“Her smile. Her laughter. Her eyes. Her dimples. Her sense of humour. Her smartness. Her imitations of people and characters. Her voice, her ‘chat’. Her company. That knowing look. Her singing. Styling her hair. Chasing her round the garden. Sharing her excitement in the run-up to Christmas. Sharing anything. Spoiling her on her birthday. Shopping with her. Going to a cafe with her. Holding her, hugging her, kissing the top of her head. Lying next to her. Our complete family of five. Everything. We miss her.”
The above is a heart-rending list of all the things Madeleine McCann’s parents miss about their daughter. Kate McCann, Maddies mother: “We go to bed each night hoping tomorrow will lead us to Maddie.”
In light of the family’s tragic circumstances, the McCann’s started campaigning for the UK’s Child Rescue Alert system and also for the introduction of a missing child rescue system within all European countries, with cross-border cooperation. Given the high profile that Madeleine’s case had received, their involvement may help expedite the process.
In 2016, Mrs McCann said that if a Child Rescue Alert system had been in place when Maddie went missing, she possibly may have been found. “If enough people had been mobilised and galvanised early then who knows what the outcome would have been.”
“When a child is abducted, families are devastated and entire communities are torn apart. The agony of not knowing where your child is, is almost impossible to imagine. The helplessness is at times overwhelming,” she continued. “But there is now something we can all do to help. Please sign up to receive alerts. You could save a child’s life.”
It was the story that captured the world and terrified parents across the globe. On May 3rd, 2007, shortly before her 4th birthday, Madeleine McCann seemed to vanish into thin air. The McCann family, including parents Gerry and Kate and 2-year-old twins Sean and Amelie, were on vacation in Praia da Luz, Portugal. The McCanns were traveling with three other families, and some nights the parents would put their children to bed and meet for dinner at the resort’s tapas restaurant, less than 100 yards away from their rooms. The adults took turns checking on their children every half hour. On the fifth night, Kate went to check on her children, only to discover Madeleine was missing. The girl has not been found to this day.