Official McCann Updates, Mar-Dec 2009

On 08 April 2009, the official website was revamped and Gerry’s blogs were removed.

Communications from the McCanns were now transmitted by means of ‘Updates’ – essentially press releases.

Message from Gerry and Kate, 23 March 2009
Message from Gerry and Kate
March 23 2009
As the second anniversary of Madeleine’s abduction approaches, there is much still to be done. We continue to remain focussed on our aim – to find Madeleine and bring her back home safely. As Madeleine’s parents we cannot and will not ever stop doing all we can to find her.
The search for Madeleine continues with the same strength and determination, and thankfully, there are many people who are continuing to help in a variety of ways. The reduction in media reporting does not signify a lack of effort – far from it! If anything, the search for Madeleine goes on with renewed vigour and great experience. We have quietly and persistently been working very hard – exploring all possible avenues in order to get that key piece of information. Someone somewhere knows where Madeleine is.
It is impossible for us to ignore the day to day heartache of missing Madeleine but there is however, a very important and positive fact that remains…. In spite of all the investigative work done, there is still absolutely nothing to suggest harm to Madeleine and therefore, a very real likelihood that Madeleine is alive and well. You only have to recall the cases of Elizabeth Smart, Shawn Hornbeck and Natascha Kampusch to appreciate that children can seem to disappear ‘off the radar’ for very long periods of time. The return of these children to their families not only gives us great hope but also starkly emphasises that perseverance is essential, and surely what every such child deserves.
It is vital that we never, ever give up on Madeleine.
Can you imagine a little girl or boy out there, hoping and waiting to be found but for people then to ‘write them off’, forget about them, just because there’s been no ‘news’? For that child never to be reunited with their family because everyone had given up on them? Just imagine……………………….
And so, we will never, ever give up.
We urge you to remember Madeleine as a real, living and findable little girl.
Our most sincere thanks go everyone who is helping us in our efforts. You know why we must keep going.
Please don’t give up on Madeleine.

Press Release, 23 March 2009
Press Release PDF document
23 March 2009
On the 3rd May 2007, 3 yr old Madeleine McCann was abducted from the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz, since then, despite extensive enquiries Madeleine is still missing.
It is almost two years since Madeleine McCann disappeared and there is good reason to believe that she is still alive. Madeleine’s family and friends will never give up hope.
At the time of Madeleine’s disappearance the emphasis was placed more on international appeals and it has been recognised that the local Portuguese residents of Praia da Luz and the surrounding areas have never been properly asked about information they may have to give.
The purpose of the current campaign is to do just that; ask the local Portuguese residents for information to help to find Madeleine.
Experience shows that the crucial answers are in the immediate vicinity, someone in the area could almost certainly have the vital information that could help Madeleine’s return to her family, or a combination of people all coming forward with a single piece of information could piece together vital clues which could solve the disappearance.
Experience also shows that people almost always confide in someone else. Someone in Praia da Luz may have been given information that should be passed on and now is the perfect opportunity to do just that, if anyone has information of any kind, do the right thing and pass it on so that Madeleine McCann can go home.
The campaign is about finding Madeleine. Her family hope and believe that local residents can be a very real help. It goes without saying that they would forever be indebted to anyone who had that vital piece of information.
Over the next couple of weeks in the Lagos and Luz areas residents will see posters, billboards and advertisements, leaflets will be distributed in towns and local markets and there will also be a mailing sent to local homes appealing for help.
It should be stressed that any information given will be treated with the utmost confidence. Information can be given anonymously by telephone, email, text and freepost.

Update from Gerry McCann, 22 April 2009

Thursday 22 April 2009

It has been an incredibly busy couple of months. We have been working on 2 main areas: appeals for new information and awareness raising.

The appeal for new information was launched with a local campaign in and around Praia da Luz starting at the end of March. We have had leaflets delivered to local households as well as A-vans, buses and billboards with posters in Portuguese asking for people with information to come forward. The message is that we must not give up on Madeleine and that if someone knows something, it is not too late to do the right thing.

The second aspect of the new appeals is a reconstruction of key sightings and other information from within the files that may generate new leads. These were decided by our senior detective, and will appear in a documentary, which will be screened in the UK by Channel Four on May 7th.  This involved filming in and around the site from where Madeleine was taken. We had hoped to do the filming quietly but it did generate a large amount of media attention and I apologised to the local people for this unfortunate disruption.

It is likely that the programme will be screened in Portugal and other European countries and we are very hopeful that this will generate new leads. Since the case has officially closed, it is vital for Kate and me that we continue to try and discover new information that may help us find Madeleine.

In conjunction with the fresh appeals will be continued awareness raising. Although Madeleine disappeared in Portugal she could have been moved out of the country very easily and at this time she could be anywhere in the world. As it is almost 2 years since Madeleine was kidnapped we will also be launching a new ‘age progression’ photograph. This has been produced by graphics experts at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in the USA. We will be visiting NCMEC this week and then appearing on the Oprah Winfrey show to promote this new image. The Oprah show is broadcast in over 100 countries worldwide and will ensure the new image is disseminated as widely as possible. The poster will be available to download in the support section in the near future.

Finally we would like to thank you all for the continuing support in the ongoing search for Madeleine – including all the kind messages and thoughts sent for Mother’s Day and Easter. It all helps –thank you!

We must never give up on Madeleine.


Note: This has been dated incorrectly, it should read: Wednesday 22 April 2009.

Gerry & Kate’s Message, 01 May 2009
Gerry & Kate’s Message:
It is two long years since Madeleine was taken. It is two years since we were a happy family of five. The pain and anxiety does not lessen, but our determination to find our beautiful daughter remains steadfast.
We are no longer looking for a 4 year old little girl – but a 6-year-old one. This is crucial. We are hoping that the new age-progressed image of Madeleine aged 6, produced by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Washington, will help people to see what Madeleine may look like today.
On May 7th at 9pm (UK time), a televised ‘reconstruction’ of potentially significant and suspicious events from around the time that Madeleine was taken will be aired on Channel 4 in Britain. Much of this information has not been disclosed to the general public before and it is apparent that there are several highly important unanswered questions remaining. Just one of these answers could provide us with that vital piece of information that leads us to Madeleine. It is our hope that these reconstructed scenes will trigger somebody’s memory and prompt them to come forward – giving us the key piece of the jigsaw that we – and Madeleine especially -so desperately need.
Madeleine is still missing! She has the right to be back with her family. We have a responsibility to keep looking for her. We urge you – please do not give up on Madeleine.
Finally, we would like to thank everybody for their continued help and support. We know that we are not alone in our efforts to find Madeleine, or in our desire to have Madeleine back home with us where she belongs.
Thank you.

Updates, 03 May 2009
On Sunday 3rd May 2009

Update, 03 May 2009

Everton and Sunderland Football Clubs kindly helped us -once again – to remind everyone about Madeleine and the fact that she is still missing. The football community as a whole has helped us hugely over the last two years and we are so grateful for this show of support and solidarity across all clubs and colours. It is incredibly uplifting to have so many supporters with all the passion and pride they display, standing by Madeleine and willing her home. Thank you!
Updates, 15 May 2009
15th May 2009 Reconstruction update
There has been a huge response to the reconstruction shown on May 7th and we thank you for all the information recieved. Our investigation team are working through all this information and they will  recontact where it is necessary to obtain further information.
If you have contacted us through the anonymous message board and are happy to be contacted please pass your information to
Once again thank you for not giving up on Madeleine.

Updates, 16 May 2009
16 May 2009: Kate and Gerry McCann and their children to sue Goncalo Amaral
Kate and Gerry McCann – together with their three children – are to sue the former Portuguese police officer Goncalo Amaral over his continuing, grossly defamatory claims that Madeleine is dead and that her parents were somehow involved in concealing their own daughter’s body.
In a statement, Kate and Gerry McCann said: “We – together with our three children Madeleine, Sean and Amelie – are taking this legal action against Goncalo Amaral over his entirely unfounded and grossly defamatory claims – made in all types of media, both within Portugal and beyond – that Madeleine is not only dead, but that we, her parents, were somehow involved in concealing her body.
“This decision has been taken to prevent any further publication of Goncalo Amaral’s deeply offensive book “The Truth Of The Lie”, his so-called television ‘documentary’ and any repetition of his disgraceful thesis that we are somehow involved in the disappearance of our much loved daughter, Madeleine.
“The primary reason for our legal action is simple: to stop any negative effect that these absurd and deeply hurtful claims may be having on the ongoing search for Madeleine. We can no longer stand back and watch as Mr Amaral tries to convince the entire world that Madeleine is dead. Nor can we allow this blatant injustice to Madeleine, with its obvious risk of hindering our attempts to find her, to continue.
“Mr. Amaral’s entirely unjustified claims have not only brought indescribable devastation and suffering to our lives, they have hugely compounded the already immense pain and anxiety we have endured since Madeleine’s abduction.
“Our three children are joint complainants in this action because of the detrimental effect Mr Amaral’s continued assertions will undoubtedly have on their future lives. Sean and Amelie require protection as they prepare to start school this autumn. Madeleine requires protection from those who are obstructing the possibility of her being found.”

Gerry & Kate’s Message, 17 May 2009
Gerry & Kate’s Message:
Due to this day occurring on a bank holiday, the National Police Improvement Agency (NPIA) is holding a special event on 18th May to mark the day. This will take place at The Deck, National Theatre, South Bank, London SE1 9PX.
Representatives from police forces and organisations helping missing and exploited children will be present, together with family members whose children are missing.
Please spare a thought for all those children who are separated from their families.
If global efforts are strengthened, more of these vulnerable, innocent children will be found.

Gerry & Kate’s Message, 19 May 2009
Gerry & Kate’s Message:
Please spare a thought for all those children who are separated from their families. If global efforts are strengthened, more of these vulnerable, innocent children will be found.

Updates, 21 May 2009
General Update May 2009
May is obviously a difficult month for us now, with the anniversary of Madeleine’s abduction as well as Madeleine’s birthday. Despite this, it has also been a positive month in several ways, with many people once again offering their support and showing great kindness.
On May 3rd, there were special church services for Madeleine – here in Rothley, in Liverpool and in Praia da Luz. Each of these services was very well attended and described by those there as being very beautiful. In addition many other masses and prayers were offered for Madeleine on this day throughout the UK and beyond. It is a great comfort for us as a family to know that Madeleine remains so strongly in people’s thoughts and prayers.
On May 8th, Bishop Ellis Primary School (‘Madeleine’s school’) held an ‘Auction of Promises’. This was a well supported and really fun night, with over £6000 being raised for Madeleine’s Fund. Well done and many thanks to everyone who helped make this evening a success! During the same weekend, many runners taking part in a 10K race in Liverpool wore Madeleine ‘Don’t Give Up On Me’ T-shirts and again a substantial amount of money was raised for the fund. Thank you! Keep going everyone – it all helps.
Following on from the Cutting Edge documentary and reconstruction -‘Madeleine was here’ – shown initially in the UK on May 7th, we have had many calls and emails coming in to our investigative team. We are really pleased with the response and currently all pieces of information are being prioritised and followed up as necessary. Again, thank you to everyone who has had the courage and compassion to come forward and pass on their information. It may only take one call or one email to unravel this ‘puzzle’, end the nightmare and hopefully bring our Madeleine home.
On Tuesday May 12th it was Madeleine’s birthday. She is now 6 years old. We had a small birthday party with close family and a few of Madeleine’s friends. She deserves to be celebrated. Hopefully next year she’ll be here to blow out her birthday cake candles herself. Madeleine’s grandma and grandad, and great aunt and uncle spent a few days at the shrine in Fatima over the period of Madeleine’s birthday and the feast of Our Lady of Fatima. They described it as a very moving experience and a good and comforting place to be at such an emotional time.
Thank you again to everyone for continuing to support us during these difficult times- for all the ‘well-wisher’ cards, letters and flowers, as well as the birthday cards and gifts sent for Madeleine. Despite the sadness of our situation, we are very aware that we are incredibly lucky to have such kind and invaluable support. Thank you.

Gerry & Kate’s Message, 19 June 2009
Gerry & Kate’s Message:
It is now more than two years since Madeleine was taken from us – more than two years since we saw and held our beautiful daughter, since Sean and Amelie played with their big sister, since we were a happy family of five. Without doubt, two years seems a huge proportion of your life when you’re six years old, but in reality it is just a tiny fraction of the life which lies ahead of you. It is important for us to keep looking forward.
Whilst the fact that Madeleine is still missing remains our greatest anxiety, it is important to remember that the person who took Madeleine remains free. Other children could be at risk from this person too if we do not continue with our investigation, or if the people who know or suspect something remain silent. There is no law enforcement agency actively looking for Madeleine or the person who took her. As such, Madeleine and possibly other children are dependent on good and moral ‘everyday’ people to help them. We kindly ask you to share this responsibility with us.
Why do we continue?
-There is absolutely nothing to suggest that Madeleine has been harmed.
-Madeleine is still missing and someone needs to be looking for her.
-She is very young and vulnerable and needs our help.
-We love her dearly and miss her beyond words.
We must continue and never give up on Madeleine.
Thank you so much for your continued help, support and information. You have helped to sustain us as a family and continue to increase our chances of finding Madeleine.

Updates, 20 June 2009 (date update appeared online)
General Update – 19th June 2009
There has been much reported in the media recently about Raymond Hewlett. As far as our investigators are aware, there is no evidence to link him to Madeleine –he is a person of interest to the inquiry rather than a suspect. Following the sensationalised reporting in certain sections of the media with regards to Mr Hewlett, our investigators wished to interview him in order to eliminate him from the inquiry. Despite our investigators requests via Mr Hewlett’s lawyer, their attempts to conduct an interview were unsuccessful as we were simply unwilling to pay. It is very disappointing that certain elements of the media felt it appropriate to pay a convicted paedophile (whether that be directly or indirectly) in order to obtain a ‘story’, whilst those people who are qualified to carry out such enquiries and who are genuinely looking for Madeleine were unable to do so.
On a more positive note, we have recently been planning a summer campaign in the hope that holiday-makers, travel companies and transport agencies will help us again in our search for Madeleine. So far, things are looking promising and we will soon have ‘travel packs’ available via the website for anyone willing to help in this way. We greatly appreciate the continued help and support we are receiving from the general public. It’s incredibly reassuring and uplifting that over two years down the line so many people still want to help. Without doubt, it will increase our chance of finding Madeleine.
On Tuesday evening, we took part in the Rothley & Soar Valley Lions 10K road race here in the village. Twenty of us (family and friends) wore our Madeleine t-shirts and that together with cheers of encouragement from spectators, made it all worthwhile. It was a really enjoyable evening and a fantastically well-supported event. We’re already talking about next years run! Hopefully we wont be needing to wear our t-shirts for that one.

Updates, 18 August 2009

18th August Re: ‘Madeleine Foundation’

We do not wish to dignify the actions of the so-called ‘Madeleine Foundation’ with any response. We do feel it is important, however, that the general public are made aware that the ‘Madeleine Foundation’ has no connection whatsoever with our family or those helping us to find Madeleine, including law enforcement agencies or child welfare NGO’s (non-governmental organisations). We also strongly believe that the actions of this organisation do not have Madeleine’s best interest at heart; if anything, the organisation is hindering all our efforts to find Madeleine and achieve justice.
Updates, 27 August 2009

27th August: The Finding of Jaycee Lee Dugard in the USA

“Once again – this shows that children can seem to disappear off the radar, only to be found years later alive. It emphasises that we should never assume that someone is not alive without any evidence to support this – we should never give up. This case only makes us more determined to find Madeleine. She is somewhere and somebody knows where.

Our thoughts and best wishes are with Jaycee and all her family for a happier and peaceful future.”

Updates, 09 September 2009

Mr Amaral’s Book & dvd banned by court order

” We are pleased with the Judge’s decision today preventing further distribution and sale of Mr Amaral’s book and dvd -‘The Truth of the Lie’.

Mr. Amaral’s central thesis has no evidence whatsoever to support it. To claim as he did, that Madeleine is dead,  and that we, her parents, were in some way involved with her disappearance, has caused our family incredible distress and it continues to do so.

Without doubt, Madeleine will have suffered as a result of the negative effect this book and dvd will have had on the search for her.

Sean and Amelie need protection too from such awful claims.

Hopefully this injunction today will go a long way towards reducing further unnecessary and unjust distress to us all and allow people to concentrate completely on what is important – finding Madeleine. “

Update from Kate McCann, 21 September 2009 (date update appeared online)

September 13th 2009

At the start of August this year, our investigators appealedto the general public for more information following a credible account by a witness. This related to a lady acting suspiciously in Barcelona on the 7th May 2007 in the early hours of the morning. Our investigators received approximately 1000 emails and phone calls following this appeal and have been busy working through this information. Thank you to everybody who passed information on to our team.We would like to encourage anyone who may still have potentially relevant information to come forward. It is important to note that although the witness thought that the woman in question may have had an Australian accent, it ispossible that this may not be the case.

At the end of August, we learnt of the discovery of JayceeLee Dugard, 28 years after she was abducted at the age of 11. There was nothing new here for Gerry and me, as we have been told of many cases of missing children who have been found years after they were taken from their families. It is important though, as it emphasises yet again how vital it is to never give up on missing children and how criminal and unjust to assume they are no longer alive. A missing child cannot be expected to find their way home, we need to find them. It is tragic and heartbreaking to think of the life which has been stolen from Jaycee and her family. We hope and pray that they will be able now to find the happiness and peace that they all deserve.

Last week, a judge in Portugal decided to pass an injunction against Goncalo Amaral’s book and documentary in which he insists that Madeleine is dead and implies that Gerry and I were somehow involved in her disappearance. Nothing can be more soul-destroying for a parent than for somebody to ‘write off’ your missing child (for whatever reason) without any evidence to support such a theory. The anguish and torment that we have suffered as a result of Mr. Amaral’s unfounded claims and actions has been immense, compounding the pain and sadness we feel every day without Madeleinein our lives. Madeleine deserves so much more than treatment like this. She is still missing and we will never give upon her.

It is important to remember that the good people far outweigh the bad, even though those with cruel intentions can bring you down. Every day we still receive a small bundle of supportive letters to our home and kind messages via the website, as well as positive words from passers-by. Aftera ‘not so good’ day, it is this kindness and solidarity that lifts us up and keeps us going. To those people, we are so grateful and we will never forget the great benefit of simple human kindness.Thank you from all our family.

Updates, 12 October 2009


Aisling Symes

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Aisling and herfamily. We wish Aisling’s parents the strength and support they’ll be needingat this most painful time and we join them in hoping for Aisling’s safe andspeedy return. We urge anyone who has any information about Aisling to comeforward to the local police as soon as possible and end this family’ssuffering.”

Front page ‘teasers’ for the forthcoming ‘A Minute For Madeleine’ campaign, placed on the official website, 22 October 2009

New front page to the official website, 22 October 2009 front page, version 2 front page, version 3 front page, version 4 front page, version 6

Updates, 09 November 2009 (date update appeared online)


UPDATE: November 8th 2009

Earlier this week, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre (CEOP) launched a special message, an appeal, to the person who knows or strongly suspects who was involved in Madeleine’s abduction. The aim of this initiative was (and still is) to prick the conscience of that person who knows and prompt them to come forward with that key piece of information which could lead to Madeleine coming home. The more people we can reach worldwide with this message, the greater the chance of us reaching that person who knows. And the more times this message reaches that person, the greater the chance of them doing the right thing and passing on the information that they have been keeping secret. With this in mind, we would like to thank everyone around the world, individuals and organisations, who have helped us by watching this special message on-line and forwarding it on to their friends, business contacts and network communities. We are once again overwhelmed and uplifted by the amazing commitment and kindness shown by the general public in our efforts to find Madeleine. The message can still be viewed, downloaded and forwarded in 7 different languages from We would be really grateful for your continued help. Together, we can reach that person who knows.

If you are that person, remember that it is never too late to do the right thing. This will never go away until we have found Madeleine. We love her too much. Please do the right thing by giving that information to your local police. Alternatively, please call the ‘Find Madeleine’ investigation team on +44 (0)845 838 4699 or email the team at email or one phone-call – and this nightmare could be over for everyone.

Updates, 01 December 2009 (date update appeared online)


Update November 2009

Thank you to Tony McVey and all at Atlantic Scaffolding in Liverpool for this fantastic show of support and help with our campaign to find Madeleine.

Maddie poster on Atlantic Scaffolding

Updates, 12 December 2009


Saturday 12th December 2009:

Yesterday morning Gerry and I attended the Civil Court in Lisbon for the planned trial relating to the injunction against Goncalo Amaral’s book and DVD. The trial was postponed until January as Mr Amaral’s Lawyer was unable to attend. As the injunction remains in place (following the Judge’s decision in September), we have no reason to be dissapointed. For us it was important to be there, especially for Madeleine.

We travelled to Praia da Luz yesterday afternoon. I have longed to come back here for two years for personal and emotional reasons. Early this morning we went to the lovely little church of Nossa Senhora da Luz. It was so quiet and peaceful – a real sanctuary. Although our pain feels much rawer here, it is comforting at the same time since we feel closer to Madeleine. We then walked down to the rocks on the beach, with its crashing waves and sense of vastness and freedom –
another place where I’ve always felt able to reach out to Madeleine and find a little solace. For the rest of today we are planning to catch up with some very good friends. We hope that the media will respect our privacy and needs, as requested, as well as those of the local community.

Christmas messages: website, 18 December 2009 message, 18 December 2009 message, 18 December 2009 message, 18 December 2009 message, 18 December 2009

Updates, 19 December 2009 (date update appeared online)
Christmas Update: December 18th 2009

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.

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