The purpose of this site is for information and a record of Gerry McCann's Blog Archives. As most people will appreciate GM deleted all past blogs from the official website. Hopefully this Archive will be helpful to anyone who is interested in Justice for Madeleine Beth McCann. Many Thanks, Pamalam

Note: This site does not belong to the McCanns. It belongs to Pamalam. If you wish to contact the McCanns directly, please use the contact/email details campaign@findmadeleine.com    

Reports Pre-Arguido (May 2007) *

MCCANN FILES HOME BACK TO GERRY MCCANNS BLOGS HOME PAGE PHOTOGRAPHS
NEWS REPORTS INDEX MCCANN PJ FILES NEWS MAY 2007
 
A collection of interesting press reports from May 2007 
 
See also previous reports for 04 May 2007 and 05/06 May 2007

'Cracker' experts search for Maddie, 09 May 2007
'Cracker' experts search for Maddie Metro

Two 'Cracker'-style experts have been flown to Portugal from Britain in the search for missing Madeleine McCann.

John Higginson
9th May, 2007


Criminal behaviour experts flew to the Algarve to join Portuguese investigators as the hunt enters its sixth day.

Police have refused to release an E-fit of the suspect only showing it to a few potentially significant witnesses.

But one witness that has seen it Algarve internet owner Simon Russell, 40, said it is nothing more than an 'egg with a side parting'.

He said: 'The picture I was shown was a head with no face, no eyes, no facial features of any kind. It was an outline like an egg. Basically I was looking at nothing more than an egg with brown haid and a side parting.'

The experts from the Child Exploitation and online Protection Centre (Ceop) - which tackles international child sex abuse - flew in yesterday.

The move comes after details of British paedophiles with links to the Algarve were handed over to Portuguese investigators, local reports said.

British Ambassador to Portugal John Buck has also defended local police who have coming under increasing criticism.

Police in the country have already followed up 350 different leads, interviewed 100 people and taken hundreds more calls from the public but their response to Madeleine's disappearance has been criticised.

Meanwhile Maddie's uncle, Brian Kennedy, told the Mirror: 'It took the police a long time to get things moving. The early stages could have been much quicker.'

Criticism of the handling of the case has been intensified by a news blackout imposed by Portuguese law which bans police from revealing details of a case under investigation.

British Ambassador to Portugal John Buck said: 'They (the McCanns) are very pleased with the collaboration of the British authorities, they are in close touch with Interpol and Europol and I know Kate and Gerry, with whom I have just been speaking over the last hour, are very grateful for their efforts.'

But despite scant details on the direction the investigation is taking the case has captivated - and stunned - Portugal.

In the UK Portuguese football superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Ferreira became the latest to add their support to efforts to trace her with appeals in two languages.

England captain John Terry read a statement which was translated into Portuguese appealing for people to give the police information.

'It's a terrible thing for her family to go through, she's only young so please, please come forward,' he said.

A vigil was held in Madeleine's home village in Rothley, Leicestershire, last night as family and friends prayed for the youngster to be found safe and well.

The three-year-old disappeared on Thursday night after she was left with her brother and sister, two-year-old twins Sean and Amelie, in a holiday apartment.

Her parents had been dining in a nearby restaurant and checking on them regularly.

Formby vigil for missing Maddie, 09 May 2007
Formby vigil for missing Maddie Liverpool Confidential
 
Show of support organised by friends in family home town
 
Dated: 9/5/2007
 
Huyton-born Kate McCann is a private lady. A fairly ordinary working mother who cannot believe she is at the centre of world attention. But, for the awful reasons documented elsewhere, that's where she and her young family are sadly placed at the moment.
 
And while the glare of the media on personal lives is frequently an unwelcome one, the McCann family are nevertheless keen to have that beacon trained on them for as long as possible. Why? They must keep their missing daughter's face at the top of the news.
 
And so we were contacted today by Mark McQueen, a close friend, with his wife, Linda, of Maddie McCann's parents, Kate and Gerry.
 
Mark, headmaster at Ursuline Primary School in Blundellsands, and godparent to Maddie's younger twin brother Sean, is organising a vigil and service tomorrow night (Thursday 10th) at Our Lady of Compassion in Formby. Liverpool Catholic Archbishop Patrick Kelly will be attending and Mark asks that we tell people it is happening.
 
"Kate and Gerry took great comfort from a vigil back in the village where they live, Rothley (in Leicestershire) the other night," says Mark. "Kate's Uncle Jack and Aunty Val live in Formby and the family are frequent visitors with their three children, so we felt that it was an appropriate place for people to come and think about Maddie and to pray for her.
 
"We are not fools," he added. "It is an impossible job, but we must try to improve Kate and Gerry's spirits as much as is possible and we hope that they will take some consolation from this service."
 
Mark said that as far as the family were aware – Kate's mother and father live in Mossley Hill - there were no new developments in locating the three-year-old who was abducted last week from a hotel bedroom in Portugal.
 
"We are sharing her parents agony," he said. "We know Maddie very well. She is an adorable, glorious and funny three-year-old."
 
Mark added that all denominations or non-religious people were welcome to come to the service, to be conducted by Father Paul Seddon, who married the McCanns and baptised Madeleine, at 7.30pm.

Maddie's parents bring in Bulger tec, 10 May 2007
Maddie's parents bring in Bulger tec Liverpool Daily Post
 
By Caroline Innes
May 10 2007
 
THE Merseyside detective who brought James Bulger's killers to justice last night spoke of his "grave concerns" for missing toddler Madeleine McCann.
 
Retired Detective Superintendent Albert Kirby has been asked to advise Portuguese police and has met with senior detectives investigating the abduction of the three-year-old to share his expertise.
 
Last night the former Serious Crime Squad commander said after exploring his own lines of inquiry in the Algarve, he had "grave concerns about Madeleine's safety".
 
He said the way Portuguese police were forced to handle the investigation made life "very difficult" for the McCanns and hampered the search for the little girl.
 
Mr Kirby described the police’s inability to share information with the media, public and even the McCanns as "counter-productive". He said had British police been leading the investigation, it would have been handled differently.
 
Earlier, Madeleine's grand-parents, Susan and Brian Healy, returned to their Mossley Hill home after supporting Liverpool-born daughter, Kate, in Portugal. Fighting back tears, they hit back at the stinging criticism levelled at Kate, 38, formerly a pupil of Notre Dame High School, in Everton, for leaving her children alone.
 
They said their daughter should not be blamed for the nightmare the family are enduring after radio stations were inundated with callers questioning the couple's decision to leave Madeleine in bed with her twin brother and sister while they dined out.
 
The toddler was snatched from a ground-floor apartment in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz as parents Gerry and Kate ate dinner in a nearby tapas restaurant. Last night, Mr Kirby said that, as time went on, it was becoming increasingly difficult to trace Madeleine, but because it took so long for police to close the borders, they couldn't rule out the possibility that she had been taken out of the country.
 
He said: "I have grave concerns as time goes on as to what has happened to Madeleine.
 
"It is almost a week since she was taken and we all have serious concerns about her well-being.
 
"But when you look at how massive Portugal's borders are, and how long it was before they were shut, there is a small possibility she has been taken away.
 
"The police asked for the opportunity to speak to me directly and I was able to discuss with them aspects of the Bulger case and others that I have been involved in.
 
"The way that the Portuguese police deal with things is so different to the UK. They are not permitted under their law to give any information at all in terms of the inquiry.
 
"This is so counter-productive. At least now we have two British profilers helping the Portuguese build a description of the offender.
 
"The police are doing their best but their hands are tied and it is making life very, very difficult for the family."
 
On returning to the UK yesterday, grandparents Mr and Mrs Healy said the blame levelled at their daughter also has to stop.
 
Speaking from her Mossley Hill home, Susan, 61, said: "Their children are IVF children, they waited a long time for them and they are so precious.
 
"Why would you think something like this would happen? You make a decision and think it’s OK. This time it wasn't, and Kate and Gerry have to live with that. That’s dreadful and they don’t need pressure from people saying they made a mistake.
 
"They know this was a mistake. But it wasn't child neglect, it wasn't not caring for your children.
 
"The distance from the restaurant has been exaggerated. I have sat at the table they were at myself and it was only about 50 metres from the room.
 
"Kate and Gerry are absolutely devastated, and the only way they are going to be able to cope is by getting support.
 
"Kate is getting help and comfort from the Catholic Church, but she is still going to have moments where she is distraught.
 
"I have heard my daughter wailing like a wild animal and they don’t need all this extra pressure."
 
Mr Healy, 67, added: "It's a horrible time.
 
"You can't meet a more considerate and caring set of parents.
 
"I love all my grandchildren, but Madeleine is extra special, bright, funny and has a personality all of her own – a great little girl.
 
"Kate and Gerry go to Mass, they comfort each other. They have to go to the police station quite often – to be honest, it is a bloody nightmare."
 
Madeleine’s uncle last night also urged all parties to rally together to find his niece instead of attacking the Portuguese police investigation. John McCann, the brother of the three-year-old's father, Gerry McCann, described the little girl as a "wee darling" who was "very bright, very quick". He said: "Everybody's working to get that wee girl back to us.
 
"Obviously, we were all devastated and there was a feeling of helplessness, but in the last few days they've been buoyed by support both in Portugal and at home," he said.
 
"They're much more positive about things that can be done to get Maddy back."
 
We’re still hoping and stay positive, say couple
 
THE Liverpool-born mother of Madeleine McCann yesterday said she was still hoping for the safe return of her little girl six days after she was last seen.
 
Kate McCann and husband Gerry said: "We continue to remain positive."
 
The couple, who have repeatedly faced the cameras since the three-year-old's disappearance last Thursday night, did not appear in person but the statement was read by travel company representative Alex Woolfall.
 
The couple said their emotions and efforts were focused on the steps being taken to find their daughter and thanked those involved. The pair’s message said: "We are grateful to all of those currently taking part in the search for our daughter Madeleine.
 
"At present, we are channelling all of our emotions and efforts into the steps that are being taken to secure Madeleine’s safe return.
 
"We continue to remain positive, and we thank the media for their ongoing support to publicise the search."
 
Merseysiders rally round to support McCann family
 
THE people of Merseyside last night rallied support for the McCann family and backed calls for British intervention in the investigation into Madeleine's disappearance.
 
A Liverpool businessman has also offered 10,000 euros for any information which directly leads to discovering Madeleine’s whereabouts.
 
Don Holmes, of Holmes and Smith, a property company based in Merseyside and Portugal, said he felt compelled to offer the reward.
 
He said: "As a parent myself and with links to the Algarve I just wanted to do something.
 
"If someone can lead the police to Madeleine, this is a small price to pay." Meanwhile, a petition set up by Liverpool TV presenter and business woman Esther McVey launched yesterday has already had well over 500 hits.

Maddy family spread appeal across Europe, 11 May 2007
Maddy family spread appeal across Europe Belfast Telegraph
 
By Jonathan McCambridge and William Allen
Friday, 11 May 2007
 
The family of Madeleine McCann are to extend appeals to find the abducted three-year-old across Europe as they believe she has been taken out of Portugal.
 
As the hunt for the little girl who should be celebrating her fourth birthday tomorrow continues, a family photograph has revealed Maddy enjoying a holiday in Donegal just weeks ago.
 
The photo, which is now steeped in poignancy, shows the little girl with her brother and sister and cousins on the beach.
 
Meanwhile, Portuguese police have confirmed that their search of the holiday resort where she was snatched is being wound down and a businessman has offered a reward of 1m for information that leads to Maddy's return. She was seized from her bed eight days ago in the holiday resort of Praia de Luz in Portugal.
 
Her Ulster-born aunt, Phil McCann, told the Belfast Telegraph that she had launched a "chain email" campaign in the hope that photos of the little girl will be distributed across Europe. She hopes that a poster she has designed will be shown during tomorrow's Eurovision Song Contest. She said: "We don't believe she is in Portugal anymore and need to get her picture across Europe as quickly as possible."
 
It has also emerged that details of the 1m reward offer, made by businessman Stephen Winyard, have been passed to the McCann family in Portugal, but it is unclear if the country's laws will allow the offer to be put to the public.
 
Mr Winyard, a 57-year-old father-of-three, said he was moved to offer the reward after seeing the anguish of parents Kate and Gerry.
 
"When I saw their faces, I felt frustrated no-one else had yet come forward offering a substantial reward, and so felt compelled to do so myself."
 
Police confirmed they are checking CCTV footage from several locations. It is understood this includes footage from a service station close to Praia da Luz which shows a young girl with a woman.
 
The footage is key to the theory that Madeleine was snatched by two men and one woman.
 
Yesterday Portuguese police said that the search for Madeleine, who was abducted in a holiday resort a week ago, was coming to an end. The Policia Judiciaria (PJ) said the search had not yet been called off, but was being wound down.
 
Earlier in the day Mr and Mrs McCann were interviewed by police in Portimao along with friends. But police emphasised that they were not under any suspicion. Police last night issued an image of a pair of pyjamas identical to those which Madeleine had been wearing when she disappeared.

'We've got to believe we will still get Madeleine back', 12 May 2007
A heartache you can reach out and touch; 'WE'VE GOT TO BELIEVE WE WILL STILL GET MADELEINE BACK' Liverpool Echo (no longer available online)

Paddy Shennan speaks to the anguished grandparents of Madeleine McCann - on the abducted little girl's fourth birthday.

May 12, 2007

YOU can almost reach out and touch the heartache, fear and frustration - but it's impossible to fully comprehend it.

Outside, under blue suburban skies in this tree-lined street in the shadow of busy Allerton Road, there is precious normality. Birds are singing. People are shopping. It's a blissfully ordinary day.

Brian and Susan Healy the grandparents of abducted four-year-old Madeleine McCann, would give anything for ordinary.

For an extraordinary and horrifying drama - one they have absolutely no control over - is being played out behind the doors of their comfortable and well-kept semi-detached home.

Hope is keeping body and soul together, but their hearts are slowly breaking.

It is now nine days since their first grandchild was taken from her bed - and today is her fourth birthday.

They should be with Madeleine, together with their daughter, Kate, her husband, Gerry, and the couple's two-year-old twins, Sean and Amelie, celebrating the youngster's birthday at the family home in Leicestershire.

Instead, they are in Allerton . . . willing the phone to ring with good news.

Susan said: "We are praying for the best possible birthday present for Madeleine - her safe return to her family. If that happened, it would be a perfect day.

"I just believe we are going to get Madeleine back - if we don't get Madeleine back, I think none of our lives will ever be the same again.

"There is so much being done for the family and so many good wishes that I feel it's got to have a good ending - and it has to, because they are such a lovely family. We don't live in the nicest world, but we need a good outcome-for everyone."

We are sitting in Brian and Susan's front room. Their ordinary front room, with its lovely, ordinary family photographs on the walls and window-sill.

Behind us, on the wall, is a sweet black and white picture which, the proud-as-punch grandparents believe, sums up the sweet nature of the McCann family On the window-sill is a photograph of Madeleine, taken when she was two. She is wearing an Everton shirt and writing something on a piece of paper - and the handwritten caption underneath reads: "Madeleine signs for the Blues".

And on the wall opposite, above the piano, there are photographs of a beaming Kate, scrolls in hand, taken after she graduated from the University of Dundee and the .

Later, just before we leave, Susan and Brian show us a much-cherished Easter present from Madeleine - a heart-shaped plate featuring their first grandchild's hand prints, and inscribed with the words: "I love you grandma and grandad. From Madeleine, 2007."

Beautiful and, in today's painfully sad circumstances, devastating.

This, then, is a room like so many others on Merseyside: full of love, full of pride... full of family. In this case, a family which was long prayed for.

Kate and Gerry's children were born thanks to the wonders of IVF and Susan explains: "The same church I am praying in now - our parish church of Our Lady of the Annunciation, Bishop Eton - is where I prayed before Madeleine was born, because Kate was so desperate to have children. It's also the church where Kate and Gerry got married in December 1998.

"Madeleine was such a gift. Kate loves all her children, but Madeleine was her first child and she had waited so long for her."

Of her fourth birthday, today, Susan revealed: "We should have been in Leicestershire for Madeleine's party, which she would have shared with two other children from her nursery, including her best friend, Sophia, who was born on the same day. I assume the celebration will still go ahead for the other two - and I think Kate would want it to.

"We hadn't time to discuss presents for Madeleine with Kate, that's something we would have done this week."

The grandparents are keen to thank the people of Merseyside - and beyond - for their support, their offers of help and their prayers: "The response has been fantastic and absolutely overwhelming," said Brian.

"It really does help us and we really appreciate it. But it still feels like it's all happening to another family - we feel as if we're in a movie."

The couple also wanted to praise the people of Portugal for their support - and a counsellor, who they only know as Alan, for the help he has given Kate and Gerry. Susan said: "He's an independent counsellor who works for various holiday companies, and we know that while he now lives in Manchester, he's originally from Old Swan."

While they are suffering as the grandparents of Madeleine, Brian and Susan are also suffering as the parents of Kate, their only child: "Every time I see Kate on the television it really upsets me," says Brian, who, with his wife, spent last weekend in Portugal.

"The mental strain leaves you feeling wiped out at the end of every day but I think I did most of my crying when I was in Portugal."

It's been the same hell for both of them but, desperately looking for some positives to cling on to, Susan said: "The media has been absolutely wonderful. And I think, after Thursday evening's police press conference, Kate and Gerry have a little more faith about what's going on in Portugal."

Regarding her daughter's daily torment, Susan, who has been speaking to Kate about twice a day and regularly exchanging texts, explained: "I think her worst time is around 10.30 to 11 at night, at the end of another day - another day that Madeleine has not been found.

"Kate is normally a very placid person but I have seen her kick furniture and do things she has never done before in her life. Gerry has had to go into automatic pilot mode to cope, but I heard him howling the first night we were out there. They are so concerned about what Madeleine is going to be feeling.

"It's been said that the chances are Madeleine could be in Spain and we said this from day one. And it could be that her appearance has been changed - that her hair has been dyed."

Brian and Susan are urging ECHO readers to continue praying for Madeleine and her family - and also asking anyone who has recently been to Portugal on holiday to look closely at their photographs, "in case they see something in the background which doesn't look right."

And to the people who may be holding Madeleine, Susan made this appeal: "I would just beg them to give her back" - and Brian added: "Or leave her in a safe place and walk away."

Susan, a proud mum and grandmum, fought back tears on several occasions as we spoke, but, like her husband, she is determined to keep this heartbreaking story in the news - and determined to tell the world about an ordinary, loving family.

A family which, God willing, will soon be back together.

Parents to launch global fund for Maddy, 13 May 2007
Parents to launch global fund for Maddy The Sunday Times 
 
Charitable foundation likely to be set up as offers of help flood in for lost toddler
 
John Follain in Praia da Luz, Mark MaCaskill and Jon Ungoed-Thomas
May 13, 2007
 
THE family of Madeleine McCann are to launch a charitable fighting fund to help promote an international appeal to track her down.
 
They are consulting lawyers about a charitable foundation that would continue to fund the hunt and pay for private investigators if required. John McCann, Madeleine's uncle, said this weekend that the family were overwhelmed with offers of financial support and help.
 
Gerry and Kate McCann, Madeleine's parents, are determined the hunt for her should not fade from international attention and with their family are planning a worldwide campaign.
 
An appeal for sightings of Madeleine will be made at the Spanish Grand Prix this weekend. The family hope that a similar appeal will be made at Hampden Park, Scotland's national stadium, when it hosts the Uefa Cup final on Wednesday between two Spanish teams, Espanyol and Sevilla.
 
Detectives in Praia da Luz, where Madeleine disappeared 10 days ago, are trying to track down a number of possible suspects. The Sunday Times has established that Portuguese police have a detailed photofit of a suspect who was spotted loitering outside the McCann apartment and was later thought to have been seen in a white van.
 
"We have a good network of people in Glasgow and beyond who are coming forward to help and it reflects how popular both Gerry and Kate are," said John McCann. "Tears are fine, but tears are only good for release. After that, what next?
 
"We've been inundated with financial offers. It's been amazing. Friends have said, 'How much do you need? We'll get it to you within two days'. I got a phone call from a guy I play rugby with who knows Kate and he offered 50,000."
 
McCann said a poster campaign was being launched showing Madeleine's distinctive right eye, where the pupil runs into the blue-green iris. "We want to make the most of it, because we know her hair potentially could be cut or dyed," he said.
 
Gerry and Kate spent their daughter’s fourth birthday yesterday in quiet reflection in a private villa before attending mass in the evening. Their momentary relaxation as they were greeted by crowds of wellwishers was in sharp contrast to the last days, when Kate has looked broken and haunted by the unknown fate of her daughter.
 
One of Kate's closest friends, Jill Renwick, who alerted British media to Madeleine’s disappearance, said: "There’s nothing anyone can say or do to make her eat. Day to day she’s looking more and more stressed."
 
People who have been with the couple say Gerry is "focused" and always asking: "What can we do next?" They are trying to keep to their usual routine, spending time alone in the evenings with their two-year-old twins Amelie and Sean.
 
Gerry revealed the couple's attitude remains positive, telling the congregation at yesterday evening's mass: "We are looking forward to the day when Madeleine returns to us as a joyous one. We walk out of this church believing that we will see Madeleine soon and she will be safe and well and we will continue to hope."
 
The McCanns have pledged to leave "no stone unturned", but they know the prospects of Madeleine being found alive are increasingly remote. According to investigators, most "stranger abductions" end within 24 hours.
 
After that, the chances of finding a child alive "drop like a stone".
 
If Madeleine is not found soon, looming before them is the terrible decision about when to gather up their belongings, leave the supportive embrace of Praia da Luz and return home to Rothley, Leicestershire.
 
Hamish Brown, a former detective with Scotland Yard's specialist crime directorate, said: "They've been so dignified in their response, but you can't begin to imagine what this is like.
 
"You would hope to have a development in the first few days, but it hasn't happened. It is what detectives in this country call a 'sticker', which means you're in for the duration."
 
Compounding the McCanns' anguish has been the knowledge that they gave opportunity to whoever took Madeleine by leaving the three children in the apartment while they dined nearby. Counselling has helped, but any parent would find it impossible not to replay endlessly the events of the night she disappeared, with one refrain — "if only".
 
Alan Pike, from the Centre for Crisis Psychology, has been counselling the couple. "My work with the McCanns began on Saturday. We are reviewing what they went through on the night Madeleine disappeared, what happened and how they discovered she had gone," he said.
 
"The aim is to help them to understand what was happening to them physically and emotionally because it can be debilitating. That allows them to focus on what needs to be done."
 
There was initially criticism of the McCanns by Portuguese residents, but this has faded with the huge swell of sympathy for their plight. One resident in the Mark Warner Ocean Club complex where the McCanns were holidaying is said to have heard Kate berating herself after the disappearance. "We've let her down," she is said to have cried.
 
The same resident said she heard Madeleine crying for her father on Tuesday evening, but this has not been confirmed by police.
 
Last week was a frustrating one for the McCanns, with a series of possible leads but no breakthrough. The police, stung by claims that they were slow to react to the abduction, are now involved in one of best-resourced and high-profile investigations the country has ever seen.
 
Among the initial criticisms were that police failed to preserve the crime scene, with one former British detective describing it as as the worst he had ever encountered. Most embarrassing was an initial photofit said to be so vague it resembled an "egg with hair". There was also incredulity among some British investigators that details of Madeleine's pink and white speckled pyjamas were not publicised until Thursday.
 
Olegario Sousa, a chief inspector of the Policia Judiciaria, said the investigation had to comply with Portuguese law, which allows few details to be divulged. The inquiry now has considerable resources, including the help of British psychological profilers.
 
Police have identified one possible suspect after a British woman is understood to have drawn up a photofit of a man seen acting suspiciously outside the McCanns' apartment on the afternoon Madeleine vanished.
 
A source also confirmed this weekend that sniffer dogs tracked Madeleine's scent to two apartments in the resort, where two women and a man were staying. Their nationality has not been confirmed, but they have been interviewed by police.
 
Detectives are also investigating reports from a witness in Sagres, 16 miles from Praia da Luz, that a man was photographing children without permission. After he was challenged he left with a woman in a Renault Clio.
 
Police are said to have shown the Sagres witness CCTV footage of a woman and two men at a service station on the motorway between Praia da Luz and Faro soon after Madeleine’s disappearance. The woman is said to have been with a toddler with blonde hair.
 
According to reports, the witness said she had "no doubts" that one of the men and the woman at the service station were the couple who had been in Sagres. Portuguese investigators have refused to comment.
 
Villagers in Burgau, near Praia da Luz, have also been questioned by police. They say they have been shown pictures of two separate groups of adults.
 
The McCanns are believed to have stayed once before in Praia da Luz and had returned because they considered it a safe resort. According to a member of staff, the McCanns were so confident of safety they left the french windows to their apartment unlocked when their children were alone last Thursday week.
 
Inquiries by The Sunday Times have found that the Ocean Club complex was recently targeted by criminals, despite the confidence of holidaymakers in its security. One resident, in an apartment a short distance from where the McCanns were staying, said an intruder had entered about three weeks before Madeleine’s disappearance.
 
"I was sitting watching TV when I saw an arm coming out of my bedroom and reaching for the light," the woman resident said. "I screamed, 'What are you doing?' at the top of my voice. He [the intruder] jumped out of the window onto the roof, then he must have climbed down the tree."
 
Despite the risk of break-ins, there was no extra advice for holidaymakers to be on their guard. Mark Warner sends customers security advice with their travel brochure, but the only recommendation is that valuables are left at reception.
 
The appeal for Madeleine's safe return is likely to remain in the public eye for a considerable time. Up to 600 Portuguese motorcyclists plan to travel the country, distributing appeals for information.
 
Crime experts said last week that it should not be assumed that Madeleine had been taken by a child abuser. Ray Wyre, a consultant on sexual crime and abuse, said: "You need the message to go out to potential witnesses that no one should be discounted."

Maddie parents' smile of courage, 13 May 2007
Maddie parents' smile of courage The People
 
Rachael Bletchly In Praia Da Luz
13 May 2007
 
MUM & DAD'S VIGIL FOR SNATCHED HOLIDAY TOT LOCALS APPLAUD THEM ON DAY SHE TURNS FOUR
 
MISSING Madeleine McCann's parents put on brave smiles yesterday as an emotional church service helped them cope with their agony.
 
At times during the weekend, distraught mum Kate clutched a rag doll she had bought for the tot's fourth birthday - but never got the chance to hand over.
 
And dad Gerry spoke of a "tidal wave" of devastation caused by her abduction ten days ago. What should have been a day of joy was agony as her family waited for news on the kidnapped little girl.
 
Maddie should have been blowing out candles on her Dr Who cake. But the only candles flickering were at sombre vigils for her.
 
Kate and Gerry, both 38, drew huge comfort from mass at the church in Praia da Luz, Portugal, where they were on holiday when Maddie vanished.
 
Gerry told villagers who have given heartwarming support: "We are looking forward to the day when Madeleine returns to us as a joyous one. We believe that we will see Madeleine soon and she will be safe and well and we will continue to hope."
 
As they left they were greeted by children holding balloons and a crowd of villagers, who applauded them.
 
Mr McCann told the congregation: "Today we should be celebrating the fourth birthday of our daughter Madeleine.
 
"Instead we have had to remember what a normal, beautiful, vivacious, funny, courageous and loving little girl that we are missing today.
 
"I like to think about the effects of Madeleine's abduction from us nine days ago like a tidal wave. The devastation which was tremendous was greatest for Kate and me."
 
And he added: "The devastation affects everyone we meet here in the resort and has affected this community.
 
"The tidal wave did not stop here, it has travelled many miles across Europe, across the sea to Glasgow, Liverpool, Leicester, Ireland, America, Canada, New Zealand and continental Europe, where we have many friends and family."
 
Gerry also spoke movingly of the "tremendous outpouring of warmth" from people in Portuguese.
 
GP Kate has lost almost a stone in weight since Maddie was abducted and is unable to eat properly or sleep without sedatives. She looked frail, gaunt and haggard yesterday.
 
At an earlier service, the couple followed a Portuguese tradition of wearing green and carrying green branches to the 16th Century church as a sign of hope.
 
Local mechanic Pedro Melo, 25, explained: "We want Madeleine's parents to know how much we care. We feel like crying for them. Their pain must be so great."
 
A picture of Maddie, whose face can be seen on lamp posts and in shop windows across the town, was pinned near the altar - set in a red heart.
 
As the service neared its end, a single piece of green string was passed through the crowd right to the back of the church until everyone was holding it - uniting them with the McCanns.
 
Back in the UK Maddie's relatives and family friends were also anxiously awaiting news.
 
A party in Glasgow planned for her birthday by uncle and aunt John and Philomena was put on hold. John, 48 said: "There was no point in having a birthday party without Madeleine - but the party has only been postponed, not cancelled.
 
"We are going to have it when she comes back and then it will be a massive party."
 
Philomena, 43, spent the day handing out 15,000 posters to football fans outside Glasgow's Celtic Park ground, hoping to jog the memory of supporters who may have visited Portugal.
 
Maddie's grandparents in Liverpool, Brian and Susan Healey, told last night how they were "storming heaven" for her. Susan, 61, said: "Please God she will be back to blow her birthday candles out. She loved to blow out candles.
 
"It is hard for everybody but with the help of our friends it's possible to keep going. We have to keep Madeleine in the spotlight, we have to have Madeleine brought home."
 
Brian, 67, pleaded to Maddie's kidnappers: "Please just bring her home. The support we have had is immense. We are storming heaven trying to find her." Friends in Liverpool have tied yellow ribbons and pink balloons to their fences. The village square inRothley, Leics, where the McCanns live, has become a place of pilgrimage for hundreds of people wanting to show support.
 
The war memorial has been decorated with a thousand yellow ribbons. Next to it stands a 3ft pink and white rabbit, flanked by dozens of teddy bears. Among the hundreds of scrawled notes were many from children, not much older than Maddie.
 
One from Alex, eight, and Cameron, five, read: "We are thinking about you on your birthday and hoping you will come home safely. Hope you get to cuddle the teddy soon."
 
Staff at Leicester's Glenfield Hospital, where Gerry is a cardiologist and at Kate's GP surgery in Melton Mowbray have held vigils.
 
The McCanns arrived back at their resort apartment at 4pm yesterday after spending the day with their twins Sean and Amelie, two, in a brave bid to carry on as normally as possible. Amelie was carrying a red balloon. Kate hugged Sean, who was carrying a green balloon. Gerry smiled and paused for photographs and kissed Amelie gently as they walked into the apartment.
 
Last night Kate arrived for Mass clutching a blanket from her missing daughter's bed. She was wearing shorts and a yellow top and held Maddie's Cuddle Cat tightly as she held her husband's hand. Green and yellow ribbons have been tied to the church doors - green the Portuguese symbol of hope and yellow in remembrance of missing Maddie.
 
Chancellor Gordon Brown expressed his sympathy for Maddie's parents.
 
At a meeting in Gillingham, Kent, the PM-in-waiting said: "Every parent will be sympathising in their hour of need."
 
Hundreds of ex-pat Brits gathered in Praia da Luz yesterday to tie yellow ribbons wherever they could in support.
 
The railings in front of their holiday complex were covered in the colourful tributes, alongside bunches of yellow flowers and cuddly toys.
 
Claire Borges, originally from Banbury, Oxfordshire, said: "We feel like we've been hit in the stomach. Every day you pray for good news."
 
Today is a Portuguese religious holiday known as Miracle Day - in which the faithful pray for lost causes.

Madeleine's parents 'left patio doors unlocked', 13 May 2007
Madeleine's parents 'left patio doors unlocked' Daily Mail
 
Last updated at 16:53pm on 13th May 2007
 
 Police in Portugal are working on the theory that Madeleine was snatched through patio doors left unlocked by her parents as they dined just 40 yards away.
 
Until now, it was believed that shutters at the front of the apartment had been jemmied open by the little girl's abductors.
 
But Chief Inspector Olegario Sousa, spokesman for the investigation, has confided in British former Chief Inspector Albert Kirby that neither the windows nor their shutters had been tampered with.
 
Mr Kirby, who led the investigation into the abduction and murder of Liverpool-born toddler Jamie Bulger, revealed that it was the unlocked patio doors of the apartment that allowed Madeleine to be taken away swiftly and quietly.
 
Sources close to the investigation also confirmed that police attention was solely focused on the back of the apartment, which leads on to a small garden easily accessible from a public path through a gateway.
 
Gerry and Kate McCann would have used the patio doors as they checked on their daughter and her twin siblings during their meal near the Mark Warner holiday complex swimming pool and it is these doors that were left unsecured.
 
The McCanns and all their friends on the holiday left their patio doors open throughout the evenings for fear of fire.
 
Mr Kirby told The Mail on Sunday: "I had a very interesting chat with the officer in charge. The window shutters are not an issue.
 
"Their mechanism makes them almost impossible to open. The door was left unlocked. They did that every night.
 
"I think the police have a very specific understanding of what they are looking for."
 
Mr Kirby believes Portuguese police will solve the case of the missing toddler within days. He said: "I am impressed by the investigation. I have a feeling we will have a result by the end of the next week."

'We will not rest until our friends' little girl is found', 14 May 2007
'We will not rest until our friends' little girl is found' The Herald Scotland

DAMIEN HENDERSON
Published on 14 May 2007


For Paul and Kate MacIntyre, finding Madeleine McCann has revolved around efforts to keep the four-year-old's disappearance in the public eye. "We're terrified of it becoming yesterday's news," confessed Mrs MacIntyre.

The couple, both doctors, are part of a small group of close friends of Madeleine's parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, who are at the centre of the campaign to help publicise the little girl's kidnapping in Portugal.

For them, the one tangible hope they can cling to is that a high level of public awareness can only help someone, anyone, in identifying Madeleine.

"The longer things go on, the less interested the media becomes," said Dr Paul MacIntyre, a consultant cardiologist at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley.

"Realistically, we know that with any story, the publicity will reduce over time. If we can get a big bang so that Madeleine's face is recognised all over Europe and everyone has seen her eyes, we will have a much better chance of someone seeing her."

So far, their efforts have yielded amazing results. Through a network of around 10 couples in Glasgow, mostly doctors, and John McCann, Gerry's brother, they have seen prominent sportsmen, businessmen, celebrities and politicians become involved.

Dr MacIntyre was yesterday at the women's 10K race in Bellahouston Park, Glasgow, handing out yellow ribbons to thousands of runners and well-wishers to wear in support of Madeleine's family. The roll call of those who have helped so far includes author JK Rowling, footballers Cristiano Ronaldo, John Terry, Wayne Rooney and David Beckham, and Sir Richard Branson, owner of the Virgin empire.

The Glasgow group also persuaded Gordon Brown and Alex Salmond to wear yellow ribbons at the weekend as a sign of the politicians' support.

Yesterday, Everton supporters held up a banner calling for the safe return of Madeleine, who has worn the club's strip, at their game against Chelsea.

Dr MacIntyre first met Gerry McCann at a running club in Coatbridge when he was a teenager. Mr McCann, from Mount Florida, was six years his junior. They became friends and remained in touch over the years - both of them decided to become doctors and both trained at Glasgow University before specialising in sports medicine.

Their paths crossed again when Dr McCann returned from New Zealand, with his wife Kate, and took over Dr MacIntyre's teaching post at Glasgow University.

Though the McCanns moved to Leicester, the couples have kept in touch and only six months ago Dr MacIntyre tried to persuade them to return to Glasgow so that Dr McCann could take up a vacant post in cardiology.

After Madeleine's disappearance, Dr MacIntyre first made contact with the McCanns through a mutual friend, Dr Andrew Renwick, also involved in the publicity campaign.

He finally spoke to Dr McCann last Wednesday and again after the church service held on Friday night in St Andrew's Roman Catholic Cathedral in Glasgow.

"After speaking to Gerry my attitude changed," Dr MacIntyre said. "He was so positive and focused. He said he didn't want us to sit around feeling sorry for them but to help. So that's what we've been doing.

"We spoke again after the service on Friday night. He said it had been a tremendous source of support and strength for the family." Like the McCanns, the MacIntyres have turned to their faith as a source of refuge and solace. But their ultimate source of strength is hope. "She's alive until proved otherwise," Dr MacIntyre said. "We're not going to give up until there is no hope."

Anguished parents struggle in sea of despair, 15 May 2007
Anguished parents struggle in sea of despair Sydney Morning Herald
 
May 15, 2007
 
Hope is becoming ever harder to sustain for a young kidnap victim's family, Olga Craig reports.
 
HOLLOW-CHEEKED and red-eyed, Kate McCann grips her husband's hand tightly as she faces the television cameras. In her other hand she holds Cuddle Cat, her missing daughter Madeleine's favourite toy. "We are remaining positive. We still believe Madeleine will return to us," she says, her fingernails digging ever deeper into the pink, furry cat.
 
Her face tells a different story. Mrs McCann, a 38-year-old GP, is a woman tormented: a mother whose anguish knows no depths.
 
It has been 12 days since four-year-old Madeleine was snatched while she slept, tucked between her twin siblings, at her parents' holiday apartment in Portugal.
 
A lacklustre police investigation has seemingly made little progress in finding her, making the plight of her parents, forced to live out their anguish in public, all the worse.
 
Since her daughter's kidnap on the night of May 3, Mrs McCann has grown ever more gaunt, her frail frame stooped from her burden of grief. She appears on the verge of collapse.
 
Throughout the vigil that she and her husband, Gerry, a cardiologist, have endured, she has carried Cuddle Cat constantly. Pinning it to her handbag, twisting it through trembling fingers.
 
"Kate will be able to smell Madeleine on it," says Susan Healy, her mother. "That is why she cannot put it down."
 
Tragically for Mrs McCann, there is little else from which she can draw solace. Or hope.
 
Two streets away, behind the gleaming whitewashed apartment in Praia da Luz, where the McCanns were on a week-long holiday with Madeleine and their two-year-old twins, Amelie and Sean, two silver vans sit parked. Inside, locked in separate steel cages, four Alsatian sniffer dogs growl and bark in the midday heat. There is no sign of their green-uniformed handlers, officers from Portugal's Algarve Search and Rescue Dog team. They are down on the seafront, shopping for T-shirts.
 
Were it not for their uniforms they, too, might be on vacation. Instead, they are part of a 180-strong police search for the McCanns' daughter. But their shambolic, haphazard modus operandi symbolises the inept and bumbling investigation that represents the Portuguese authorities' efforts to find the toddler.
 
The police are wildly out of their depth, claiming that the rigidity of Portuguese law prevents them from disclosing any information. Olegario Sousa, their chief inspector, speaks English, but he rarely ventures more than one well-rehearsed speech. To every question he responds: "That is an aspect of the investigation we cannot talk about. It is the law, you know."
 
The police refuse to confirm reports of suspects, but neither will they deny them. Thus, this emotional and highly charged search for a missing child has become punctuated with endless red herrings and speculation.
 
Their ineptitude is, perhaps, inevitable: Praia da Luz is not a place one would expect a child kidnap. The village may be in Portugal, six kilometres from Lagos on the Algarve's south-western coast, but it could just as easily be south-east England in the 1950s.
 
The retired English middle classes have migrated here to re-create an image of a Britain that no longer exists, with its narrow cobbled streets, jammed with whitewashed apartments and quaint tea shops and boutiques. One rarely sees the Portuguese, especially not young people.
 
The gentle pace and child-friendly reputation of Praia da Luz convinced the McCanns that it was the ideal spot for a holiday.
 
It was five days into their break, at 10pm on May 3, that the nightmare began and this ordinary family was pitched into a maelstrom. From happy poolside holidaymakers, they have become the central characters in a bewildering, heartbreaking story of danger and despair.
 
Much has been made of the fact that the McCanns were only metres from their children and could see their apartment from the dinner table of the resort's tapas restaurant. But that is just not so. The McCanns' flat was outside the complex and, crucially, outside its security doors. Only the top of their accommodation could be glimpsed from the restaurant.
 
To check on the children, they had to leave the complex by the security doors, turn left up a main road, climb the back stairs of their end-of-row flat, go in through the rear french windows, which they had left unlocked, and walk to the front of the apartment where their children slept. That room overlooks a car park and another main road.
 
Their decision to leave the children alone, one that has astonished the Portuguese community, has been criticised. It is one, too, that Madeleine's devastated parents will be regretting with all their hearts. For Kate McCann's family, many of whom flew out to Portugal after the abduction, that criticism has been hard to bear.
 
"I have sat at that table, I know how diligent Kate and Gerry were about checking the children," Mrs Healy said. "They knew immediately that Madeleine had been taken, that she hadn't just wandered off. But it was difficult to get that across to the Portuguese police initially."
 
The McCanns raised the alarm when they found their daughter missing, but, while police responded quickly, they were not convinced she had been kidnapped. They neglected to protect the crime scene, allowing access to cleaners and failing to fingerprint the McCanns, so that their prints could be eliminated, until the following Monday.
 
As the family waited fearfully for news, they faced the agonising reality of trying to explain to their toddler twins why their big sister was no longer there.
 
"That was terrible for them," says John McCann, Mr McCann's elder brother, who has also travelled to Portugal to help search for his niece.
 
"Kate dressed Amelie in her sister's pyjamas and the baby said: 'Maddy's jammies. Where is Maddy?' But she is too young to understand. And how do you explain? All we know is that Madeleine needs her family. She loves us, we love her. It is time for her to come home."
 
That hope is becoming ever harder to sustain.
 
While the Portuguese police tried, initially, to play down the sickening prospect that an organised pedophile ring may have taken her, or that she has become another victim of the child-trafficking trade - stolen to order for a childless couple - with every passing day, those fears become more real.
 
Telegraph, London

The 2.6m global hunt, 15 May 2007
The 2.6m global hunt Khaleeji Times
 
15 May 2007
 
ARM IN arm, Madeleine McCann's parents made short but heart-felt speeches this morning about their missing daughter. A determined Kate McCann vowed they would not leave Portugal without Madeleine, who has now been missing for more than 11 days.
 
And Gerry McCann revealed they were receiving help from a trauma consultant and were keeping a positive outlook.
 
"Until we have concrete evidence to the contrary we believe Madeleine is safe and being looked after," he said.
 
He also thanked those who made financial offers to help Madeleine and the media for covering the case.
 
Day before they took a stroll down the beach; a brief break from the heartbreaking search for their missing daughter Madeleine.
 
Friends say "a tidal wave" of devastation has torn the couple apart but that they have been gaining strength from the support of family, friends and the many church services they have attended.
 
A day after what should have been the fourth birthday party for the "miracle child" they desperately sought through IVF treatment, the couple were hoping for another miracle, her safe return.
 
Millions of people across Portugal joined them as the Catholic nation marked the 90th anniversary of the famous "Fatima visions" in which the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to three peasant children in central Portugal. Yesterday Madeleine was added to the usual prayers as 300,000 attended a service at Fatima.
 
Her abduction has taken a heavy toll on Mrs McCann's health and she looked frail, visibly having lost more weight.
 
The 38-year-old GP wore a yellow and green ribbon in her hair, green being the colour of hope in Portugal.
 
The investigation has suffered a setback however with police ruling out the prime suspects they had been seeking for four days. Detectives had been looking for a blonde woman and two men seen at a motorway service station with a girl similar to Madeleine.
 
This trio, caught on CCTV, along with a suspected paedophile seen taking pictures of children on a beach, have now been discounted, said Chief Inspector Olegario Sousa. He added that his officers did not have a single suspect in the 11-day-old case.
 
According to Portuguese newspapers, police sources believe the "key" to the mystery lies with ten witnesses - including the McCanns - who have been questioned over the past week.
 
Some or all of them are expected to be questioned by an investigating magistrate in a courtroom this week.
 
The McCanns, who have twins aged two, have hired two UK lawyers who have flown to the Algarve. As well as advising them over the court proceedings, they may be involved in setting up a fund to pay for investigators to look for Madeleine around the world.
 
Mr McCann, 38, and also a doctor, is taking personal charge of his media campaign to secure the return of his daughter.
 
Alex Woolfall, a spokesman for Mark Warner, the travel firm the McCanns booked their villa with, said: "The walk on the beach by Kate and Gerry this afternoon is all part of their desire to show they're in charge.
 
"They're showing that they're going to bring people out to Portugal, they're going to get the resources in, and they're going to stay in Portugal for as long as it takes. Knowing the determination that Gerry has, I have every hope he will succeed."
 
UK police have compiled a detailed photofit of a suspect, based on interviews with returning holidaymakers. The man, who is about 5foot 8inch tall and aged 30 to 35, has a partly-shaved head and wore light trousers and a blue top. He was seen loitering outside the family's apartment.
 
The description could signify he works in the resort, where kitchen staff and waiters wear white trousers.
 
The search has also been widened to North Africa after suggestions that Madeleine might have been spirited across the few miles of Mediterranean to Morocco.
 
Internet experts in Britain involved in the hunt have issued online appeals in Arabic after receiving many "hits" from computers in Morocco.
 
Another theory aired in the Portuguese press is that Madeleine's abductor marked her out before the family even left Britain. Detectives are said to have questioned the McCanns about anything in their past that might have inspired a revenge mission.
 
Meanwhile, police and media organisations have been deluged with offers from self-proclaimed psychics with various claims. Police are not believed to be taking them seriously, nonetheless two "psychic trackers" from Hertfordshire have flown to the Algarve to begin their own hunt.
 
Madeleine vanished from her family's holiday flat in the village of Praia da Luz on the south coast of Portugal at 10pm on May 3.
 
Her family, devout Roman Catholics from Rothley in Leicestershire, have been visibly lifted by a series of special services in the Our Lady of the Light church in Praia da Luz.
 
Mrs McCann managed a smile as she attended the packed morning mass at the church, supported by a friend and accompanied by Father Paul Seddon from Formby near Liverpool.
 
Father Seddon, who helped celebrate mass in the church, married the McCanns and baptised Madeleine.
 
Mrs McCann wept as in a Bible reading from John 14 she heard the lines: "Do not let your hearts be afraid. You heard me say, 'I am going away - and shall return'."
 
Mrs McCann left the church clutching a bouquet and Madeleine's Cuddle Cat, as local children handed out small pictures of her daughter with the words "Thank the Lord for the gift of Madeleine's life" handwritten on the back.
 
Madeleine's eyes
 
Madeleine's distinctive right eye could hold the clue to finding her, her family said yesterday.
 
People were told to watch out for the unusual "black flash" across her iris, left.
 
A new poster showing the abnormality was issued after fears that her abductor could have tried to change her appearance.
 
With millions looking out for her across Europe, altering her hairstyle, for example, could make her harder to recognise.
 
But her eye cannot be changed, and the poster clearly shows her pupil running into the blue-green iris.
 
Yesterday her grandmother Susan Healy urged people everywhere to look into children's eyes.
 
She said: "Please look at children, don't be afraid, go and look at children, look for this black flash that goes from her pupil to the iris of the eye.
 
"And if the people who have got Madeleine realise she has this distinctive marking, take her somewhere safe. Leave her - you can run off, we don't care. We just want her back."
 
Police now believe the abductor entered the family's-holiday flat by the unlocked patio doors and did not force the heavy shutters to the bedroom where Madeleine was sleeping.
 
It is believed the McCanns left the patio doors open because they could not be locked from the outside, and to allow easy access for their checks on their children while they dined with friends at a nearby tapas bar.
 
A record 2.6million reward is on offer for Madeleine's safe return.
 
Celebrities, business leaders and sportsmen have pledged the money.
 
Harry Potter author JK Rowling has promised a sum in excess of 250,000 while Top Shop tycoon Sir Philip Green has put up 250,000 and Sir Richard Branson a further 100,000.
 
There is also 25,000 from footballer Wayne Rooney, 50,000 from TV star Simon Cowell and a 20,000 whipround from the England cricket team.
 
The reward, which has been endorsed by the Portuguese police, was welcomed by Madeleine's father Gerry McCann.
 
He said: "We are very happy and pleased with what you are doing. Anything that can be done to publicise that Madeleine is missing and help with the search is very welcome."
 
Last week businessman Stephen Winyard, 57, who lives in Monaco, said he was offering 1million after seeing photographs of Madeleine's distraught parents.
 
His offer followed a colleague of Madeleine's mother putting up a 100,000 reward for help in finding her.
 
These have now been topped up by a further 1.5million from the celebrities, organised by the News of the World newspaper, which itself pledged 250,000 to the fund.
 
Runners in Glasgow's women's 10k race, among them Madeleine's aunt Diane McCann, wore T-shirts bearing her photo.
 
So did some of those taking part in Liverpool's annual 10k race, which was attended by the missing girl's grandmother Susan Healy.
 
Before yesterday's Premiership clash with Chelsea, Everton players also wore T-shirts with Madeleine's picture.
 
A constant stream of visitors, many with their young children, defied pouring rain at the family's home village of Rothley in Leicestershire to leave tokens and messages of support.
 
Scores of flowers, teddy bears, and birthday cards were left at the railings on the village green, which are barely visible beneath thousands of yellow ribbons.
 
One message said: "Little angel, I hope you are safe. Praying for you to come home."
 
Special prayers were once again said in all four churches in the village.
 
The disappearance of Maddy
 
Madeleine, who turned four on Saturday, was taken from her bed in the ground-floor apartment she was sharing with her parents between 9.30pm and 10pm on Thursday night in the Algarve resort, Praia de Luiz. Her parents had been checking every half hour on the toddler and her younger twin brother and sister, Sean and Amelia, who were sleeping in cots next to her.
 
When Mrs McCann checked on the children, she found the apartment door wide open, the window shutters jemmied wide and her daughter's bed empty. She ran screaming from the apartment, sparking a huge search involving 150 police, firefighters and Portuguese civil guard, along with villagers and guests at the Mark Warner Holiday complex.
 
Reward on offer
 
A record 2.6million reward is on offer for Madeleine's safe return. Celebrities, business leaders and sportsmen have pledged the money. Harry Potter author JK Rowling has promised a sum in excess of 250,000 while Top Shop tycoon Sir Philip Green has put up 250,000 and Sir Richard Branson a further 100,000. There is also 25,000 from footballer Wayne Rooney, 50,000 from TV star Simon Cowell and a 20,000 whipround from the England cricket team.

At home and abroad: team Madeleine, 15 May 2007
At home and abroad: team Madeleine Daily Mail
 
Last updated at 08:52 15 May 2007
 
Behind Kate and Gerry McCann is a growing band of family, friends and specialists desperately trying to ease their burden. The original party of friends who flew out to the Algarve with their children and the McCanns remain in Praia da Luz comforting the couple while the team, both at home and abroad, is maximising publicity and expertise. Here MICHAEL SEAMARK profiles Team Madeleine
 
The lawyers
 
The McCanns have instructed the International Family Law Group, specialist London lawyers in child abduction and international family law, together with barrister Michael Nicholls QC, to help them in the search for Madeleine.
 
Mr McCann said the arrival of lawyers from the firm in Praia da Luz had meant 'a burden being lifted from our shoulders' and the law group says members of the public will soon be able to make their own financial contribution to a 'fighting fund' for the search, which could pay for private detectives across Europe.
 
Mark Warner, the holiday company the McCanns booked with, said accommodation and flights for them and their relatives was being given free for as long as the family needed it.
 
The family priest
 
Father Paul Seddon married the McCanns and baptised Madeleine. He led a service to pray for her safe return at Our Lady of Compassion Church in Formby, near Liverpool, last Thursday night.
 
The Roman Catholic parish priest and family friend had been in regular phone and text contact with the distraught couple in the aftermath of her disappearance.
 
He flew out at the weekend and accompanied Kate to Mass on Sunday.
 
The PR man
 
Experiemced public relations man Alex Woolfall has been acting as the family spokesman when Kate and Gerry McCann have not wished to appear themselves before the world's media.
 
He is described as press officer for the Mark Warner holiday group but, in fact, has been seconded from the Bell Pottinger Group - the PR firm headed by Lord Bell, Lady Thatcher's former PR guru.
 
The Cracker experts
 
Two criminal behaviour experts from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (Ceop) Centre flew into Portugal to help assist in the hunt.
 
Detective Superintendent Graham Hill of Surrey Police has worked on a string of high-profile cases, including the kidnap and murder of schoolgirl Milly Dowler - whose body was found in a Hampshire wood six months after she was snatched in 2002 while walking home from school. Joe Sullivan, a forensic psychologist, has wide experience of child-sex murders and paedophile rings.
 
Trauma counsellors
 
Mark Warner flew out two specialist counsellors to help comfort the McCanns, spending time with the couple through the traumatic days. Leicestershire police sent three family liaison officers.
 
Back in Glasgow
 
Madeleine'es uncle John McCann is spearheading the fight to keep her 'name up there so no one forgets about her'.
 
The family are targeting the 40,000 Spanish fans and 500 journalists from across Europe congregating in Glasgow for tomorrow's UEFA Cup final at Hampden Park between Seville and Espanyol.
 
Mr McCann, a 48-year- old drugs company representative, hopes to gain permission for a picture of his niece to be placed on every seat at the stadium.
 
Leicester
 
Thousands have travelled to the McCanns' home village of Rothley to place messages on railings by the village green, no longer visible beneath a mass of yellow ribbons.
 
Villagers and visitors alike have begun to tie yellow ribbons to their vehicles while in nearby Queniborough - the McCanns' home until a year ago - Madeleine's great-uncle Brian Kennedy was among those who released 40 pink balloons on Saturday to mark her birthday.
 
Liverpool
 
Before Sunday's Premiership match at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea, the Everton players ran out wearing T-shirts featuring Madeleine's picture and fans in the crowd carried banners calling for her safe return.

Maddie's Grandma: 'Don't accuse Maddie's mum of child neglect'
- First magazine, 19-25 May 2007

First magazine cover, 19-25 May 2007
First magazine cover, 19-25 May 2007

First magazine, page 5, editor's comment
First magazine, page 5, editor's comment

First magazine, page 6
First magazine, page 6

First magazine, page 7
First magazine, page 7

First magazine, opinion page
First magazine, opinion page

Portuguese police turned down offer of dog help, 23 May 2007
Maddie hunt: Send in dogs The Sun
 
By Ian Hepburn and John Askill
Published: 23 May 2007
 
Stubborn Portuguese police chiefs are refusing to let the world's best sniffer dogs join the hunt for Madeleine McCann.
 
Senior British cops last night urged officers leading the inquiry to accept help from UK dog teams before it is too late.
 
Two dogs attached to Britain’s National Policing Improvement Agency have developed such powerful tracking skills they can follow a scent for miles, even one up to 28 days old.
 
By sniffing an item of Maddie’s clothing, they could trace a trail that might finally unlock the mystery of the four-year-old’s disappearance.
 
Police in the Algarve appear no nearer to finding Maddie 20 days after she was snatched from her bed in the family’s holiday apartment in Praia da Luz. But the sniffer dogs are still being snubbed.
 
A senior UK police source said: "It is an absolute scandal, time is fast running out for this little girl.
 
"These dogs have immense capability. Their tracking skills are among the finest in the world.
 
"The dogs were put on standby to go to the Algarve within days of Madeleine’s disappearance.

"You would expect the Portuguese to make use of the best resources available to them, but they repeatedly ignore the offers of assistance."

The dogs include a spaniel whose sense of smell is so keen she can sniff traces of blood on a weapon even after it has been scrubbed clean.

But the source warned: "They work most effectively within a 28-day time frame. After that the scent becomes much weaker."

Other British dog-handling teams did join the initial search for Maddie, and local cops later reported that dogs found a scent, but the trail was lost after 250 yards.

Soham phone experts help in hunt for Madeleine, 28 May 2007
Soham phone experts help in hunt for Madeleine Timesonline
 
David Brown in Praia da Luz
May 28, 2007
 
Telecommunications experts from the UK are attempting to trace the movement of the abductor of Madeleine McCann by following a trail left by mobile telephone signals. 
 
A team of British specialists have arrived in the Algarve to attempt to pinpoint the movements of mobile telephones around the resort complex where Madeleine was abducted 26 days ago.
 
The technique was used to collect the evidence which helped convict Ian Huntley for the murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in Soham, Cambridgeshire, in 2002.
 
The trail is created by a series of silent transmissions sent out by every mobile phone even when not in use. Each signal is picked up by masts in the area which creates a timed computer log of the handset’s movements. By measuring the strength of the signal received by various mobile telephone masts the area the location of the handset can often be narrowed to an area as small as a few square yards.
 
Detectives will use the information to verify statement provided by guests and staff at the Ocean Club complex from where Madeleine was abducted from her bed. By charting any unrecognised handsets the experts hope to produce a map of the movements of possible abductors.
 
The same technique was used to prove that a mobile telephone owned by Jessica Chapman had "died" while at Huntley’s home shortly after she went missing.
 
Portuguese police appear to have made little progress in the investigation since searching the home of Robert Murat, the only official suspect in the case. Mr Murat, 33, who lives less than 100 meters from Madeleine’s apartment, strenuously denies any wrongdoing.
 
Detectives have become increasingly interested in yachts at the marina in Lagos, a town about five miles from where Madeleine disappeared. They have questioned the four boat owners, three of them English, over recent days and have been checking marina records for movement of yachts in the weeks before and after the abduction.
 
Officers are reported to be attempting to trace a British man who left the harbour on his yacht about three weeks ago after mooring there for about two years. A witness has reported seeing a man walking with a child in his arms down to the marina just hours after four-year-old Madeleine was kidnapped.
 
Ingrid Fortunato, manager of Lagos marina, said "There is constant activity by the police who are asking which boats are going in and out." Kate McCann will leave Portugal tomorrow night for the first time since her daughter’s disappearance for a visit to the Vatican with her husband, Gerry, to see Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday morning.
 
The trip will be the first in a series of visits to promote the search for the daughter across Europe and North Africa. The couple are expected to travel to Spain on Friday or Saturday and Berlin on Monday. They also want to visit Amsterdam and Morocco.
 
The couple, both 38, have leant heavily on their faith throughout the last three-and-a-half weeks. They have attended church regularly and visited Fatima, Portugal’s holiest shrine last week. They hope the visit to the Vatican will "help them spiritually".
 
They will attend a "general audience" at the Vatican, during which it is expected they will be introduced to the Pope. It is hoped that he will also refer to Madeleine during prayers in St Peter’s Square.
 
Brits Follow Cell Phone Signals in Hunt for Madeleine Fox News
 
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
 
Experts from Britain are attempting to trace the abductor of Madeleine McCann by following a trail left by mobile telephone signals.
 
A team of British telecommunications specialists has arrived in the Algarve to attempt to pinpoint the movements of telephones around the resort complex where Madeleine was abducted 26 days ago.
 
Their arrival came as Madeleine's parents released the final mobile telephone images of the child before her abduction. They show her excitedly starting the week's holiday in Portugal.
 
The mobile telephone tracing technique was used to collect evidence that helped to convict Ian Huntley for the murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in Soham, Cambridgeshire, in 2002.
 
Trails are created by silent transmissions sent out by every mobile phone even when not in use. Each signal is picked up by masts, which create a timed computer log of the handset's movements. By measuring the strength of the signal, the location of the handset can often be narrowed to an area as small as a few square yards.
 
Detectives will use the information to verify statements provided by guests and staff at the Ocean Club complex, where Madeleine was taken from her bed.
 
Portuguese police appear to have made little progress in the investigation since searching the home of Robert Murat, the only official suspect in the case.
 
Murat, 33, who lives less than 100 yards from Madeleine's apartment, strenuously denies any wrongdoing. Detectives have become increasingly interested in yachts at the marina in Lagos, a town about 5 miles from where Madeleine disappeared. They have questioned four boat owners, three of them English.
 
Officers are also reported to be attempting to trace a British man who left the harbor on his yacht about three weeks ago, after mooring there for about two years. A witness reported seeing a man walking with a child in his arms down to the marina hours after 4-year-old Madeleine was kidnapped.
 
Kate McCann will leave Portugal tonight for the first time since her daughter's disappearance for a visit to the Vatican with her husband, Gerry, to see the Pope tomorrow morning.
 
The trip will be the first in a series of visits to promote the search for their daughter across Europe and North Africa. The couple are expected to travel to Spain on Friday or Saturday and Berlin on Monday. They also want to visit Amsterdam and Morocco.
 
Kate McCann is particularly keen to visit Morocco to raise awareness of Madeleine's abduction because of its closeness to Portugal and easy access by boat.
 
A suspected sighting in Marrakesh has been ruled out by Interpol after they re-interviewed the woman who claimed to have seen a little girl similar to Madeleine at a petrol station. But a small contingent of officers from Leicestershire police are still in the North African country.
 
The family is considering recording a version of Bryan Adams's "Everything I Do" to promote the search and raise funds for the Madeleine Fund.
 
The first line of the song, "Look into my eyes," is particularly relevant because of Madeleine's distinctive iris in her right eye. The couple, both 38, visited the beach at Praia da Luz yesterday to look at an 800-square-foot inflatable billboard with Madeleine's face on it which was set up by two volunteers who had driven from Glasgow to help with the search.
 
The parents also released the latest mobile telephone images, which show Madeleine clasping her pink Barbie rucksack as she clambers up the steps to the aircraft at East Midlands airport.
 
Holding hands with another little girl, she loses her footing and slips, grazing her shin on the third step. But although she cut herself quite badly, she stops crying after only seconds.
 
Gerry McCann, holding the pink rucksack, said: "She was really brave."
 
On arrival in Portugal the family were filmed sitting on the shuttle bus at Faro airport.
 
Gerry McCann said: "She was dead excited about going away with the rest of the kids."

With thanks to Nigel at McCann Files

TO HELP KEEP THIS SITE ON LINE PLEASE CONSIDER

Site Policy Sitemap

Contact details

Website created by Pamalam