Kate and Gerry McCann made a heartfelt plea in Lisbon on
Wednesday afternoon (November 10) for a full review of the case into the
disappearance of their daughter
Praia da Luz in the Algarve in May 2007.
At an informal press briefing held at the McCann’s
Isabel Duarte & Associates, Gerry
McCann said that the purpose of their visit was to meet with their
advisors and inform the public about a 30,000 word on-line petition
calling upon the United Kingdom and Portuguese governments to re-launch
the search for Madeleine and undertake a full review the case.
Kate McCann said that the perpetrator of the crime
was still out there and that the believed that all the information
needed to be brought together and re-examined again.
Contradicting what he called inaccurate reports in
the British press that the
set up to finance the search for their daughter was fast
running out of cash, Gerry McCann stressed that the petition was not
about raising money but about calling for a full review of the case.
“There has not been a law enforcement agency looking
for Madeleine for a long time which is why we want a full review of the
case that could provide key and overlooked information which could in
turn lead to the reopening of the case,” said Gerry McCann.
Kate added that case reviews were fairly commonplace
in the United Kingdom but understood that it was usual in Portugal
without new evidence.
The McCanns still have a small team of private
investigators funded from the Madeleine Fund, which currently stands at
more than £200,000.
Kate stressed that if it had not been for the fund no
one would have been able to look for Madeleine, adding that the short
and medium term future of the fund was secure even though funds had gone
down after having lasted a long time.
Ensuring that the fund continues
The fund organisers hold regular meetings not only to
look at ways to raise funds but to ensure that the fund continues and
the money is spent widely for the continued search for Madeleine.
The McCanns say that by getting a review of the case
they would not be so reliant on the fund
“Enquiries are conducted as much as possible but
non-police investigators are restricted in what they can do and don’t
have the access to all the investigation and police files. “Our team has
worked on several leads but that has not led to new evidence strong
enough to reopen the case,” said Gerry McCann.
On the question of the petition, the McCanns urged
people to keep trying to access the one-line version despite some
teething problems and added that there was also a conventional paper
petition for those who didn’t have access to the Internet or a computer.
“There is no deadline for the petition so we want as
many people to sign it as possible since everyone involved in a case of
a missing child should be entitled to have their case reviewed,” added
The twins still talk about Madeleine
Three years after Madeleine’s disappearance from a
holiday apartment complex at Praia da Luz, her twin brother and sister
Sean and Amelie
still talk about Madeleine every day
Gerry McCann said that the twins, Sean and Amelie were an
“amazing source of strength for Kate and I and bring us a lot of joy”.
“Last weekend when getting into the car they wrote
their names in the condensation that had formed on the inside of the
window and said they would write Madeleine’s name too since she was part
of the family,” said Gerry McCann.
Kate McCann told how her son Sean had stood up in
class and said he had two sisters and added that if she was having a bad
day the twins were always encouraging.
“This is an ongoing trauma and it’s important to talk
openly about it. Everyone is suffering because of it, grandparents,
siblings, cousins. We can’t all get together and not talk about
Madeleine. We need to talk about her,” said Kate.
Gerry McCann outlined how the twins had seen a
specialist child psychologist to help them deal with the situation. “The
twins know almost as much as we know, they are coping O.K, they know we
are in Portugal and they can make sense of the chronological order of
events. It would not be right to try and suppress everything.”
Kate and Gerry McCann likened their day-to-day life
and search for Madeleine to “running a race” - except in this case there
was no measurable end in sight.
There are weeks when we feel drained
“I can’t rest, I don’t believe any parent facing such
a situation could rest and be at peace. There are weeks when we feel
drained and the fact that we can’t see the end in sight makes it worse,”
“No parent could ever say physically or emotionally
that the time has come to stop thinking about and looking for a lost
child. You cannot be in peace in such a situation,” she added.
The McCanns believe that senior officers used to
reviewing cases need to sift through all the information from different
sources and take a fresh look at the evidence.
“There is a lot of information out there but it has
not been put onto a central data base.
“Two separate pieces of information might not seem
relevant but when brought together could help to move things forward,”
The couple say they don’t know how much sensitive
information made its way into the
and accepted some material was probably missing.
“The question is why aren’t the authorities doing
anything? We want the case solved. No one is looking at the data afresh.
I don’t personally think that the UK authorities have done enough. We
wouldn’t be calling for a petition to review the case if we felt that
the authorities had done all in their power,” said Gerry.
The Online Madeleine McCann Petition, in both
Portuguese and English, can be found at