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Kate and Gerry McCann plan first trip back to Portugal resort where Madeleine vanished

Original Source:  MAIL: WEDNESDAY 07 OCTOBER 2009
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 2:03 AM on 07th October 2009
Gerry McCann delivers a speech to the International Bar Association

Kate McCann is preparing to return to the resort in Portugal where her daughter Madeleine vanished.

Husband Gerry revealed they were planning to visit Praia da Luz before the end of the year.

The trip will be the first time Mrs McCann, of Rothley, Leicestershire, has been back to the Algarve resort since Madeleine, then aged three, disappeared in May 2007.

Mr McCann said: 'It was the last place she saw Madeleine and there is an emotional bond.'

Speaking at the International Bar Association's conference in Madrid, he also said the family had taken heart from the reappearance of Jaycee Lee Dugard in the U.S., after 18 years in captivity.

He said: 'It gave us hope.'

It will be the first time Kate has visited Praia da Luz since the McCanns left Portugal after being named as "arguidos" or people of interest to the investigation in September 2007.

Mr McCann has been back since, but his wife has previously felt the wounds caused be her daughter's disappearance have been too raw for her to return.

Last month the McCanns, both 41-year-old doctors, visited the Portuguese capital Lisbon to meet with lawyers to discuss their 1million lawsuit against Goncalo Amaral, the police officer who bungled the Madeleine investigation.

Mr McCann said yesterday: 'That was Kate's first visit to Portugal (since Madeleine disappeared) and she is very keen to go back again.

'We felt the visit was very positive because it made people realise the search is still going on.

'She would very much like to go back to Praia da Luz now that things are less intense. She would like that to be private as it's going to be a very emotional experience.

'It was the last place she saw Madeleine and there is an emotional bond. We are looking at potential dates although no date has been set yet.

'We have very good friends there, and there are lots of people we want to see.'

Going back: Kate and Gerry McCann are returning to the Algarve resort for the first time since their daughter Madeleine (right) disappeared in May 2007

Mr McCann was speaking to reporters at the International Bar Association's annual conference in Madrid, where he gave a speech on his family's relationship with the media.

After the speech he said he and wife Kate had been moved by the Channel 4 documentary on the Jaycee Lee Dugard kidnapping, Captured for 18 Years: The Jaycee Lee Story, screened last week.

Mr McCann said watching the programme 'had brought back some awful memories.'

But he added: 'Kate and I have never lost hope and the Jaycee Lee Dugard story was important for us.

'It was an incredibly tragic case, but it gave us hope.

'We sympathise and empathise with her and her family and everyone involved.'


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