The parents of Madeleine McCann, a British toddler who disappeared from a flat during her family’s holiday in Portugal 15 years ago and caught the world’s attention, say they hope the efforts of the police from three countries to solve the mystery will eventually provide answers.
Kate and Gerry McCann, both British doctors living in England, said in a statement on the anniversary of their daughter’s disappearance on Tuesday that “a truly horrific crime” was committed on May 3, 2007.
They told the website set up to help find Madeleine that “our need for answers, for truth, is essential”.
They thanked British, Portuguese and German police who continue to work into what happened when the 3-year-old girl disappeared from her bed in the Algarve region of southern Portugal. She was in the same room as her 2-year-old twin brother and sister while her parents dined with friends at a nearby restaurant.
Last month, Portuguese prosecutors formally charged the latest suspect in the investigation.
They did not name the suspect, in accordance with Portuguese privacy laws, but said they were acting at the request of German authorities and in coordination with British investigators.
In mid-2020, German police identified Christian Brueckner, a 45-year-old German citizen who was in the Algarve in 2007, as a suspect in the case. Brueckner denied any involvement in Madeleine’s disappearance.
The Portuguese prosecution prevents the expiration of the statute of limitations in the case. The expiration would have occurred 15 years after the alleged crime, but charging a suspect stops that count.
Madeleine’s disappearance sparked worldwide interest, with the public claiming to have spotted her spreading as far as Australia, and prompted the publication of books and TV documentaries about the case.
The rewards for finding Madeleine have reached several million dollars.
The case involved sensational developments. In a dramatic twist, Madeleine’s parents were briefly named official suspects after police found traces of blood in their holiday rental car.