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12th May 2023

Madeleine McCann’s parents issue new statement on her 20th birthday

Steve Hopkins

‘Happy birthday Madeleine! We love you and we’re waiting for you’

Madeleine McCann’s heartbroken parents have released a new statement on what is their missing daughter’s 20th birthday.

Kate and Gerry McCann said Friday that they would attend a small gathering to mark the occasion.

Madeleine went missing a few days before her fourth birthday in 2007 while on a family holiday in Praia da Luz, Portugal.

Madeleine vanished from her bedroom, where she was sleeping with her two siblings, and has never been found. No one had ever been charged over her disappearance.

In their message, the McCanns vowed to never stop looking for Madeleine and that they still hold out hope they will be reunited some day.

The statement said: “Happy birthday Madeleine! We love you and we’re waiting for you. We’re never going to give up.”

The caption under the YouTube video read: “Madeleine McCann is 20-years-old today. She’s still missing, still missed and we are never going to give up trying to find her.”

Earlier this month, on the 16th anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance, the McCann’s reissued their many pleas for information.

They wrote: “Today marks the 16th anniversary of Madeleine’s abduction. Still missing…….still very much missed.”

The heartbroken parents continued, “It is hard to find the words to convey how we feel.”

The McCanns shared a poem by Clare Pollard that resonated with them.

The McCanns said Pollard’s poem, The Contradiction, “resonates strongly with us” as it conveys the sheer pain of losing loved ones.

The poem reads: “The absence contradicts itself: the missing conjures what we miss. You are not here, I’m not myself, but still talk to you like this.

“You’re in the crowd, the news, the glimpse – I make you there when you’re not there. ‘I trace your steps, I map your face, I say your name, see you in air.

“You’re all I know and so unknown. I cannot hold you yet I do: please let me hold you in my head and where are you now, hold me too.

“How can you be so near and far? You are not here. But here you are.”

The McCanns acknowledged that the police investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance continues and said they “await a breakthrough”.

“Thank you to everyone for your support – it really helps,” they wrote.

The post came two weeks after German prosecutors said they are dropping sex offence charges against Christian Brueckner, a suspect in Madeleine’s disappearance, as they did not have jurisdiction over him.

Madeleine’s siblings, twins Sean and Amelie McCann, were in the same room when she vanished.

Kate and Gerry, from Rothley in Leicestershire, were having dinner with friends at a tapas restaurant just 55 metres away.

When Kate checked the room at 10pm she noticed her daughter was missing. Police were last month given hundreds of thousands of pounds in a new funding effort to help solve Madeleine’s disappearance.

A reported £13 million has been spent on the case since 2011.

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