The parents of Madeleine McCann have said in a New Year message that their hope, strength and perseverance to find their daughter remains steadfast.
And in a message posted on the Official Find Madeleine Campaign website, Kate and Gerry McCann said their thoughts and prayers were with everyone who’s suffered during 2020.
The statement, which thanked well-wishers, said goodbye to 2020. What a year, and one we don’t want to remember but will find it difficult to forget, and it said there was no doubt that 2020 had been difficult for most people, and often distressing, with so much loss, fear and solitariness.
And that despite losing a parent each, they were aware they had been more fortunate than many, with their family unit at home and jobs to go to.
The couple, from Rothley in Leicestershire, acknowledged the investigation to locate Madeleine had understandably been forced to slow down as a consequence of the pandemic.
And they added that it hadn’t ceased, nevertheless, the hope, strength and perseverance to find her and discover the truth remained steadfast, and they said that they were extremely grateful for the ongoing support, especially throughout the rubbish year that everybody has had and for all the Christmas wishes too.
They said that their thoughts and prayers were with everyone who’s suffered due to the pandemic and they hoped that 2021 was a more optimistic, more cheerful one.
Madeleine was almost four when she went missing from her family’s holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, on Portugal’s Algarve, on May 3, 2007, but Scotland Yard confirmed it had no plans to end its missing person investigation, despite the view of German prosecutors that Madeleine was killed.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said the force was working closely with the German authorities but didn’t expect them to communicate all of their evidence.
A suspect in the German inquiry, Christian Brueckner, was told last November that he will remain behind bars until 2026, after losing a bid to overturn a rape conviction.
He was last year found guilty of the 2005 rape of a 72-year-old American woman in the same Portuguese resort and condemned to seven years in prison, at a court in Brunswick, Lower Saxony.
The 43-year-old German national, referred to as Christian B in Germany due to the country’s stringent privacy laws, was identified as a suspect in the Madeleine investigation last June.
But what parent in their right mind leaves their four-year-old daughter in a room to go out to eat? And was this not total neglect? However, we can’t say anything about the parents that they’ve not said to themselves, presumably over and over again, and they’ve paid an extreme price for their blunder.
Years ago most holidaymakers used to leave their children in chalets and caravans and you had people called a chalet patrol go round listening to see if they’d heard any of the children up or crying.
They used to have a tannoy system that would let you know if children were awake. It was equivalent to a baby monitor we have now.
It was just an acceptable thing so that grown-ups could enjoy some adult recreation and children could get some rest.
People and children should be safe on holiday and you definitely don’t expect a murderer to be watching you and waiting to pounce.
It’s very sad what happened, but some might say that this child has been tagged as special, yet there are children out there that have been abducted or worse, every day, yet you don’t see those being dragged on for years and years.
But we should welcome the time, attention and money given to this case because it allows for a significant improvement in how these cases are handled and lessons learnt.