Two soccer stars Tuesday made their plea on video for the safe return of a
British toddler missing in Portugal.
Madeleine McCann, 3, vanished Thursday night from her parent's vacation
and there hasn't been a sign of her since.
In the video, Manchester United and Portugal
captain John Terry plea for anyone with knowledge of McCann's wherabouts to
"I appeal to anyone with information to come forward ... Please come
forward," Ronaldo told Manchester United TV.
Terry said his team was "devastated to hear that young Maddie was
"Our thoughts and feelings go out to her parents, her family and we are
urging anyone out there with any information at all, please, please, please
come forward," he said.
Meanwhile, the police investigation into the disappearance of McCann was being
handled professionally, Portuguese officials said Tuesday, though they could
not guarantee the girl was still alive.
"They are doing their job properly and according to the law," local
mayor Julio Barroso told Sky News. "This is our usual way of doing things
— it's very different from the British police."
Little information about the probe into McCann's disappearance has been made
public, prompting criticism that police are not doing enough to find the
But Portugese cops say they have interviewed more 100 people, while 500
apartments have been searched and 350 pieces of information are being looked
"I want to assure the family and all the people involved that the
professionals are doing the best they can," Chief Inspector
said. "We are searching for the child until the moment she appears. We can
say nothing more because we are not magicians."
Sousa added that he could not guarantee that the youngster was still alive.
Detectives cannot reveal much about the case because of the restrictions of
Portuguese law, they said.
Former police detective and leading child protection consultant
Mark Williams-Thomas told Sky News the police need to make a direct appeal for the
public's help with whatever information they have.
It is claimed that the police responded too slowly to news of Maddie's
disappearance, wasting the crucial first few hours and failing to alert border
police until the morning after she went missing.
"I'm not on the spot but I know that in the early stages things could have
Maddie's great-uncle, told Sky News.
"But it's a small place and hopefully things are moving faster now."
Kerry Grist, the mother of British toddler
who vanished while on
the Greek island
of Kos in 1991, told Sky
News she believes the McCanns must try to keep control of the police
"Stay in control of everything and make the police update them every
second of the investigation," Grist said. "Just stay focused and be
Meanwhile, it's claimed that Portuguese detectives are investigating British
pedophiles with links to the Portuguese province of Algarve.
Authorities in the U.K.
have supplied detectives in the region with information on child abusers who
have moved or travel there, Portuguese media reported.
Madeleine's mother, Kate, made a powerful direct appeal Monday to anyone
holding her daughter to let her go.
"Madeleine is a beautiful, bright, funny and caring little girl," she
said, with her husband, Gerry, by her side. "She is so special. Please,
please, do not hurt her."
The toddler disappeared on Thursday night while she was left with her brother
and sister in a holiday apartment.
The search area has been extended around
Praia da Luz and along the coast and
is now about 25 miles wide.