Hill said Mark Warner offers families a babysitting service where they can leave children for the night.

He added: “Those facilities were available but were not being used.”

Counsellors were being flown out from Britain to assist the stricken parents, he added.

John Buck, the British Ambassador in Portugal, drove in from the capital Lisbon to be with the family after they begged him for help.

He confirmed that three family liaison officers from Leicestershire Police had now arrived and were with the family.




Among those who joined Thursday night’s search for the tot were British expats, holidaymakers and off-duty police officers.

Paul Moyes, 47, from Cheshire, owns a holiday apartment with wife Susan in the McCanns’ block.

He said: “There was a knock on our door at about 11.30pm from a hotel guest telling us a girl was missing and asking us to help.”

Family pal Gill Renwick revealed how panicking Kate sent her a text saying: “I need help.”

She said: “Kate was at the police station in hysterics. When we spoke she said the police weren’t doing enough.”

Speaking about the £1,500 family holiday, pal Gill went on: “It’s the first time they have done this.

“They are very careful parents. They chose Mark Warner because it is a family-friendly resort.”

Trish Cameron added: “In hindsight, yes, Gerry and Kate wish they hadn’t left the children alone, but it’s hard when you’re on holiday. They’re excellent parents and very protective of their children.”

Maddie’s worried grandparents have flown to Portugal to join the search. Brian and Susan Healy said as they headed for the airport: “We’re worried sick.”

The couple had earlier been comforted by friends at their smart semi in Mossley Hill, Liverpool.

Family friend Pat Perkins, 61, said: “Susan can barely speak. We’re just trying to stay positive.

“Kate and Gerry are such good parents. It’s a very loving family, they didn’t leave their children in any danger. You just don’t expect something so awful to happen.

“I recommended Portugal as a holiday destination. They love children over there.”


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PostSubject: Re: news of may 2007   Sat Jul 10, 2010 12:33 pm

Formby vigil for missing Maddie

LIVERPOOL CONFIDENTIAL: WEDNESDAY 09 MAY 2007

Dated: 9/5/2007


Show of support organised by friends in family home town




Huyton-born Kate McCann is a private lady. A fairly ordinary working mother who cannot believe she is at the centre of world attention. But, for the awful reasons documented elsewhere, that's where she and her young family are sadly placed at the moment.

And while the glare of the media on personal lives is frequently an unwelcome one, the McCann family are nevertheless keen to have that beacon trained on them for as long as possible. Why? They must keep their missing daughter's face at the top of the news.



And so we were contacted today by Mark McQueen, a close friend, with his wife, Linda, of Maddie McCann's parents, Kate and Gerry.

Mark, headmaster at Ursuline Primary School in Blundellsands, and godparent to Maddie's younger twin brother Sean, is organising a vigil and service tomorrow night (Thursday 10th) at Our Lady of Compassion in Formby. Liverpool Catholic Archbishop Patrick Kelly will be attending and Mark asks that we tell people it is happening.


“Kate and Gerry took great comfort from a vigil back in the village where they live, Rothley (in Leicestershire) the other night,” says Mark. “Kate's Uncle Jack and Aunty Val live in Formby and the family are frequent visitors with their three children, so we felt that it was an appropriate place for people to come and think about Maddie and to pray for her.



We are not fools,” he added. “It is an impossible job, but we must try to improve Kate and Gerry's spirits as much as is possible and we hope that they will take some consolation from this service.”


Mark said that as far as the family were aware – Kate's mother and father live in


Mossley Hill - there were no new developments in locating the three-year-old who was abducted last week from a hotel bedroom in Portugal.


“We are sharing her parents agony,” he said. “We know Maddie very well. She is an adorable, glorious and funny three-year-old.”


Mark added that all denominations or non-religious people were welcome to come to the service, to be conducted by Father Paul Seddon, who married the McCanns and baptised Madeleine, at 7.30pm.


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PostSubject: Re: news of may 2007   Sat Jul 10, 2010 12:47 pm

Footballers Plead For Return Of Madeleine


WEDNESDAY 09 MAY 2007

1:23pm UK, Wednesday May 09, 2007


Football stars Cristiano Ronaldo and John Terry have made appeals for the return of missing British toddler Madeleine McCann.


Maddie has been missing since Thursday



Cristiano Ronaldo





Manchester United and Portugal star Ronaldo said anyone with information about the three-year-old's disappearance should come forward.
Visit Sky News Online's special section for all the latest on the search for Maddie.

"I was very upset to hear of the abduction of Madeleine McCann," he told MUTV, the TV channel of Manchester United.

"I appeal to anyone with information to come forward.

"Please come forward."

Chelsea captain Terry, flanked by his Portuguese team-mate Paulo Ferreira, said Madeleine's family were going through a terrifying ordeal.

"We were devastated to hear that young Maddie was abducted," he said.

"Our thoughts and feelings go out to her parents, her family and we are urging anyone out there with any information at all, please, please, please come forward.

"It's terrifying thing for her family to go through. She's only young so please, please, please come forward."

Portuguese police say they have interviewed more 100 people, 500 apartments have been searched and 350 pieces of information are being looked at.

But a press conference descended into chaos as the man leading the inquiry accused the media of hampering the investigation.

Chief inspector Oligeario Sousa rounded on reporters as they asked for more information.

Portuguese law prevents police from releasing information about the case while they search for a suspect.

Mr Sousa said earlier reports that a man had been spotted with a child matching Madeleine's description in Nelas, in the north of the country, were false.

Local detectives have been criticised over the handling of the case since the three-year-old went missing from a holiday complex in Portugal last Thursday.

A senior child protection expert earliertold Sky News that British police must be drafted in urgently to help investigate the abduction.

Two child abduction experts have arrived in Portugal from the UK to help in the inquiry, Sky News crime correspondent Martin Brunt said.

British detectives are reported to be probing British paedophiles with links to the Algarve.

Former detective Mark Williams-Thomas, now a leading child protection expert, said the British police are among the world leaders in this kind of inquiry.

"The British police have gained a real insight and expertise into this kind of crime. They would handle it differently, " he said.

"Any inquiry should focus on three elements: access, opportunity and motive. It's about establishing how rather than why.

"A house-to-house search is the first thing to do, then a media appeal asking for information and sightings, giving a description and timeline."

Away from the centre of the resort, half-built or derelict buildings lie dotted around scrubland where sniffer dog teams have concentrated their searches.

"The fact that teams are now searching these areas for a second time suggests the police either have direct intelligence or it's to deflect criticism should anything turn up at a later stage."

Anyone with information can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. If you are calling from Portugal call +44 800555 111.

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PostSubject: Re: news of may 2007   Sat Jul 10, 2010 1:26 pm

Madeleine's parents 'had left her alone before
during their holiday'

THIS IS LONDON: TUESDAY 09 MAY 2007

Last updated at 16:52pm on 09.05.07



The night that Madeleine McCann was abducted was not the first time that her parents had left her alone while on holiday, according to reports in Portugal.

The newspaper Correio da Manha says that the McCanns had left their children alone before during their holiday in the Algarve - a routine that, while normal at Praia da Luz, may have made it easy for her kidnapper to plan the abduction.

"Police have reconstructed the holiday routines of the McCanns and have come to the conclusion that the children were left alone on other occasions," the newspaper says.

It reported that throughout the week the McCanns and their friends made a habit of suppers by the pool while the children - Madeleine, her twin siblings, and three other children - slept alone in the apartments. The night she was abducted, Madeleine's parents had been checking on her roughly every half hour.



Kate McCann takes daughter Amelie to a creche this morning, while the search for Maddy continues


Statements to police from employees at the resort said that neither the McCanns nor other parents had demonstrated any worry about leaving the children alone. Employees also said this was normal behaviour at Praia da Luz.

The nightly routine, if observed by the kidnapper, would have made it easy to plan the kidnapping.

Last night two "Cracker-style" criminal behaviour experts from Britain flew into the Algarve to join investigators.

An appeal for help in the search has also gone out over the world wide web, with the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre issuing a statement in English, Portuguese, and Spanish. An e-poster with Madeleine's photo, reportedly created by her aunt Philomena McCann, is also circulating on the Internet.

A senior detective with experience of child abduction cases and a behavioural expert on paedophiles flew out after Portuguese authorities accepted an offer of help.

Portuguese detectives have no clear description of the suspect they are hunting over the disappearance of three-year-old Madeleine McCann.

The desperate state of the investigation was underlined today as it emerged that the e-fit had no facial features and lacked details of any sort.

Today one man who has been shown the portrait ridiculed its quality, describing it as "nothing more than an egg with a side parting".

Simon Russell, 40, revealed that officers even admitted the e-fit was useless.






Maddy: Missing for six days


The experts were called in as police in the UK privately declared astonishment at the "hopeless" Portuguese handling of the case.

The British ambassador to Portugal has defended the police search for Madeleine, who went missing from an Algarve holiday resort six days ago.

John Buck said he had been assured by the Portuguese authorities that "everything possible" was being done to ensure the girl's safe return.

His comments came after police said they had stepped up their efforts.

After visiting Madeleine's distraught parents Gerry and Kate, John Buck emerged to say that the couple appreciated the Portuguese efforts and said specialists from the two countries were working well together.

Mr Buck said: "This is, and must remain, a Portuguese police investigation.

"As you know, the Portuguese police operate under Portuguese law, and Portuguese law puts constraints on what they can say publicly and the information they can release."

He added: "I, and I know Kate and Gerry, with whom I've just been speaking for the past hour, are very grateful for their efforts."





Fireman search a shed in an abandoned farmhouse in the continuing search for Madeleine McCann




He also revealed he had been in touch with Portuguese cabinet ministers and the office of the Prime Minister.

Mr Buck, who has visited the couple repeatedly throughout their ordeal, said after his latest visit: "I wanted to assure myself personally that the necessary links between British and Portuguese experts here on the ground were working well, and they are."

It is six days since Madeleine, from Rothley in Leicestershire, was snatched as she slept in the family's Mark Warner holiday apartment in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz.


Kate and Gerry McCann plead for information on missing Madeleine after a Mother's Day service on Sunday


Meanwhile, Mr and Mrs McCann have been left "in the dark", about the investigation, said a family friend. Jill Renwick said: "They know as much as any of us know."

In the family's home village of Rothley, near Leicester, Madeleine's great-uncle
Brian Kennedy said: "The family are holding up with difficulty. They are very frustrated with the lack of information."

Leicestershire Police has sent three liaison officers to help the McCanns, both 38, but it is understood that they too have been "banging their heads against brick walls" with their Portuguese counterparts.

They have not expressed their frustrations publicly for reasons of diplomacy, but a source said: "They have been putting questions on behalf of the family but getting zero response."

The family released a new statement on Wednesday afternoon, saying: "We are grateful to everyone searching for Madeleine. We are channeling our efforts into the search for her and continue to remain positive."

The family did not single out the police for their efforts.




The e-poster, reportedly created by Madeleine's aunt, circulating on the Internet today

Police in the UK have supplied detectives in the Algarve with a list of known child abusers who have moved to the region or are known to travel there.

Detectives in Leicestershire are also gathering statements from holidaymakers who were at the Mark Warner resort in Praia da Luz around the time Madeleine vanished and have now returned home.

Despite the McCanns' frustration, Portuguese police have repeatedly hidden behind a law which they say prevents them revealing any details and keeping even the family, let alone the media, fully informed of any developments.

In fact, though the Penal Process Code does silence them while an investigation is ongoing, there is a provision for the rule to be broken if the public is in danger, or if media reports need to be corrected.

Portuguese legal experts say there are grounds for using either or both exceptions to allow police fully to involve the press and public in the search.

Last night Portuguese police defended their operation, giving out details of their searches and revealing that 350 people have now called with suspicious sightings.

For the first time in five days, Chief Inspector Oligeario Sousa offered some concrete information, disclosing that 500 apartments had been searched, as well as ten miles of fields and rivers. He said 100 foreign nationals had been interviewed.


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PostSubject: Re: news of may 2007   Sat Jul 10, 2010 1:36 pm

The search for Madeleine:
a week of hope and heartbreak

MAIL: THURSDAY 10 MAY 2007

Last updated at 14:13 10 May 2007



Within hours of Madeleine McCann going missing, her grinning face was peering out from television broadcasts across the country.

Her family and friends quickly knocked down suggestions by resort staff that the little girl could have wandered off, saying from the outset that she was snatched from her bed during an idyllic holiday in the Algarve village of Praia Da Luz.

Known by friends to be protective parents who idolised their children, 38-year-old doctors Gerry and Kate McCann, from Rothley, Leicestershire, had been eating at the Ocean Club's tapas restaurant on Thursday night just yards away

Everton football club have added their voices to the appeal for Madeleine's safe return as the search for her hits its seventh day



Madeleine's parents make their desperate televised appeal for her return, Kate McCann clutching Madeleine's toy 'Cuddle Cat', which has appeared with her in almost every picture

They were checking on Madeleine and their two-year-old twins Sean and Amelie, every half hour.

At around 10pm, Kate McCann emerged screaming from the room having found the shutters pulled up and the window and door open, beginning what would be every parent's nightmare.

Staff and guests joined in the search, and the local police - the National Republican Guard - arrived within 10 minutes, launching a sniffer dog search and notifying border police, Spanish police and airports.

The Judicial Police - the Portuguese CID equivalent - arrived in force the next morning, sparking criticism from British talking heads in interviews that the "golden hour" opportunity to find Madeleine had been missed.

As the media descended on the seaside resort, questions about their handling of the case grew as it became apparent that they would not divulge any details about possible suspects or lines of inquiry.

In the UK, police would use the child rescue alert, established after the murder of Sarah Payne, asking television and radio to broadcast a description of the child, what they were last wearing and any details of a suspect or their vehicle.

In Portugal, the integrity of the investigation is tantamount and public appeals are considered to give criminals clues as to the direction police are taking.

As a result, it was Madeleine's parents who issued the first photographs and footage of their daughter, and they who made the first public appeal for information.

Later, they would be the ones to detail the clothes their daughter was wearing when she vanished: white pyjama bottoms with a small floral design and a short-sleeved pink top with a picture of Eeyore on it.

In one photograph released, taken while on holiday, Madeline wears a pink hat and grins up at the camera, clutching tennis balls to her chest. In another, she is cradled by her mother as she blows out birthday candles on a homemade cake. In another black and white shot, she sits surrounded by her mother, father, brother and sister: the picture of a perfect happy family.



searches for her



Facing the cameras on Friday night, Madeleine's father and consultant cardiologist Gerry McCann, his voice cracking with emotion, issued a personal appeal to anyone holding his daughter captive to release her.

He said: "We can't describe the anguish and despair we are feeling as parents of our beautiful daughter Madeleine.

"Please, if you have Madeleine, let her come home to her mummy, daddy, brother and sister."

By this time police had begun dusting window shutters for finger prints and had sealed off the apartment, but again their methods drew criticism from British experts.

Sniffer dogs are thought to have followed Madeleine's scent to a supermarket 50 yards away but the trail went cold and the store's CCTV cameras showed no sign of the girl.

Using a map provided by the local mayor and aided by extra maps downloaded from the internet, around 800 people took part searching an area from the resort to the next village of Quatro Estradas around three miles away.

The search was extended to six miles, and television footage showed groups scouring the beach and the hillsides and derelict buildings around the village.

One of the search coordinators, local resident Dave Shelton, defended the police, saying: "The police were great. You have to remember that the population of Portugal is about the same as London. They have shipped them down from Lisbon, from everywhere."

The next morning, detectives broke their silence to confirm what everyone had dreaded but come to expect: that Madeleine had been abducted.

They also brought some hope however, saying they believed she was still alive and not far from Praia Da Luz.

Guilhermino Encarnacao, director of the Judicial Police in the Faro region, said calls had flooded in from all over Portugal with possible sightings, and made clear police were considering the possibility that she was abducted for sexual abuse.



Again, there was frustration that no details of a rumoured suspect were released, nor was a sketch of a suspect put together by experts - later said by people shown it to be featureless and look "like an egg with hair".

Speaking this morning on BBC Breakfast, Portuguese Ambassador to Britain Anton Santana Carlos acknowledged the release of e-fits could help trap a suspect, but added of the Portuguese police laws: "It's not a mirror wall that can be changed from one day to the other, this principle is enshrined in our constitution so we cannot change it easily."

As the search continued, tormenting reports of sightings filtered out.

Local expatriates spotted a young girl was spotted walking along a road in the nearby town with two people; a balding man was seen dragging a girl towards a marina in the nearby town of Lagos; another man was seen driving away from a central Portuguese village at speed; a tourist reported how, two weeks earlier, she saw a man trying to steal a pushchair at the resort itself.

With each, the watching world held its breath, only for another red herring to be confirmed.

Gerry McCann and his wife Kate, clutching Madeleine's pink cuddly toy kitten, emerged to make another statement. While careful to thank police for their efforts, they said they were glad to have Leicester Police family liaison officers helping them find out more, even though there was little more to know.

Mrs McCann made her first direct appeal to her daughter's captor, standing on the steps of a local church where she attended a Portuguese Mother's Day ceremony.

"Please continue to pray for Madeleine," she said, whispering afterwards: "She's lovely."

Later she appealed directly to whoever is holding her daughter. "Please, please, do not hurt her. Please do not scare her, please let us know where to find Madeleine or put her in place of safety and tell somebody where. We beg you to let Madeleine come home."

She added in Portuguese: "Por favor, devolva a nossa menina."

Police sources claimed detectives were now looking for a British, rather than Portuguese abductor, pointing to a working description detectives are using suggested someone of English appearance.

Local media suggested British authorities had provided details of British paedophiles with links to the Algarve.

Meanwhile police showed their frustration with the constant questions in another press conference in which they admitted they no longer knew if the Madeleine was alive or not.

Responding to another question, Chief Inspector Olegario Sousa said: "We are searching for the child until the moment she appears. We can say nothing more because we are not magicians."

By the end of the weekend, Interpol and Europol were involved and British offers of help were accepted. Two Cracker-style British criminal behavioural experts from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop) - which tackles international child sex abuse - began work today.

Police, perhaps relenting to intense media interest, revealed they had received hundreds of calls from both Portuguese people and foreigners, interviewed more than 100 people, followed up 350 separate suspicious incidents, inspected 500 apartments in the holiday area and scoured fields across a nine-mile area.

Crimestoppers has set up a special number for information about Madeleine, which will be relayed to the Portuguese police by the Leicestershire force, and Ceop together with the Virtual Global Taskforce (VGT) launched a web appeal




Footballers Cristiano Ronaldo, John Terry and Paulo Ferreira added their voices to calls for Madeleine to be freed. Prime Minister Tony Blair's official spokesman confirmed he too was waiting anxiously for news.

An email address set up yesterday afternoon for the family by Ocean Club owners, holiday firm Mark Warner, received 400 messages by mid-morning today from 20 countries, including Zambia, the United States and Bahrain.

And Gerry and Kate McCann wait and pray, maintaining a brave face for their children and hoping their daughter will be found before she turns four on Saturday.

Their ordeal with either end with joy or the unthinkable - and clues as to which it will be prove frustratingly elusive.

• Messages for the McCanns can be sent to [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

• The Crimestoppers number for those calling from Portugal is 0044 1883 731 336 or information can be passed direct to the Portuguese police on 00 351 282 405 400.

• The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre and Virtual Global Taskforce appeal is at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] and [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


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PostSubject: Re: news of may 2007   Sat Jul 10, 2010 1:39 pm

The search for Madeleine:
a week of hope and heartbreak

MAIL: THURSDAY 10 MAY 2007

Last updated at 14:13 10 May 2007



Within hours of Madeleine McCann going missing, her grinning face was peering out from television broadcasts across the country.

Her family and friends quickly knocked down suggestions by resort staff that the little girl could have wandered off, saying from the outset that she was snatched from her bed during an idyllic holiday in the Algarve village of Praia Da Luz.

Known by friends to be protective parents who idolised their children, 38-year-old doctors Gerry and Kate McCann, from Rothley, Leicestershire, had been eating at the Ocean Club's tapas restaurant on Thursday night just yards away

Everton football club have added their voices to the appeal for Madeleine's safe return as the search for her hits its seventh day



Madeleine's parents make their desperate televised appeal for her return, Kate McCann clutching Madeleine's toy 'Cuddle Cat', which has appeared with her in almost every picture

They were checking on Madeleine and their two-year-old twins Sean and Amelie, every half hour.

At around 10pm, Kate McCann emerged screaming from the room having found the shutters pulled up and the window and door open, beginning what would be every parent's nightmare.

Staff and guests joined in the search, and the local police - the National Republican Guard - arrived within 10 minutes, launching a sniffer dog search and notifying border police, Spanish police and airports.

The Judicial Police - the Portuguese CID equivalent - arrived in force the next morning, sparking criticism from British talking heads in interviews that the "golden hour" opportunity to find Madeleine had been missed.

As the media descended on the seaside resort, questions about their handling of the case grew as it became apparent that they would not divulge any details about possible suspects or lines of inquiry.

In the UK, police would use the child rescue alert, established after the murder of Sarah Payne, asking television and radio to broadcast a description of the child, what they were last wearing and any details of a suspect or their vehicle.

In Portugal, the integrity of the investigation is tantamount and public appeals are considered to give criminals clues as to the direction police are taking.

As a result, it was Madeleine's parents who issued the first photographs and footage of their daughter, and they who made the first public appeal for information.

Later, they would be the ones to detail the clothes their daughter was wearing when she vanished: white pyjama bottoms with a small floral design and a short-sleeved pink top with a picture of Eeyore on it.

In one photograph released, taken while on holiday, Madeline wears a pink hat and grins up at the camera, clutching tennis balls to her chest. In another, she is cradled by her mother as she blows out birthday candles on a homemade cake. In another black and white shot, she sits surrounded by her mother, father, brother and sister: the picture of a perfect happy family.



searches for her



Facing the cameras on Friday night, Madeleine's father and consultant cardiologist Gerry McCann, his voice cracking with emotion, issued a personal appeal to anyone holding his daughter captive to release her.

He said: "We can't describe the anguish and despair we are feeling as parents of our beautiful daughter Madeleine.

"Please, if you have Madeleine, let her come home to her mummy, daddy, brother and sister."

By this time police had begun dusting window shutters for finger prints and had sealed off the apartment, but again their methods drew criticism from British experts.

Sniffer dogs are thought to have followed Madeleine's scent to a supermarket 50 yards away but the trail went cold and the store's CCTV cameras showed no sign of the girl.

Using a map provided by the local mayor and aided by extra maps downloaded from the internet, around 800 people took part searching an area from the resort to the next village of Quatro Estradas around three miles away.

The search was extended to six miles, and television footage showed groups scouring the beach and the hillsides and derelict buildings around the village.

One of the search coordinators, local resident Dave Shelton, defended the police, saying: "The police were great. You have to remember that the population of Portugal is about the same as London. They have shipped them down from Lisbon, from everywhere."

The next morning, detectives broke their silence to confirm what everyone had dreaded but come to expect: that Madeleine had been abducted.

They also brought some hope however, saying they believed she was still alive and not far from Praia Da Luz.

Guilhermino Encarnacao, director of the Judicial Police in the Faro region, said calls had flooded in from all over Portugal with possible sightings, and made clear police were considering the possibility that she was abducted for sexual abuse.



Again, there was frustration that no details of a rumoured suspect were released, nor was a sketch of a suspect put together by experts - later said by people shown it to be featureless and look "like an egg with hair".

Speaking this morning on BBC Breakfast, Portuguese Ambassador to Britain Anton Santana Carlos acknowledged the release of e-fits could help trap a suspect, but added of the Portuguese police laws: "It's not a mirror wall that can be changed from one day to the other, this principle is enshrined in our constitution so we cannot change it easily."

As the search continued, tormenting reports of sightings filtered out.

Local expatriates spotted a young girl was spotted walking along a road in the nearby town with two people; a balding man was seen dragging a girl towards a marina in the nearby town of Lagos; another man was seen driving away from a central Portuguese village at speed; a tourist reported how, two weeks earlier, she saw a man trying to steal a pushchair at the resort itself.

With each, the watching world held its breath, only for another red herring to be confirmed.

Gerry McCann and his wife Kate, clutching Madeleine's pink cuddly toy kitten, emerged to make another statement. While careful to thank police for their efforts, they said they were glad to have Leicester Police family liaison officers helping them find out more, even though there was little more to know.

Mrs McCann made her first direct appeal to her daughter's captor, standing on the steps of a local church where she attended a Portuguese Mother's Day ceremony.

"Please continue to pray for Madeleine," she said, whispering afterwards: "She's lovely."

Later she appealed directly to whoever is holding her daughter. "Please, please, do not hurt her. Please do not scare her, please let us know where to find Madeleine or put her in place of safety and tell somebody where. We beg you to let Madeleine come home."

She added in Portuguese: "Por favor, devolva a nossa menina."

Police sources claimed detectives were now looking for a British, rather than Portuguese abductor, pointing to a working description detectives are using suggested someone of English appearance.

Local media suggested British authorities had provided details of British paedophiles with links to the Algarve.

Meanwhile police showed their frustration with the constant questions in another press conference in which they admitted they no longer knew if the Madeleine was alive or not.

Responding to another question, Chief Inspector Olegario Sousa said: "We are searching for the child until the moment she appears. We can say nothing more because we are not magicians."

By the end of the weekend, Interpol and Europol were involved and British offers of help were accepted. Two Cracker-style British criminal behavioural experts from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop) - which tackles international child sex abuse - began work today.

Police, perhaps relenting to intense media interest, revealed they had received hundreds of calls from both Portuguese people and foreigners, interviewed more than 100 people, followed up 350 separate suspicious incidents, inspected 500 apartments in the holiday area and scoured fields across a nine-mile area.

Crimestoppers has set up a special number for information about Madeleine, which will be relayed to the Portuguese police by the Leicestershire force, and Ceop together with the Virtual Global Taskforce (VGT) launched a web appeal




Footballers Cristiano Ronaldo, John Terry and Paulo Ferreira added their voices to calls for Madeleine to be freed. Prime Minister Tony Blair's official spokesman confirmed he too was waiting anxiously for news.

An email address set up yesterday afternoon for the family by Ocean Club owners, holiday firm Mark Warner, received 400 messages by mid-morning today from 20 countries, including Zambia, the United States and Bahrain.

And Gerry and Kate McCann wait and pray, maintaining a brave face for their children and hoping their daughter will be found before she turns four on Saturday.

Their ordeal with either end with joy or the unthinkable - and clues as to which it will be prove frustratingly elusive.

• Messages for the McCanns can be sent to [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

• The Crimestoppers number for those calling from Portugal is 0044 1883 731 336 or information can be passed direct to the Portuguese police on 00 351 282 405 400.

• The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre and Virtual Global Taskforce appeal is at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] and [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


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PostSubject: Re: news of may 2007   Sat Jul 10, 2010 1:42 pm

Maddy's parents also faced the harrowing task yesterday of scanning CCTV film for a glimpse of
their kidnapped daughter.

DAILY EXPRESS: FRIDAY 11 MAY 2007







Bill Henderson, the British Consul in the Algarve

Footage at a garage in Portugal captured an image of three suspects, including a woman, with a girl who matched Maddys description. The camera also caught the cars British number plate and the registration has been circulated by Interpol and British police.

Kate and Gerry McCann were driven at speed from their holiday apartment to a police station in Portimao to help officers examine the tapes after Mrs McCann again went to the local church to pray for her daughter.

Bill Henderson, the British Consul in the Algarve, was seen leaving the police headquarters while Mr and Mrs McCann were still inside.

Two of the three suspects in the CCTV footage that may show the missing girl have been identified by a man who claimed he caught them photographing his own child two weeks ago.

The witness, Portuguese-born Nuno Lourenco who lives in Germany, said the gang attempted to abduct his own young daughter.

He told detectives that he saw a man of English appearance photographing his daughter, described as strikingly similar in appearance to Maddy, on April 30 in Sagres, a town just a few miles from the holiday complex where the McCann family was staying.

The witness, who with his German wife has two children aged two and four, said he chased the man, who fled, jumping into a car with a woman and another man before speeding off. Mr Lourenco is believed to have provided the authorities with a photograph taken on his mobile phone.

The witness has told officers he was ?100 per cent certain? they were the same people caught on CCTV with the girl matching Maddys description hours after she went missing.


The description of the woman also matches that given by a witness who spotted someone acting suspiciously outside Madeleines bedroom on the night of her disappearance. The CCTV footage from the garage shows a young girl with a blonde, middle-aged woman and two men. The child apparently wanted to say something, which made staff suspicious.
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PostSubject: Re: news of may 2007   Sat Jul 10, 2010 2:21 pm

NUNO'S AND MANUEL'S APPEAL FOR MADELEINE

by Scott McLeod | Monday 11 May 2007, 14:52



Everton players and staff have made an appeal for information regarding the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.
Madeleine has been missing since last week after disappearing whilst on holiday with her family in Portugal. Saturday, May 12 marks her fourth birthday and Everton are urging all supporters who may have been on holiday to the Algarve in the last fortnight to examine their holiday pictures for any possible clue as to Madeleine's whereabouts.

Everton players and Portugal internationals Nuno Valente and Manuel Fernandes have appealed for any information that may help in finding Madeleine.

And they were joined by captain Phil Neville who yesterday issued a statement on behalf of the whole squad.

"Everton has fans all over the world and I know that they, along with everyone connected with the football club, are hoping and praying for Madeleine's safe return. Our thoughts are very much with the family at this extremely distressing time," said Phil on Thursday.

Manager David Moyes added: "Everybody here is desperately wanting to hear good news and my thoughts and prayers are with the family. If anybody out there knows anything, please come forward."

The international number for Crimestoppers is +44 1883 731 336. People with information about Madeleine can call anonymously



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PostSubject: Re: news of may 2007   Sat Jul 10, 2010 2:25 pm

Abductors could have spied on girl for days
TELEGRAPH: SATURDAY 12 MAY 2007

By Richard Edwards and Fiona Govan in Praia da Luz
Last Updated: 2:26am BST 12/05/2007






Police were last night investigating whether Madeleine McCann was watched by her abductors three days before she was snatched.

Detectives have discovered that the McCann family went to the town of Sagres, on the southern tip of the Algarve, on April 30.

A witness has told police that on the same day he saw a suspicious man following families and photographing children, including his daughter, a blonde girl "strikingly similar" to Madeleine.

As the footballer David Beckham last night added to the appeals for help to find Madeleine, missing for eight days, the police investigation intensified.

More than a week into their ordeal, Gerry and Kate McCann are today painfully celebrating Madeleine's fourth birthday in her absence. A church service is planned and locals will tie yellow ribbons to trees as a symbol of hope to bring Madeleine back.

Detectives are working on the theory that the abductors may have seen Madeleine in Sagres and tracked her back to the family apartment in Praia da Luz, 18 miles away.

A witness, Nuno Lorenco, said he saw a man following his family down the beach and taking "discreet" photographs. He said he challenged the man, who fled with

a blonde woman in a Renault Clio.

Police have asked the McCanns for all the photographs from the trip to Sagres, and the rest of their holiday, looking for suspects in the background.

Among other leads being followed are reports that a blonde woman was seen acting suspiciously near Madeleine's apartment hours before she disappeared. Mr and Mrs McCann have been reviewing their evidence with police in the past 48 hours.

Having spent the week issuing their own appeals, it is the first time police have informed them of their progress. Mr McCann spent 10 hours at the police station in Portimao, leaving at 3am yesterday.

In a statement on behalf of the family, he said yesterday: "We have now seen at first hand how hard the police are working in the search for Madeleine and their strong desire to find her.

"We are doing absolutely everything to assist the police with their investigation and we will leave no stone unturned in the search for our daughter, Madeleine."

In the past two days police have been reviewing statements and checking leads.

They are following more than 350 "suspicious sightings". These include three suspects in a car with British number plates, captured on CCTV at a nearby petrol station on the night Madeleine disappeared.

One witness said he saw them with a girl matching her description.

Police have now discovered that two of them had earlier been staying at an apartment in Burgau, the neighbouring resort to Praia da Luz.

They are described as being in their 40s. The woman had long blonde hair while the man was said to be tanned.

Both were claimed to have been "discreetly" wandering around in the area and are believed to have spoken English in a foreign accent.

David Beckham, the Real Madrid footballer, made a television appeal yesterday

asking for information.

He held up a missing person poster of Madeleine as he delivered the appeal. He said: "We need to do everything possible to help police."


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PostSubject: Re: news of may 2007   Sat Jul 10, 2010 2:29 pm

Family hopes the world of the internet can
bring the critical breakthrough

TELEGRAPH: SATURDAY 12 MAY 2007

By Martin Beckford
Last Updated: 2:25am BST 12/05/2007


Relatives and friends of Madeleine McCann are using the internet and email to widen the search for the missing three-year-old.

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They hope that if enough people across the world hear about her disappearance and see her photograph someone will come forward with information that could lead to her being found.




Pat Perkins, from Liverpool, a friend of the McCann family, put out an email appeal with a picture of Madeleine attached on Monday. She sent the message to colleagues in the NHS and asked them to forward it to their friends and contacts. It has now been seen and sent on by thousands of people worldwide


This "viral" email technique is regularly used by marketing companies as a way of getting a message to huge numbers of people quickly and cheaply, as each recipient can forward it to everyone they know as soon as it lands in their inbox.


In a modern, global version of missing posters being put on lampposts it was used to reunite children and their parents after the Boxing Day 2004 tsunami in south-east Asia.


Mrs Perkins said: "It's just an amateur way of trying to help. If all the people across the world are aware of it then maybe they can help."

Madeleine's aunt Philomena McCann has also sent out an email containing a downloadable poster of Madeleine and a message for anyone with information about her to call Crimestoppers.


This too has been forwarded to thousands worldwide, and more than 23,000 people have already clicked on a link to the poster which was set up by a news website. Throughout the search, Madeleine's relatives have been ahead of the authorities in putting out information about her disappearance.

It was her parents who issued the first photographs of her, who made the first public appeal for information and who gave the first details of what she was



wearing. Portuguese police only issued a formal appeal for information on their website on Wednesday, six days after Madeleine went missing.





Last edited by Admin on Sat Jul 10, 2010 2:30 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : to add pic)
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PostSubject: Re: news of may 2007   Sat Jul 10, 2010 2:37 pm

On Madeleine's fourth birthday, the agony goes on.

MAIL: SATURDAY 12 MAY 2007

by FIONA BARTON in Praia da Luz -
Last updated at 12:24pm on 12th May 2007

Kate and Gerry McCann should have been preparing for their eldest daughter's fourth birthday today. The Dr Who cake was ordered weeks ago, and friends and family invited to a party.

Instead, Madeleine McCann's devoted parents were keeping a vigil for their missing child and talking of leaving "no stone unturned" in a race against time to find the little girl who was stolen as she slept nine days ago.

In their home village of Rothley, near Leicester, the party plans have been put on hold and the cake cancelled.

While hundreds of miles away, in the seaside resort of Praia da Luz on the Algarve, Kate and Gerry McCann emerged from their holiday apartment to make their latest appeal.

The transformation of Kate, a pretty 38-year-old mother-of-three, was shocking.

Blank-faced and hiding behind her hair, she appeared almost catatonic as she stood silently beside her husband, clutching, as always, Madeleine's favourite toy, called Cuddle Cat by the little girl.

Everton captain Phil Neville said the club and its fans were all praying for missing Madeleine McCann's safe return

Mrs McCann, a GP, has visibly lost weight since her child was snatched from their holiday apartment and she appeared completely exhausted by the emotional strains of the past days.

Even Cuddle Cat, the toy Madeleine always slept with and used as a comforter, looked dirty and bedraggled.

The couple had had little sleep, having spent hours going over their statements at nearby Portimao police station on Thursday.
Kate left the police station at 10.15pm, after nine hours of questioning and her husband finally returned home at 3am.




While there, it is understood that the parents were shown images of known sex offenders and CCTV footage of two men and a woman who were seen with a blonde girl who looked like Madeleine, at a petrol station close to Praia da Luz.

They were also asked to identify a British couple who were staying at the Mark Warner Ocean Club resort at the time of the kidnap.

Earlier today David Beckham made a televised appeal for the safe return of Madeleine. Dressed in a white shirt and wearing s stern expression, the former England captain held up a photograph of the child as he made his televised plea.

Chelsea footballers John Terry and Paulo Ferreira also made an appeal on behalf of the London club, to find Madeleine.



The investigation has been beset with false rumours and sightings but today, the McCanns insisted they "remained positive" about finding their child alive and praised the widely-criticised Portuguese police for their efforts.

The police have been accused of acting slowly and delaying a proper search.

Police on the border with Spain, just one hour away from the resort, were not notified for 15 hours and checks on vehicles have been disorganised and sporadic.

But Gerry McCann, 38, claimed: "We have now seen at first hand how hard the police are working in the search for Madeleine and their strong desire to find her. We have also seen the resources being put into the investigation."

Poignantly, those resources were drastically cut. The search for Madeleine was halted after police admitted it had yielded "zero results" so far.

There are now just 30 police officers assigned to the investigation from a total of 150 originally tasked with searching the surrounding area.

If the scaling down of the search is a blow to the family, Gerry McCann did not reveal it.

Grief-stricken, the cardiologist said: "We are doing absolutely everything to assist the police with their investigation and we will leave no stone unturned."

Mrs McCann was later asked to return to the Portimao police station yesterday to look at more photographs.

Madeleine's father did not comment on anonymous accusations in a Portuguese newspaper that the couple did not check on their sleeping children every half an hour while they ate at a tapas restaurant as they have claimed, but instead stayed seated at their table all evening.

Such criticism of them is rare in the resort, where locals have helped in the search for Madeleine and taken the family to their hearts.

The McCanns have vowed to remain in Praia da Luz until Madeleine has been found and share a fierce belief that she is still alive.

It is a sentiment echoed by their families and home village.

Madeleine's great uncle Brian Kennedy said a "birthday cake will be made on her return".

The former headteacher added: "We will be thinking about her and keep her birthday celebrations on hold. We didn't feel that having a cake would be entirely appropriate, although I will still be wishing her a very happy birthday.

"Instead we will be holding a few simple events at the churches around the village.

"We are still hoping to have a belated birthday party on her return."

Describing Madeleine as a "thoughtful, intelligent child" who loves her twin brother and sister, Mr Kennedy added: "I think Kate and Gerry will find it an extremely distressing day." Four years ago, Madeleine was born an IVF baby desperately wanted by her parents, and their memories of that day must be of euphoric happiness and relief at her safe arrival.

Today, they can only pray their precious girl will return safely to them again.

Crimestoppers number: 44 1883 731 336





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PostSubject: Re: news of may 2007   Sat Jul 10, 2010 2:46 pm

Message to Madeleine: 'Mummy and Daddy,
Sean and Amelie will see you soon XX

MAIL: SATURDAY 12 MAY 2007

By DANIEL BOFFEY and ROSS SLATER
Last updated at 21:39 12 May 2007


The message from the parents of snatched holiday toddler Madeleine McCann was written on white card and tied to a pink balloon that soared high into a pale blue sky.

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It read simply: "Mummy and Daddy, Sean and Amelie will see you soon."

Simple and unfussy but determined and hope-filled, it echoed sentiments expressed earlier yesterday - Madeleine's fourth birthday - when distraught Kate and Gerry McCann made another appeal for the safe return of their daughter.



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The couple, both 38, said in a statement: "Today is our daughter Madeleine's fourth birthday. We would like to mark today by asking people to redouble their efforts to help find Madeleine.

"We know that there is already a huge amount of effort and resource being put into the search for our daughter.

"We also know that offers of support are being made daily. It is this that keeps us strong and gives us hope. On Madeleine's birthday, please keep looking, please keep praying, please help bring Madeleine home."

The balloon - released by Madeleine's great-uncle Brian Kennedy - was one of 40 that filled the sky around the McCanns' former home in Queniborough, Leicestershire, not far from where they now live in the village of Rothley.

In Portugal, where Madeleine was snatched ten days ago from a Mark Warner resort at Praia da Luz, her parents retreated to a private villa to spend time with their two-year-old twins Sean and Amelie. They had


Family fun: Madeleine enjoying some horseplay with father Gerry and
cousin Fiona

been staying 100 yards from the holiday apartment where their daughter was kidnapped.




They have bought Madeleine a green doll for her birthday - the colour symbolises a hopeful return in Portugal - and still behave as if she is with them, a close friend of GP Kate said yesterday after spending a week with the family.

Fitness instructor Nicola Gill, 38, also revealed how Sean and Amelie blow kisses and hugs when they see their sister's picture on television.

And attempting to keep things as normal as possible for the twins, the McCanns buy an extra ice cream for Madeleine when they go out.

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Mother-of-three Nicola said after returning to Liverpool: "The twins are old enough to sense there is something going on.

"They knew it was Madeleine's birthday today. They often ask where Madeleine is. We keep saying her name and when we buy ice creams we buy one for Madeleine."

Of the couple, she said: "Today was their hardest. They are not coming home unless Maddy is with them."

The McCanns believe Madeleine's distinctive right eye - where her pupil merges into the blue-green iris - will be vital in getting her back.

It can be clearly seen on an appeal poster and Mrs McCann said: "We want to make the most of it, because we know her hair could potentially be cut or dyed."

The couple spent the hours before Maddy's birthday at a late-night vigil in the church of Nossa Senhora Da Luz, joined by more than 300 others.



Sources close to police claim they are on the track of Madeleine's abductors. The McCanns are understood to have viewed CCTV footage of two men and a woman seen with a blonde girl who looked like Madeleine near a petrol station.
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PostSubject: Re: news of may 2007   Sat Jul 10, 2010 3:15 pm

Courageous parents who won respect
for dignity and resolve

TIMES: SATURDAY 12 MAY 2007

Martin Fletcher

Gerry and Kate McCann, who once thought that they might never have children, had perfect lives until the unthinkable happened

Today is Madeleine McCanns fourth birthday, but the party that her parents had organised before leaving for their holiday in Portugal two weeks ago will not be taking place. No children will be playing on the outsize climbing frame that Madeleines father spent three weeks erecting in their spacious Leicestershire garden. He will not be horsing around with delighted youngsters squealing on his back, as is his custom. The Doctor Who cake that Madeleine requested from her great-uncle and aunt has not been made. Cards and presents posted before she was abducted from the Mark Warner resort in Praia da Luz ten days ago remain unopened.

The party should have been another joyful occasion for a family whose happiness, before Madeleines disappearance ten days ago, had seemed complete. Gerry and Kate McCann, both 38, had three lovely children, blossoming careers in medicine, lots of friends and a handsome new house in a pleasant village in the green and comfortable heart of middle England.

?Their lives were perfect,? said Paul Macintyre, a fellow doctor and old friend from Glasgow. ?Life could not have been any better for them until this happened.?

The McCanns will instead remain in their Portuguese hell, conscious that with every passing day their chances of recovering their daughter diminish. It is a terrible plight, especially cruel for a couple who struggled so long to have children, and who have dedicated their professional lives to helping others.
?It always happens to someone else. You cant believe it will ever happen to you,? said Mrs McCanns uncle, Brian Kennedy, a retired headmaster who lives in the same village as his niece and looks exhausted after a week of dealing with the insatiable demands of the British media.

But the McCanns refuse to despair, even after a week of growing suspicion that Madeleine was abducted by an organised paedophile network rather than some desperate individual. The police are now said to be searching for two men and a woman seen driving a car with British numberplates.

Friends and relatives told The Times that the couple were ?absolutely floored? immediately after Madeleine disappeared, but that they had recovered some of their poise. Jill Renwick, a family friend from Glasgow, said that Mrs McCann looked haggard and tearful, but ?she's very strong, she's bearing up?. Mr McCann is concentrating totally on ways of recovering their daughter. The pair have won the admiration of millions of British and Portuguese this past week with their resilience, strength and dignity.

It was the McCanns, not the Portuguese police, who decided to issue a direct appeal to Madeleines abductors, and to release details of what she was wearing. Mr McCann has been lobbying politicians and diplomats and mobilising friends and contacts in Britain. He has been developing ways to keep his daughters case in the public eye through e-mail campaigns, internet posters, celebrity appeals, persuading European retail chains to display Madeleines picture in their stores and even asking medical centres across the Continent to look out for a girl with a slight iris defect. One of the familys great fears is that Madeleines abduction will fade from the headlines, and with it their hopes that somebody will come forward with that vital snippet of information.

His brother, John, who returned from Portugal midweek, said that the Mark Warner group had flown out a counsellor from the Centre for Crisis Psychology in Skipton, Yorkshire, who had advised the McCanns that action was the best way of coping with their loss.

Dr Macintyre said of Madeleines father: ?He's incredibly determined. His attitude is absolutely remarkable. He goes into this mode of being very organised and very efficient and thats the only way he can behave in this situation. He said unless he does everything he can to bring his daughter back he cant live with himself.?

Another friend, who asked not to be named, said that Mrs McCann had needed several rounds of IVF treatment before becoming pregnant with Madeleine. ?She really was a miracle child to them. . . . She is the most precious thing in their lives.?

Determination has always been a hallmark of the McCanns. They are both high-achievers from working-class families, she from Liverpool, he from Glasgow. Mrs McCann studied medicine at the University of Dundee, qualified as an anaesthetist, then retrained as a GP because the work would be easier to combine with motherhood.

Her husband was the youngest of five children of Irish immigrants. His father was a joiner; his mother worked in a biscuit factory. He went on to study medicine at the University of Glasgow, became Scotlands under19 1,500 metres running champion and briefly dabbled in sports medicine. It was through contacts that he made working with Scotlands under21 football team that Cristiano Ronaldo and John Terry were persuaded to issue appeals for Madeleine. Yesterday David Beckham lent his voice to the cause.

The McCanns met when both were junior doctors at Western Infirmary, Glasgow, and when she left to work in New Zealand for a year he followed and won her heart. They married in 1998 and moved to the Midlands in 2000 when he was offered a job as a cardiologist at Glenfield Hospital, Leicester. She went to work at the Latham House Medical Practice in Melton Mowbray under her maiden name, Dr Healey.

Mrs Renwick remembers sitting by the pool with Mrs McCann during a holiday in Majorca six or seven years ago and lamenting their mutual inability to have children. In late 2002, however, Mrs McCann finally became pregnant with Madeleine through IVF, and in 2004 became pregnant again with twins. The McCanns spent that year in Amsterdam, where he was working on new heart-imaging techniques. Back in England the family moved into a large house in an upmarket development in Rothley, a straggling village a few miles north of Leicester where William Wilberforce once plotted his antislavery campaign in the local manor and, much later, Mike Gatting forfeited the England cricket captaincy by taking a barmaid to his hotel room in the same manor house.

Rothley boasts the street with the most expensive properties in the East Midlands, according to a Sunday Times survey, although in reality it is a village of mixed incomes with five pubs, three churches, a primary school and library. There they were building a happy family and professional life. Mr McCann would cycle six miles to work and played golf when he had time. His wife would go to the gym and take the children swimming. She was due to start working two days a week instead of one and a half when she returned from Portugal. They attend Rothleys Roman Catholic church.

It is hard to find anyone with an unkind word to say about the McCanns, with their energy, zest for life and obvious love for each other.



Doug Skehan, clinical director of cardiology at Glenfield hospital, described Mr McCann as ?extremely popular, someone we have a deep affection for?.

Tim Smith, a GP in Melton Mowbray, said that Mrs McCann was ?lovely, warm and engaging ? everyone thinks that?.



Valerie Armstrong, landlady of Rothleys Royal Oak pub, where the McCanns sometimes go for lunch or dinner, said: ?They are lovely, gentle, caring people.? She said that they would let pnly their nanny or relatives babysit the children, and chose the Mark Warner resort precisely because they thought that it was safe.

What incenses the McCanns? friends is the suggestion that they neglected their children on the night that Madeleine was abducted. Mrs Renwick recalled a medical reunion in a Perthshire hotel a few months ago, where Mrs McCann said that her husband should attend the dinner by himself so that the children would not be left alone. Dr Skehan said that Mr McCann was committed to his work but did not stay late because ?he genuinely wants to be part of his childrens lives?. Mrs McCanns uncle, Mr Kennedy, said that the couple were, if anything, overprotective.

The McCanns are so easy to identify with as people, and to feel for as parents. There is scarcely a mother or father in the land who has not briefly left a child alone, or experienced the blind panic of momentarily losing one. As Dr Skehan remarked: ?We all feel, ?There but for the grace of God go I?.?

Relatives say that the McCanns have been sustained in their agony by the support they have received.

A colleague of Mrs McCann offered a reward of ?100,000 even before yesterday announcement of a ?1 million reward by the Scottish businessman Stephen Winyard. There have been prayer meetings in Melton Mowbray, Glenfield Hospital and, last night, Glasgow Cathedral. Several hundred people attended a vigil in Rothley on Tuesday; the villages churches have been open around the clock. On Thursday morning 300 pupils from the primary school encircled the war memorial to pray for Madeleines return.

The memorial has become the emotional focal point for the village. Its railings are festooned with yellow ribbons, pictures of Madeleine, teddy bears and poignant handwritten messages. ?Dear Maddy,? reads one, ?I am thinking about you right now. Anyway, you are nice as roses. Love from Vanessa, Jane, Barby. Age 7. PS I left you some flowers.?


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PostSubject: Re: news of may 2007   Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:40 am

Beckham's Appeal For Madeleine
5:07pm UK, Saturday May 12, 2007
sky news reports




Football star David Beckham has appealed for the safe return of Madeleine McCann.

The former England captain said: "We need to do everything possible to help police.
"If you have seen this little girl please go to the local authorities or the police with any genuine information.

"Please, please help us."

The three-year-old was snatched from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, on the evening of Thursday, May 3.

Beckham, set to leave Real Madrid for a career in America, is the latest figure from the football world to appeal for help.

Manuel Fernandes, an Everton midfielder and Portuguese international, said: "I was very distressed to hear that Madeleine was taken from the Portuguese Algarve.

"This is a very worrying time for all her family and I appealto anyone with any information at all to come forward.

"Please help the McCann family find their daughter."

Club captain Phil Neville, in a statement posted on the club's website, said: "Everton has fans all over the world and I know that they, along with everyone connected with the football club, are hoping and praying for Madeleine's safe return.

"Our thoughts are very much with the family at this extremely distressing time."

As well as Everton, other clubs have taken Madeleine's disappearance to heart.

Celtic - based in Glasgow, where her father Gerry is from - and Aberdeen players wore yellow ribbons during their match on Saturday.

Earlier, Manchester United and Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo appealed for people with information to come forward, adding: "I was very upset to hear of the abduction."

Chelsea captain John Terry, flanked by Portuguese team-mate Paulo Ferreira, said: "We were devastated to hear that young Maddie was abducted.

"It's a terrifying thing for her family to go through. She's only young so please, please, please come forward."











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PostSubject: Re: news of may 2007   Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:49 am

Clubs mark Madeleine's birthday





Relatives of missing Madeleine McCann have joined 60,000 fans at the Scottish Premier League match between Celtic and Aberdeen to mark her fourth birthday.
Players from both clubs wore yellow wristbands during the game at Celtic Park in Glasgow.

Supporters also held up posters of Madeleine, who is believed to have been abducted in Portugal on 3 May.

Members of Madeleine's family, including her aunt Philomena McCann, were at the game.

They will later hold a private family gathering at the Glasgow home of Madeleine's uncle John McCann, before praying for her safe return.





Map of resort where Madeleine went missing
Madeleine, from Rothley, Leicestershire, disappeared from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, in the Algarve. Her father, Gerry, had worked for Celtic before moving to England.

In a statement, Gerry and Kate McCann asked people to "redouble their efforts" to help find their daughter.

Celtic said Saturday's gesture was intended to keep the focus on the search for the missing girl.




In pictures: Glasgow vigil

A Celtic spokesman said: "We were approached to wear the yellow armbands and naturally we were very happy to agree to this. Hopefully, this will keep the focus on the search for Madeleine.

"Clearly, the thoughts of everyone at the club are with Madeleine and her family at this extremely difficult time and, of course, we are pleased to be able to offer any kind of help or comfort that we possibly can."

Celtic club captain Neil Lennon appealed for anyone with information about Madeleine's disappearance to contact police during Friday's weekly press conference.

Hearts players Jose Goncalves and Bruno Aguiar, who are both Portuguese, also issued a joint statement on behalf of their club urging anyone with information to come forward.


It is important that it is highlighted to the family that they are in our thoughts and prayers at this time

Neil Lennon
Celtic captain





Neil Lennon

They said: "We cannot begin to imagine how Madeleine's parents feel at this moment, which is why it is important everyone in Portugal and throughout Europe does everything they can to bring her home."

Hundreds of people attended a prayer service for Madeleine in the St Andrew's Roman Catholic Cathedral in Glasgow on Friday night.

Philomena McCann said Madeleine's parents Gerry and Kate had been "incredibly touched" by the gestures.

She said: "The amount of people who turned out in Glasgow was incredible, fantastic to see.

"Even gifts for Madeleine on her return have been given to the family. These have been wonderful gestures and people don't realise what an impact it has on the family. They have been incredibly touched."

The focus is shifting from being a local search for Madeleine to an international child abduction inquiry.

Reports about leads include CCTV footage from a petrol station on the night of Madeleine's disappearance, which is thought to feature two men and a woman driving a car with a British number plate.

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PostSubject: Re: news of may 2007   Mon Jul 12, 2010 7:26 am


Searching for Madeleine: Madeleine's parents take search across Europe Fox News Channel





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This video is undated but judging by the nature of the news, the presenters words and the McCanns' clothes, it was almost certainly recorded on 01 June 2007, whilst the McCanns were in Madrid.

It contains a very brief interview with the McCanns.

Transcript

By Nigel Moore

Kate McCann: We were in a bigger party; you've probably heard that, you know, quite a lot of children in our party and they were all just having a great time, you know...

Gerry McCann: She... she did so many activities in those six days, errr... they'd been to the beach, they'd been out sailing, they went indoor swimming, there... they had tennis, errr... sh... there was a play area where we went with all the kids every night; all within the resort, I have to say. So, errr... you know, she was everywhere but as soon as she was, errm... reported missing - and Kate and I are absolutely certain, errr... I think as are the police, that this is an abduction - errm... that there was an immediate search, errr... organised by the Mark Warner staff, who are the tour operators, and they responded really, really well, errm... so, you know, I'd... I'd just like to reiterate that this isn't a four-year-old girl, errm... walking off somewhere during the day or in the evening, you know, she was tucked up in bed, errm... and there's no way she... she could have got out on her own.




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PostSubject: Re: news of may 2007   Mon Jul 12, 2010 7:39 am



Celtic players to wear yellow armbands



Newsroom Staff
CELTIC players will wear yellow armbands at tomorrow’s game against Aberdeen to mark the fourth birthday of Madeleine McCann, the little girl who was abducted in Portugal last Thursday, May 3.

The club hopes that the gesture will help keep the focus on the search for Madeleine. Celtic, where Madeleine's dad, Gerry, had worked before moving to England, were asked to help by the little girl's aunt.

A Celtic spokesperson said: “We were approached to wear the yellow armbands and naturally we were very happy to agree to this. Hopefully, this will keep the focus on the search for Madeleine.

"Clearly, the thoughts of everyone at the club are with Madeleine and her family at this extremely diffificult time and, of course, we are pleased to be able to offer any kind of help or comfort that we possibly can."

The family of Madeleine McCann have already made an appeal through the club, for help in the search to find her.

They have asked that, if anyone has any information about Madeleine’s whereabouts, they should contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 (UK).







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PostSubject: Re: news of may 2007   Mon Jul 12, 2010 7:44 am

MADDIE PARENTS' SMILE OF COURAGE
PEOPLE: SUNDAY 13 MAY 2007

13 May 2007
Rachael Bletchly In Praia Da Luz






MUM & DAD'S VIGIL FOR SNATCHED HOLIDAY TOT LOCALS APPLAUD THEM ON DAY SHE TURNS FOUR



MISSING Madeleine McCann's parents put on brave smiles yesterday as an emotional church service helped them cope with their agony.

At times during the weekend, distraught mum Kate clutched a rag doll she had bought for the tot's fourth birthday - but never got the chance to hand over.


And dad Gerry spoke of a "tidal wave" of devastation caused by her abduction ten days ago. What should have been a day of joy was agony as her family waited for news on the kidnapped little girl.


Maddie should have been blowing out candles on her Dr Who cake. But the only candles flickering were at sombre vigils for her.


Kate and Gerry, both 38, drew huge comfort from mass at the church in Praia da Luz, Portugal, where they were on holiday when Maddie vanished.

Gerry told villagers who have given heartwarming support: "We are looking forward to the day when Madeleine returns to us as a joyous one. We believe that we will see Madeleine soon and she will be safe and well and we will continue to hope."



As they left they were greeted by children holding balloons and a crowd of villagers, who applauded them.


Mr McCann told the congregation: "Today we should be celebrating the fourth birthday of our daughter Madeleine.

"Instead we have had to remember what a normal, beautiful, vivacious, funny, courageous and loving little girl that we are missing today.

"I like to think about the effects of Madeleine's abduction from us nine days ago like a tidal wave. The devastation which was tremendous was greatest for Kate and me."


And he added: "The devastation affects everyone we meet here in the resort and has affected this community.


"The tidal wave did not stop here, it has travelled many miles across Europe, across the sea to Glasgow, Liverpool, Leicester, Ireland, America, Canada, New Zealand and continental Europe, where we have many friends and family."

Gerry also spoke movingly of the "tremendous outpouring of warmth" from people in Portuguese.

GP Kate has lost almost a stone in weight since Maddie was abducted and is unable to eat properly or sleep without sedatives. She looked frail, gaunt and haggard yesterday.


At an earlier service, the couple followed a Portuguese tradition of wearing green and carrying green branches to the 16th Century church as a sign of hope.


Local mechanic Pedro Melo, 25, explained: "We want Madeleine's parents to know how much we care. We feel like crying for them. Their pain must be so great."



A picture of Maddie, whose face can be seen on lamp posts and in shop windows across the town, was pinned near the altar - set in a red heart.

As the service neared its end, a single piece of green string was passed through the crowd right to the back of the church until everyone was holding it - uniting them with the McCanns.



Back in the UK Maddie's relatives and family friends were also anxiously awaiting news.

A party in Glasgow planned for her birthday by uncle and aunt John and Philomena was put on hold. John, 48 said: "There was no point in having a birthday party without Madeleine - but the party has only been postponed, not cancelled.



"We are going to have it when she comes back and then it will be a massive party."

Philomena, 43, spent the day handing out 15,000 posters to football fans outside Glasgow's Celtic Park ground, hoping to jog the memory of supporters who may have visited Portugal.



Maddie's grandparents in Liverpool, Brian and Susan Healey, told last night how they were "storming heaven" for her. Susan, 61, said: "Please God she will be back to blow her birthday candles out. She loved to blow out candles.

"It is hard for everybody but with the help of our friends it's possible to keep going. We have to keep Madeleine in the spotlight, we have to have Madeleine brought home."



Brian, 67, pleaded to Maddie's kidnappers: "Please just bring her home. The support we have had is immense. We are storming heaven trying to find her." Friends in Liverpool have tied yellow ribbons and pink balloons to their fences. The village square inRothley, Leics, where the McCanns live, has become a place of pilgrimage for hundreds of people wanting to show support.

The war memorial has been decorated with a thousand yellow ribbons. Next to it stands a 3ft pink and white rabbit, flanked by dozens of teddy bears. Among the hundreds of scrawled notes were many from children, not much older than Maddie.



One from Alex, eight, and Cameron, five, read: "We are thinking about you on your birthday and hoping you will come home safely. Hope you get to cuddle the teddy soon."



Staff at Leicester's Glenfield Hospital, where Gerry is a cardiologist and at Kate's GP surgery in Melton Mowbray have held vigils.



The McCanns arrived back at their resort apartment at 4pm yesterday after spending the day with their twins Sean and Amelie, two, in a brave bid to carry on as normally as possible. Amelie was carrying a red balloon. Kate hugged Sean, who was carrying a green balloon. Gerry smiled and paused for photographs and kissed Amelie gently as they walked into the apartment.

Last night Kate arrived for Mass clutching a blanket from her missing daughter's bed. She was wearing shorts and a yellow top and held Maddie's Cuddle Cat tightly as she held her husband's hand. Green and yellow ribbons have been tied to the church doors - green the Portuguese symbol of hope and yellow in remembrance of missing Maddie.



Chancellor Gordon Brown expressed his sympathy for Maddie's parents.

At a meeting in Gillingham, Kent, the PM-in-waiting said: "Every parent will be sympathising in their hour of need."

Hundreds of ex-pat Brits gathered in Praia da Luz yesterday to tie yellow ribbons wherever they could in support.



The railings in front of their holiday complex were covered in the colourful tributes, alongside bunches of yellow flowers and cuddly toys.

Claire Borges, originally from Banbury, Oxfordshire, said: "We feel like we've been hit in the stomach. Every day you pray for good news."

Today is a Portuguese religious holiday known as Miracle Day - in which the faithful pray for lost causes.

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