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Twins pick up the phone every day and say 'Where are you Maddie?'

Original Source:  SUN: MONDAY 28 APRIL 2008
in Praia da Luz  Published: Today

Our true story

KATE and Gerry McCann plan to tell of their 12 months of torment in a book.

Portugal’s strict secrecy laws have prevented them from speaking out about the investigation while they are official suspects.

But they hope that status will soon be lifted, leaving them to enlist a ghost-writer to put their side of the story. Last night family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: “Kate and Gerry are keen to put the truth of everything that has happened to them on record.It will be a detailed account of their experience.”

The McCanns are desperate to hit back after it was revealed that police chief investigator Goncalo Amaral is to publish his own controversial version of events.

MADELEINE McCann’s anguished little sister and brother pick up the phone every day to ask, “Where are you?”, their grandmother said yesterday.

Eileen McCann, 67, opened her heart about the family’s ever-present pain – just days before the first anniversary of four-year-old Maddie’s disappearance last May 3.

Eileen, who is the mother of Maddie’s dad Gerry, told how twins Sean and Amelie, three, desperately miss her. And she heaped praise on their mum Kate.

The retired bookkeeper said: “Kate and Gerry don’t have to remind the twins that Madeleine is no longer there, because they ask where she is all the time.

“They pick up the phone to speak to her and ask, ‘Where are you?’

“Kate is a very capable mother. She is trying to keep life normal for the twins. She takes them to playgroups twice a week.


Maddie ... missing nearly a year

“But they are just not a family unit without Madeleine.

“Anyone who knows Gerry and Kate knows that they cherished Maddie. They never lifted a hand to her. I could never imagine either of them hurting her.”


Eileen, from Glasgow, revealed that she knew her blonde granddaughter had been abducted the moment she learned she had vanished from the family’s holiday flat in Praia da Luz, Portugal.

Recalling one phone conversation with Gerry, she said: “He said there was no sign of Madeleine.

“I said, ‘She’s been taken, pet’. Gerry told me he was positive I was right, but the police were treating her as missing.

“I knew Madeleine had been abducted, I just knew it in my heart. She would never have got up and gone off on her own.

“She wouldn’t have left the twins, because she was like a mother figure to them.

“If someone lifted her out of bed Madeleine would have screamed the place down. That girl could throw a tantrum if she wanted to and she and the twins were quite shy about meeting new people.

“I just can’t imagine what happened. Gerry said he put Madeleine and the twins to bed and read them all a story.

“He and Kate didn’t leave until after 8pm and the children were sound asleep. They then checked on them every half-hour.

“Who could have imagined that somebody would take Madeleine as she lay sleeping?

“Somebody came into Maddie’s room, carried her out in her pyjamas and we just don’t know where she is. It’s the stuff of nightmares. Whoever did this is a monster.”

Kate, 40, and Gerry, 39, have told how their confidence Maddie could be found alive was renewed after visiting a US specialist centre.

The McCanns saw how America’s nationwide Amber Alert system is used to find missing children.

Gerry says in a TV documentary: “This is a country that has more than two kidnappings per week. Only 40 to 50 per cent are found dead. And, most importantly, the younger the child, the less the likelihood of serious harm. People experienced in these investigations are saying, ‘I really believe she’s out there’ – and I thought, ‘I really believe it’. The couple met Ed Smart, whose daughter Elizabeth was missing for nine months before being found.

They also went to the headquarters of the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children.

The centre says 80 per cent of children rescued are found within 72 hours of the Amber Alert being activated. Sixty-eight children were rescued as a result last year alone. In the film, Kate admits some days are “desperate”, but says: “I feel more positive about the chances of Madeleine being out there.”

The documentary, Madeleine, One Year On: Campaign for Change, is on Wednesday at 8pm on ITV1.

Saturday’s anniversary of Maddie’s disappearance will be marked in her home village with prayers for missing children around the world. The church of St Mary and St John, in Rothley, Leics, will also stay open all day for people to call in and pray.

·  THE Sun has made a donation to the Find Madeleine fund.

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