the first time he has been here since Maddy went
The room is silent
and bare but Mr McCann can see his daughter's toys
and hear the laughter that echoed around the
apartment in the days before May 3, 2007 when Maddy
was abducted while her parents ate with friends at a
nearby tapas restaurant.
Mr McCann emerges
from the apartment and solemnly retraces his steps
to the tapas bar, a short but agonising journey, his
mind racked with "what ifs" and "if onlys".
"We are a family
and we're a happy family but we're not a complete
family," he says, and goes on to use an image
appropriate for a hospital doctor. "There's still a
scar, a deep, deep scar that's kind of knitted at
the minute, but you still think it might break or
the stitches will come loose."
Mr McCann was back
in Praia da Luz to take part in a reconstruction of
the events of that fateful night in the hope of
jogging somebody's memory and helping detectives
find his daughter who would now be days away from
her sixth birthday.
was filmed for a Channel 4 documentary that will be
broadcast on Thursday.
The parents, both
doctors from Rothley in Leicestershire, believe
Maddy is still alive. Mrs McCann says: "I think
we're far from normality. We need to get out there
she's alive, she's out there, she's findable… She
might look different, she could be speaking a
different language, she might have her hair
different, she might have different interests, but
you know she's still our daughter."
disappearance sparked an international search and
endless heartbreaking "sightings" that proved to be
no such thing. The young girl with the fair hair and
distinctive marking on her right eye has not been
will have changed in the intervening two years and
that was why the McCanns commissioned an
"age-progression image", released on Friday, to show
how Maddy might look if she is still alive.
documentary, two former British police detectives
investigating Madeleine's disappearance say they
have found important new leads in the
released by Portuguese police last summer and now
translated into English,
at a cost of £100,000 to the Madeleine Fund.
Dave Edgar, a
retired detective inspector, and his colleague
Arthur Cowley, a former detective sergeant, who have
more than 60 years' experience between them, say
they are interested in a series of important
sightings in and around the Ocean Club in the days
before Maddy was abducted.
One key statement
appears to corroborate a sighting by Jane Tanner,
the McCanns' friend, who told police about a man she
saw carrying a small girl near the apartment on May
3 at around 9.10pm.
on the same night, another family had also seen a
man carrying a small blonde child nearby and gave
descriptions similar to Mrs Tanner's.
The search team
has also found a number of statements from tourists
who all noticed a suspicious-looking man loitering
around near the McCanns' apartment.
Statements from the files suggest that the McCanns
may have been watched in the days before Madeleine
Mr Edgar, who
worked for Cheshire police and the RUC, says:
"There's someone local, lives locally, has the
answer to this, and not much wider than 10, 15
kilometres from Praia da Luz. So you don't start an
investigation in Morocco or Spain or France, or even
happened in Praia da Luz, it's a very self-contained
resort, and that's where we've started and that's
where I think the answer is."
Mr Edgar adds:
"We're not speculating on anything or theories, it's
evidence that we've got from the file.
"In my experience
random just doesn't happen, someone just doesn't go
in, a passer-by, and pick up a child and take it.
"These things are
planned. So someone will have been in the vicinity
of apartment 5a, the Ocean Club. They may even have
been watching the apartment for a week or more."
Mrs Tanner and
Matthew Oldfield, both friends from the group known
as the "Tapas 7", who were on holiday with the
McCanns at the time, also returned to Portugal for
"age-progression image" of Maddy was done by a
forensic imaging artist from the United States'
National Centre for Missing & Exploited Children.
It was unveiled on
Oprah Winfrey's Fridays Live show ahead of
the broadcast of an interview with the McCanns on
The Oprah Winfrey Show in the US tomorrow and in
the UK on Tuesday.
The image shows
Maddy as slightly thinner-faced and with darker hair
and will be used on posters as part of a new effort
to find Madeleine, although Mrs McCann says in the
interview: "I only remember Madeleine when she was
Ms Winfrey asks:
"Do you let yourself go to the worst?"
replies: "I think it's natural. I know people mean
well when they say don't let yourself go there, but
as a mum, inevitably there are times when I do. And
they're the times that I kind of dip down."
Asked about their
marriage, Mr McCann says: "Child abduction, I think,
could destroy any family. It's one of the most
devastating things. But we've been supported
tremendously well and I think that's helped us stay
strong and stay together.
united in our goal and our love of Madeleine and
Sean and Amelie."
Mrs McCann said
she keeps Madeleine's room ready for her return and
that she goes in there about twice a day "just to
say hello, really, just to tell her we're still
going to do everything we can to find her".
Madeleine Was Here, Channel 4, Thursday, May 7,