PAT PERKINS CHAIN
Relatives and friends of Madeleine McCann are using the
internet and email to widen the search for the missing
They hope that if enough people across the world hear about
her disappearance and see her photograph someone will come
forward with information that could lead to her being found.
Pat Perkins, from
Liverpool, a friend of the
McCann family, put out an email appeal with a picture of
Madeleine attached on Monday. She sent the message to
colleagues in the NHS and asked them to forward it to their
friends and contacts. It has now been seen and sent on by
thousands of people worldwide
This "viral" email technique is regularly used by marketing
companies as a way of getting a message to huge numbers of
people quickly and cheaply, as each recipient can forward it
to everyone they know as soon as it lands in their inbox.
In a modern, global version of missing posters being put on
lampposts it was used to reunite children and their parents
after the Boxing Day 2004 tsunami in south-east
Mrs Perkins said: "It's just an amateur way of trying to
help. If all the people across the world are aware of it
then maybe they can help."
Madeleine's aunt Philomena McCann has also sent out an email
containing a downloadable poster of Madeleine and a message
for anyone with information about her to call Crimestoppers.
This too has been forwarded to thousands worldwide, and more
than 23,000 people have already clicked on a link to the
poster which was set up by a news website. Throughout the
search, Madeleine's relatives have been ahead of the
authorities in putting out information about her
It was her parents who issued the first photographs of her,
who made the first public appeal for information and who
gave the first details of what she was
wearing. Portuguese police only issued a formal appeal for
information on their website on Wednesday, six days after
Madeleine went missing.