Madeline McCann remains the world’s most instantly recognisable child, her face known the world over.
Her disappearance has taken a terrible toll on the face of parents, Kate and Gerry, who have aged under an unimaginable stress since their daughter was taken during a family holiday six years ago.
They have lived for the last 2,364 days not knowing. Not knowing whether she is alive or dead, where she is, who she is with. Is she hurt? Is she scared? So many unknowns.
They have had their hopes raised, however briefly, by hundreds of crack-pot theories and supposed sightings, from Brazil to Morocco and back.
They have also lived at the other end of much finger-pointing with a minority [of idiots] accusing the McCanns of being involved in Maddie’s disappearance and millions more still blaming them for leaving her alone in a Portuguese apartment. [This despite the fact that I frequently see young children playing alone in public, easy targets for any would-be abductors.]
Of course it was a mistake to leave the girl, just nine days short of her fourth birthday. With hindsight, it turned out to be the biggest mistake that Kate and Gerry would ever make but no one could punish them as much as they will have already punished themselves.
A million times and more since May 3, 2007, they will have regretted their lapse, for which they have paid the most dreadful penalty. They will have recalled the last time they gave Maddie a big hug, the sound of her voice and the last thing they ever said to her.
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