The mother of missing British toddler Madeleine McCann was on a
fleeting visit this weekend to the village from where here daughter went
missing more than three years ago.
The aim of the visit was emotional, rather than to attract
attention to the ongoing search for Madeleine, Kate McCann told The
Speaking as she left the Praia da Luz church shortly after noon on
Saturday, having spent some time inside in prayer, Mrs McCann said she
was in Portugal “for emotional reasons and to pray for Madeleine”.
During the low-profile visit, she managed to side-step reporters, with
her visit to local Church going largely undetected by media and locals
According to family spokesman
Clarence Mitchell, this was just one of
a number of recent visits she had made to Portugal to visit friends.
Kate McCann also denied that she had travelled to Portugal in the
company of newly-appointed private investigators. Sources close the
family confirmed on Sunday afternoon that Mrs McCann had returned to the
UK having arrived in the Algarve on Friday evening.
Madeleine was just three when she went missing on May 3, 2007 from the
bedroom where she was sleeping with her younger twin
brother and sister
in a tourist complex in Praia de Luz, Lagos, while her
parents dined in a nearby restaurant.
On September 7 of the same year the child’s mother Kate and her father
were declared persons of interest to the case, but on July 21, 2008 the
Attorney General’s office announced the closing of the case and the
shelving of the process.
The couple’s suspect status was later lifted.
Police originally suggested they were dealing with a possible abduction,
but later admitted the child could have died, although the authorities
never managed to ascertain what happened.
In the first update on the findmadeleine.com website since the beginning
of September, the McCann family this week expressed regret over the
from the Child Exploitation and On Line Protection Unit (CEOP).
“We are certain that he will be a huge loss to the field of child
protection. Knowing how committed Mr Gamble is to this cause, it is
extremely saddening that he feels unable to continue to lead CEOP which
appears to be as a consequence of the proposed Governmental changes.
“The search for our daughter Madeleine has been greatly enhanced by the
work carried out by the team at CEOP. We would like to thank Mr Gamble
for all of his efforts, both for Madeleine and for all missing and
further wrote: “In this challenging economic
climate, we urge the Government to remember the value of our children
and the importance of the invaluable work which is necessary to protect
children against the devastating crimes of child abduction and
Brendan de Beer