Missing Madeleine McCann’s parents ‘await a breakthrough’ in toddler’s kidnapping
The parents of Madeleine McCann, a British toddler who went missing from a family vacation 16 years ago Tuesday, released a statement 16 years after their daughter’s disappearance.
Madeleine was abducted from the family’s ground-floor apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, on May 3, 2007, when she was 3 years old.
“The police investigation continues, and we await a breakthrough. Thank you to everyone for your support – it really helps,” Kate and Gerry McCann said in a Tuesday statement posted to the “Official Find Madeleine Campaign” Facebook page.
The bereaved parents shared a poem that “resonates strongly” with them called “The Contradiction” by Clare Pollard about simultaneously feeling someone’s physical absence and emotional presence after that person is gone.
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“Still missing […] still very much missed,” Kate and Gerry McCann wrote. “It is hard to find the words to convey how we feel.”
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Kate and Gerry McCann were vacationing with their three young children when Madeleine was taken from her bed. The family was staying in a ground-floor apartment and the parents had left their three sleeping children alone while they went to dinner.
A German court on April 20 dismissed unrelated sexual assault charges against the sole suspect in Madeleine’s disappearance: a German man named Christian Brueckner.
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Brueckner, a 46-year-old German citizen, continues to deny involvement in the case.
Brueckner was already serving a seven-year sentence for raping an elderly woman in 2005, Reuters reported, citing his lawyer.
The suspect was charged in 2022 for sex crimes against children that German authorities allege he committed in Portugal between 2000 and 2017. Bruekner spent many years in Portugal, including in Praia da Luz, around the time of Madeleine’s disappearance.
Madeleine was born in May 2003 and would be turning 20 years old this month.
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Kate and Gerry describe Madeleine on their website, findmadeleine.com, as “a warm, life-enriching little person” who will “never fail” to “bring joy into the life of anyone she may encounter.”
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She is a “happy little girl” and “has always been a wonderfully loving and caring big sister,” they said.
McCann’s family is accepting donations for the search for Madeleine through their website.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.