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'I Don't Think That Madeleine Has Died',

Marie Claire (Brazil) By Livia Deodato

Translated by Ines


'I Don't Think That Madeleine Has Died', says Kate McCann, mother of the small girl who disappeared four years ago in Portugal, in an exclusive conversation with Marie Claire.

She does not lose the hope of finding her daughter and give details from the case in the book that will be launched at the Rio de Janeiro Book Fair, from Friday onwards.

By Livia Deodato

Her speech is halting and her voice seems to be constantly choked by tears ready to break. It is difficult to estimate the pain and sadness felt by Kate McCann, four years after the disappearance of her daughter Madeleine. Now aged 43, the British woman does not cease in the search for her first born. She abandoned medicine and, since 3rd May 2007, has dedicated herself exclusively to gather information sent by persons from all over the world who claim to have found the girl ? if she were alive, she would be eight years old (on site there is an age progressed image of her current appearance).

The police officially archived the case in July 2008. But Kate and her family have not. The book entitled ?Madeleine? was launched in the UK and in Portugal in May and now arrives in Brazil (Editora Prumo, 440 pages, R$ 49,90). Based upon the diary written by Kate during the years and during the police investigation, the book raises the hypothesis of a kidnapping by a paedophile network, criticises the investigation led by the Portuguese police (and the lack of action on the part of the British) and tells of the crisis brought to the relationship between Kate and Gerry, Madeleine's father. The younger children, the twins Sean and Amelie, now aged six and a half, continue to ask about their older sister and explain to their young friends that ?Mummy used to be a doctor, but now she is searching for Madeleine?.


?There is still hope. We live in a kind of limbo since she disappeared, but we cannot give up?, said Kate in the exclusive interview she granted to Marie Claire.


Marie Claire ? How do you feel today? And how are Gerry and the twins?


Kate McCann ? Very well, considering everything we have been through. We are much stronger. Now, we try to find a balance. Gerry works full time and my work has been to continue to search for Madeleine. Now we also have the chance to do normal things, family things, like taking Sean and Amelie to school.


MC ? Do the twins often ask about Madeleine?


KM ? Not every day, but often. Her disappearance is also part of their lives. They understand what happened and what we are trying to do. Their understanding is very simple: ?Madeleine is missing and we have to find her?. We always talk about her rescue, about what we will do when she returns home, about hope.


MC ? The hope of finding Madeleine has become your reason for living. What would your reaction be if you discovered that she is dead?


KM ? Unfortunately, I consider all possibilities. During the last few days I have only managed to think the worst. But we still have hope, in any case. I read about many other cases, of families who managed to get their children back decades after their disappearance. We cannot give up. It is hard not knowing anything about her whereabouts ? we are living in a kind of limbo since she disappeared. It is so difficult to shake off the dust and find direction. We have to continue to search.


MC ? You no longer work? Do you dedicate all your time to the search for Madeleine?


KM ? I no longer work as a doctor. The last four years have probably been the years during which I have been the busiest in my ?professional? life. I have spent a lot of time reading the police files, writing my book and also launching search campaigns for Madeleine. Even opening Gmail takes a lot of time. Sean and Amelie understand and always tell their young friends: ?Mummy used to be a doctor, but now she is searching for Madeleine?. Until we find her, there is still a lot of work to be done.


MC ? Do you still have police support in the search for her?


KM ? The official police work was stopped in July 2008. We continue with a private investigation and we have had incredible help from people, who gave up their holidays, continuing to search for her, they take photographs of girls they think could be Madeleine and they send them to us.


MC ? Did the most recent news, that Madeleine could have been found in India, bring you any greater hope?


KM ? We receive dozens of pieces of news daily about the supposed whereabouts of Madeleine. In this case, the difference was that this information arrived at the media, which followed it and led to its repercussion. However, that she was supposedly found in India gives me more strength: that even at such a distance, I can count on the help of persons who continue to search for her.


MC ? Is there any reason for you to smile today?


KM ? For a long time, I did not allow myself to enjoy life and felt guilty if I did so. But the thing is that if I had not taken time, I would never have anywhere to get strength from in order to continue searching. I have two other children and now I am stronger. I feel more capable of facing life ? and I do this for Madeleine.


MC ? Do you manage to feel the presence of Madeleine?


KM ? I don?t believe that she died. Any mother would feel this. I feel close to her. Madeleine is part of our family. We do not feel that this is the end.


MC ? How do you deal with the memories Leith by Madeleine? Can you look at photos and videos?


KM ? They are very good memories. When I begin to think of them, I sometimes feel sadness, at other times they leave me happy and comfort me, they bring me tranquillity. She is in our life. There are photos of her all over our house. Amelie always refers to her as ?my big sister?.


MC ? At a certain moment, you were accused of being suspects. How did you cope with that?


KM - (choked voice). I found it incredible. When you imagine that nothing worse Could happen?The search for Madeleine became my greatest obsession. And many people do not understand this. It is like a nightmare, a bad dream that you can?t remember.

MC ? On the other hand, you have received support from people across the world?


KM ? I would not be capable of describing the importance of the support that I have received since Madeleine?s disappearance. That has helped me enormously. People have been very good and caring ? and this also has strengthened us to continue the fight. We have even had a large support from Brazil, from a very kind family that became very close to us.


MC ? How is your relation with the press nowadays?


KM ? We need the media. Madeleine needs the media in order to be found. We have a hard time with the press. But I hope the press will help to find Madeleine. We just ask journalists to be responsible with the information, because it is our little one who is missing.


MC ? Is it very painful or exhausting to continue to give interviews? Or do you think that this is what you must do so that the searches for Madeleine continue?


KM ? At the beginning I found this very intimidating. The questions appeared to me to be very difficult and they interfered too much with my feelings. I always tried to preserve my privacy. But as I have already given dozens and dozens of interviews during the past four years, I have got used to it a bit. I know that the media is powerful and reached millions of persons. And if this is necessary to bring my Madeleine back, then I will do this.


MC ? Do you often visit Portugal?


KM ? Yes. We often go to Lisbon to talk with our lawyers. I also go to Praia da Luz five times a year (the site of the resort where the family was on holiday and from which Madeleine was abducted). For a long time after her disappearance I did not manage to return there, but I now go there often because I feel closer to her there.


MC ? What will be your next steps now?


KM ? I continue to write my diary. The book was launched in the UK and in Portugal in May. Next week it will be launched in Brazil, in September in Germany, in October in Spain and in some other countries before the end of the year. People will read the book and will know that there are still various unanswered questions ? and to which they might be able to respond. We believe in the information that is sent to us and we hope to gather more in order to find her. I have faith that we will find the key information which is missing in order to find her. Keep searching and praying for Madeleine, who is still missing. We cannot give up


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