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McCanns' pleased with appeal response

Friday, January 02, 2009, 09:30

Madeleine McCann's parents said they are pleased with the response to a Christmas television appeal for information on their daughter's disappearance.

Kate and Gerry McCann, from Rothley, released a video featuring previously unseen footage of their daughter in the run up to Christmas.

It included clips filmed during Christmas 2006 ? the last time Mr and Mrs McCann were together with all three of their children over the festive period.

In the video, the couple asked for people to help them make this their last Christmas without their daughter.

Madeleine was nearly four when she vanished from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, in Portugal, on May 3 last year.

Today, McCann family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "There has been a good response in the wake of the video. Kate and Gerry are very pleased.

"The video achieved its aim of reminding a great number of people at this time of year of Madeleine and that the family still need help."

The video showed Madeleine sitting on the stairs of the family home, flanked by her younger siblings, twins Sean and Amelie.

It also featured the first recording of Madeleine speaking which has been made public.

On their website, Mr and Mrs McCann said the amount of public support in recent months had got them through a difficult Christmas. Thanking everyone for the "solidarity" that had helped maintain their "strength and our hope" they said it was now crucial that they did everything they possibly could to find their little girl.

They said: "Reassuringly, we know there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever to suggest that Madeleine has been seriously harmed ? and this has been further confirmed after studying the recently-released Portuguese police files.

"In light of this, we passionately believe there is a very strong likelihood that Madeleine is out there and can be found.

"Like any family who suddenly find themselves in such a confusing and terrifying situation, we don't know if any of us could have got through all this without the public support."

Although Mr and Mrs McCann do not appear on the video, it features a direct appeal from them stating: "Christmas is a time for children. Please help bring our daughter back. This will be our second Christmas without our daughter.

"Please help us make sure we don't have a third."

Mr Mitchell would not give further details on what information had been received following the appeal, but said it was being analysed.

Portuguese police closed their inquires into the disappearance in July, due to lack of evidence.

However, the McCanns are continuing their search vowing "to leave no stone unturned".

Rothley vicar Rob Gladstone, from the church of St Matthew and St John, said Madeleine had been in the church's prayers, along with all other missing children


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