DETECTIVES in Britain have passed details of several possible sightings of Madeleine McCann to their Portuguese counterparts following a worldwide internet appeal.
Police in Leicestershire – the county where her family live – were fed information about the sightings after the unique appeal by the London-based Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre last month.
Pictures of how Madeleine, now aged six, would look were featured in the 60-second film called A Minute For Madeleine, which has has been seen by more than 10 million online.
Its aim was to prick the conscience of someone close to Madeleine’s kidnapper. The Leicestershire officers sifted through the information before deciding what should be relayed to Portugal. Detectives there said they would work only on credible new information because they did not want to waste any time on fruitless endeavours.
But the Sunday Express can reveal that evidence they gathered has not been put into the Home Office Large Major Enquiry System (HOLMES) by Leicestershire police.
Last night former Scotland Yard commander Dai Davies said: “I find that unbelievable that key information from Portugal has not been processed.
“To get the full benefit you should input all available information on the crime. It is common sense to provide as many pieces of the jigsaw as possible.”
By Daily Express Reporter Friday December 18, 2009
KATE and Gerry McCann made a fresh appeal for their missing daughter yesterday as they faced their third Christmas with “a spare place” at the table.
The couple said: “There is only one thing Madeleine wants this Christmas and that’s to be back home.”
They urged people around the world: “If you know where she might be, please help.”
Doctors Kate and Gerry, both 41, say in a new message on the Find Madeleine website: “There will be a spare place at the Christmas table again this year. If you know anything, do the right thing and help us fill it.”
A festive photo on the website of Madeleine with her younger sister Amelie was taken at the family home in Rothley, Leics, at Christmas 2006, five months before Madeleine was snatched in Portugal’s Praia da Luz resort shortly before her fourth birthday in May 2007.
Kate and Gerry McCann made a heart-rending new appeal for help in finding their daughter yesterday as they face their third Christmas without her.
The couple said: “There’s only one thing Madeleine wants this Christmas – and that’s to be back home.”
Doctors Kate and Gerry, both 41, say on the Find Madeleine website: “There will be a spare place at the Christmas table again this year. If you know anything, do the right thing and help us to fill it.”
A newly released festive photo shows Madeleine dressed in red, sitting on the floor by the fireplace feeding a chocolate lolly to her baby sister, Amelie.
It was taken at the family home in Rothley, Leics, at Christmas 2006 – five months before she was snatched from a resort in Praia da Luz, Portugal, when she was three.
A family friend said last night: “It’s a very special picture for Kate and Gerry.
“It shows Madeleine caring for her little sister and Kate and Gerry felt that it was appropriate to put out the precious picture at Christmas.”
The couple say they are continuing their global search for their child and “miss her beyond words”.
Fresh appeal as McCanns face their third Christmas without Madeleine Daily Mail
By DAILY MAIL REPORTER Last updated at 7:59 AM on 18th December 2009
Kate and Gerry McCann have issued a fresh appeal for their missing daughter Madeleine yesterday, as they faced the prospect of spending their third Christmas without her.
In a new message on the Find Madeleine website, the couple said: ‘There will be a spare place at the Christmas table again this year.
‘If you know anything, do the right thing and helps us fill it.’
Christmas past: Madeleine feeding her younger sister Amelie in 2006
Doctors Kate and Gerry, both 41, also posted a photograph of Madeleine which was taken during Christmas 2006.
It shows the youngster at the family home in Rothley, Leicestershire, five months before she went missing from a holiday resort in Praia da Luz, Portugal.
She is pictured sitting on the floor, dressed in red, feeding a chocolate lollipop to her younger sister Amelie.
The couple said: ‘There is only one thing Madeleine wants this Christmas – and that’s to be back home.’
They urged: ‘If you know where she might be, please help.’
The McCanns, whose youngster daughter and her twin brother Sean are now four, added: ‘All we want this Christmas if for Madeleine to be home.’
McCanns face third Christmas without Madeleine, 19 December 2009
Kate and Gerry McCann have issued a fresh plea for information to help them find daughter Madeleine as they prepare for a third Christmas without her.
A message on their website says: “There will be a spare place at the Christmas table again this year. If you know anything, do the right thing and help us fill it.”
The McCanns, both 41, have also released a photo of Madeleine taken at their home in Rothley the Christmas before she went missing, aged three, from the Portuguese holiday resort of Praia de Luz in May 2007.
The image shows the youngster playing by the fireside with her little sister, Amelie, now four.
Both are dressed in red Christmas outfits and are sharing chocolates.
The family’s spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, told the Leicester Mercury: “Naturally this is a difficult time for Kate and Gerry because this will be the third Christmas they have faced not knowing where Madeleine is, or how she is.
“Our hope is that someone out who knows where Madeleine is will feel it time to make that crucial call and help reunite the family at Christmas.”
Mr Mitchell said he believed the McCanns would be celebrating Christmas quietly this year with Amelie and twin brother Sean.
He said: ” Like any family, they hope they will be allowed to mark the occasion with some privacy.
“They are grateful for the continued interest in their search for Madeleine and the support they have had, but they also need time alone as a family at Christmas.”
Earlier this month, the couple returned to Portugal for the start of libel proceedings against policeman Goncalo Amaral, who published a book, The Truth of the Lie, containing claims that Madeleine was dead.
Madeleine McCann: Mother’s Christmas wish to have daughter home, 19 December 2009
Madeleine McCann: Mother’s Christmas wish to have daughter home Liverpool Echo
By Laura Sharpe Dec 19 2009
THE grandmother of missing Madeleine McCann has appealed for whoever knows where she is to “end our agony.”
Speaking on the day Kate and Gerry McCann launched a fresh appeal, Kate’s mum Susan Healy, of Mossley Hill told the ECHO: “Like Kate we continue to hope Madeleine will be found and it would be nice for her to be home to Christmas.
“I remember last year thinking I hope we don’t have another Christmas without her, but here we are.
“We just wish whoever knows something would come forward.
“We echo Kate and Gerry’s thoughts and we hope that someone will end our agony and let her be brought back home to her family.”
New pictures were released on the Find Madeleine website as Liverpool-born Kate and Gerry faced a third Christmas without her.
In an emotional plea greeting visitors to the site, they said: “There will be a spare place at the Christmas table again this year.
“If you know anything – do the right thing and help us fill it.”
Mr and Mrs McCann added: “There’s only one thing Madeleine wants this Christmas – and that’s to be back home.
“If you know where she might be, please help.”
The new pictures show Madeleine smiling and feeding a chocolate lollipop to her younger sister Amelie before she disappeared.
The McCanns, both 41, from Rothley, Leicestershire, said: “Christmas is a time for children. Please help us bring ours back.”
Madeleine was nearly four when she went missing from her family’s holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in Portugal on May 3 2007 while her parents dined with friends nearby.
Despite a massive police investigation and publicity worldwide, she has not been found.
Last weekend Mr and Mrs McCann returned to Praia da Luz together for the first time since Portuguese police named them as suspects in their daughter’s disappearance.
The couple, whose suspect status was later lifted, visited the seaside resort’s church of Nossa Senhora da Luz.
They wandered along the beach where Kate said she felt able to reach out to Madeleine and find a little solace.
Mrs McCann said: “Although our pain feels much rawer here, it is comforting at the same time since we feel closer to Madeleine.”
Updates, 19 December 2009 (date update appeared online)
It is heartbreaking for our family to accept the likelihood of spending a third Christmas without Madeleine. Her absence is even more tangible at this time of year. It is difficult also to believe that another year has passed by.
It has however been an incredibly busy year with so much hard work going into the investigation and campaign to find Madeleine. This fact alone is positive in many ways and probably explains why the last twelve months appear to have flown by! There is however also a feeling of great disappointment when the one thing that we want so badly still eludes us.
Some people (thankfully in the minority) may have their own reasons and agendas for wanting to discontinue the search for Madeleine, and for others it may be easier or more ‘convenient’ to give up. For us, there is no option, no alternative. We long for our ‘baby’, our daughter, our sister, our granddaughter, our friend, our dear sweet Madeleine to be home. This drive and perseverance to find her is not wishful thinking; it is reinforced by facts and evidence. The facts and evidence say: Madeleine is still missing and there is a very real likelihood that she is alive. Hence the search to find her must continue.
Whilst it has been left for us as Madeleine’s parents to find our daughter, there is no doubt that our chances of finding her are much greater with the eyes, ears, hearts and minds of the general public assisting us.
We would like to thank everyone who continues to support and help us. Thank you also for all the Christmas cards, kind messages, flowers and gifts, as well as the many masses and prayers offered for Madeleine. This wonderful support, together with the commitment of so many people to finding Madeleine is quite incredible and invaluable.
We can assure you that we will never stop looking for Madeleine and our resolve will not weaken, no matter what challenges are put in our way. We are prepared to pursue all avenues if it is felt to be of benefit to Madeleine. We continue to hope and pray that the coming year will be a happy and successful one.
Merry Christmas to all of Madeleine’s supporters and our best wishes for a very good and peaceful 2010.
Madeleine McCann’s parents in Christmas ‘heartbreak’, 19 December 2009
Madeleine McCann’s parents in Christmas ‘heartbreak’ BBC News
Page last updated at 12:58 GMT, Saturday, 19 December 2009
The parents of Madeleine McCann have released two new photographs of their missing daughter’s last Christmas at home, on their website.
Kate and Gerry McCann said it was “heartbreaking” to face a third Christmas without Madeleine, who was nearly four when she went missing.
The new pictures show Madeleine playing with sister Amelie months before she vanished from an Algarve flat in 2007.
The McCanns, of Rothley, Leicestershire, are still searching. ‘Great disappointment’
On their website the couple, both 41, posted a statement reading: “It is heartbreaking for our family to accept the likelihood of spending a third Christmas without Madeleine.
“Her absence is even more tangible at this time of year.”
They added they felt “great disappointment” that their high-profile search had failed to find Madeleine, but added they had “no option” but to continue.
The couple returned to Portugal this week ahead of a court case over a book about the case written by a former Portuguese investigator, claiming Madeleine is dead.
Goncalo Amaral is trying to overturn the banning of his book, The Truth Of The Lie, in which he questions the McCanns’ account that Madeleine was taken while they were eating with friends.
Kate and Gerry McCann told of their heartache yesterday as they faced their third Christmas without their missing daughter Madeleine.
In a plea for help in continuing the search, the anguished couple said: “We long for our baby, our dear, sweet Madeleine. It’s heartbreaking. Madeleine’s absence is even more tangible at this time of year.” Maddie, who would now be six, was snatched from the family’s holiday flat in Portugal in May, 2007.
But Kate and Gerry, both 41-yearold doctors from Rothley, Leics, remain convinced she is still alive.
They said: “The drive to find her is not wishful thinking. It’s reinforced by evidence. The search must continue. If you know anything, please help.”
It’s the unsettling mix of the incredibly intimate and the coolly tactical that has made the mystery of Madeleine McCann the biggest and most extraordinary child abduction story in history
By Esther Addley Tuesday 22 December 2009
In November, 30 months after their daughter vanished from their holiday apartment, Kate and Gerry McCann released two images of how Madeleine might look now. Her face is a little longer, her jaw stronger; she has grown out of her toddler’s button nose. In one, she is shown with long blond hair, in the other with darker hair and a deep suntan. But in both images she retains the distinctive black flash in her right eye where the pupil bleeds into the iris, and which they hope can be used to identify her, if they ever do succeed in finding her.
Madeleine’s distinctive eye has been central to the search for her since the earliest days. The couple released posters in English and Portuguese in which the letter “o” had been modified to have the same distinctive flash. “Look into my eyes,” read the images: “Olha para os meus olhos.” There were rumours that the Bryan Adams song “(Everything I Do) I Do it For You”, which begins with those words, would be re-released in support of the campaign.
Late in 2007, Gerry McCann gave an interview to an American magazine and talked about the decision to publicise the eye defect. “Certainly we thought it was possible that [the publicity] could possibly hurt her or her abductor might do something to her eye . . . But in terms of marketing, it was a good ploy.”
It is this unsettling mix – of the incredibly intimate and the coolly tactical – that has made the mystery of Madeleine McCann arguably the biggest and most extraordinary child abduction story in history. HL Mencken, the great American essayist and reporter, called the 1932 disappearance of the baby son of aviator Charles Lindbergh “the biggest story since the Resurrection”, but neither the Lindbergh baby kidnap and murder, nor Christ’s rising from the dead, took place in the internet age.
Just a few weeks after she vanished in May 2007, a sizeable chunk of the globe knew the name Madeleine McCann. The rather homespun website set up by her parents had 80m visits in the first three months after her disappearance. Millions of pounds were offered in reward for information. The biggest celebrities in the world – David Beckham, JK Rowling, the Pope, Oprah Winfrey – publicly expressed support or interest in this anonymous middle-class couple from the Midlands.
Reporters and camera crews from around the world descended on the small Algarve town of Praia da Luz, to feed an audience desperate for updates. At one point, almost two-thirds of global traffic on Google News consisted of searches for information about Madeleine. Most remarkable of all is that despite the many thousands of articles, the millions of words, written about Madeleine McCann, there remains more than two and a half years later just one solitary fact that we know for sure. In the early hours of 3 May 2007, she vanished without trace from her parents’ holiday apartment.
Madeleine was not the first helpless child to come to harm, nor, tragically, will she be the last. So why did this child, this story, become the one that convulsed the world rather than any other? In part, it may be because the McCann case speaks to a profound noughties unease about the rules and roles of parenthood. Would you leave your three children asleep in a strange apartment while you dined and drank with friends in a restaurant some distance away? Have you? Would you heed the advice not to weep in public if your child was taken? How composed is too composed?
Kate and Gerry McCann, so profoundly conventional in many ways, awkwardly resisted conforming to the behaviour that an increasingly engaged and judgmental public demanded, most notably a stubborn refusal to acknowledge any parental culpability on their part and a determinedly dry-eyed public face, albeit on the advice of professionals, that sat uneasily with the sentimental grammar of tabloid reporting and the public mood.
In the case of Sarah Payne, snatched and killed in July 2000, or of Milly Dowler, who vanished in March 2002, or of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, who died five months later, the threat was external and unforeseen. Baby P, who died three months after Madeleine vanished, was murdered in circumstances of unambiguous evil. Terribly unjust as it may be, Madeleine’s parents’ dreadful victimhood was complicated, in the mind of the public, by their parenting decisions. It set in play the circumstances that allowed their critics, for a time at least, to judge them more harshly than whoever snatched her.
But the story of Madeleine is also a story about the media, how news events are set in motion, and how the plates are kept spinning, and how sometimes they fly off uncontrollably in all directions. A beautiful toddler gone missing will always be catnip to newspaper editors, but Kate and Gerry McCann also chose to make themselves active characters in the story, and though their motives were laudable, their relentless drive for publicity unsettled many. Had Madeleine been snatched in Britain, the McCanns would have been assigned a police family liaison officer and the full, slammed-door stonewalling of a police press office. In Portugal, their advisers were PRs. In October 2007 Clarence Mitchell, by then working as the couple’s full-time media adviser, addressed students at Coventry University about the case. The title of his talk? “Missing Madeleine McCann: The perfect PR campaign”.
There is another reason, of course, why Madeleine has become so iconic, and that is the terrible, ongoing mystery. “Madeleine is a very happy little girl with an outgoing personality,” reads a heartbreaking note on her parents’ website. “Like most girls her age, she likes dolls and dresses (and anything pink and sparkly).” What on earth became of this vibrant three-year-old, frozen in time? Will we ever know? Is it possible, as with Jaycee Lee Dugard or Natascha Kampusch or Elizabeth Fritzl, that one day a woman who was once named Madeleine will emerge, blinking, into the media spotlight?
Sick Madeleine McCann Facebook group pulled after outrage, 24 December 2009
Sick Madeleine McCann Facebook group pulled after outrage Daily Record
By Ben Spencer Dec 24 2009
A SICK Facebook group claiming to be created by Maddie McCann’s kidnapper has been removed after thousands complained.
The group, named “If 2,000,000 people join this group, I will give back Maddie McCann,” was slammed by outraged users who campaigned to get it banned.
The tasteless page on the social networking site included hundreds of twisted jokes about Maddie’s disappearance and attracted 60,000 members.
It contained dozens of spoofed pictures of Madeleine depicting her kidnap and was “liked” by thousands of members.
The vile group was littered with messages from its anonymous creator, purporting to be from her kidnapper abroad.
One claimed: “I’m celebrating Christmas in Portugal this year! It’ll just be me and Maddie though.”
Another said: “She’s doing fine. I just purchased a PS3, so she has some company in the wine cellar.”
The group was created on December 10 and was finally shut down on Monday by Facebook administrators after thousands of people called for it to be deleted.
More than 6000 people joined seven separate groups set up in protest against the original group. Others branded the creator sick.
One user said: “You are sick in the head if you think this is funny, you perverts. This group is disgusting and the person who started it should go to jail.”
Another wrote: “The parents could have been looking at it thinking that all day, every day their missing daughter is in the hands of a sick, perverted, a******e. “It just makes you feel physically sick.”
Some members even believed the twisted joker was for real.
One girl wrote: “Give her back. She has got a family, you know. You’re well harsh. Get your head sorted out.”
Another said: “I think you sick people should give her back to people that love her.”
Madeleine was nearly four when she was kidnapped from a flat in Praia da Luz, Portugal, on May 3, 2007, while on holiday with parents Kate and Gerry.
A spokesman for Find Madeleine, the campaign set up by Kate and Gerry, refused to comment.
Facebook’s terms and conditions page states: “You will not post content that is hateful, threatening, pornographic, or that contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence.”