Kate McCann made part of her appeal in Portuguese
The mother of
missing Madeleine McCann has appealed to whoever is holding the
three-year-old not to hurt her.
Leicestershire is feared to have been abducted from a holiday
apartment in Portugal on Thursday.
Her mother Kate
McCann said: "Please do not scare her. Please let us know where to
find Madeleine or put her in a place of safety."
said the search was continuing, but they could not say for certain
whether she was still alive.
In a statement
they said they had widened their search to nine miles (15km) from
the Algarve village of Praia da Luz and were working closely with
Interpol and Europol.
|Portuguese police say they believe
Madeleine is alive
Asked whether he
thought Madeleine was still alive, Chief Inspector Olegario Sousa
said: "It is very difficult to give you an answer because I have not
facts to sustain that the child is alive or not.
for the child and until the moment she appears we can say nothing
more because we are not magicians."
He added it was
not possible under Portuguese law to give further details.
Mrs McCann, who
had asked to speak to the media, said: "We would like to say a few
words to the person who is with our Madeleine, or has been with
"Madeleine is a
beautiful, bright, funny and caring little girl. She is so special.
Please, please, do not hurt her.
husband Gerry at her side, she added: "We beg you to let Madeleine
come home. We need our Madeleine."
sentence was in Portuguese - "Por favor, devolva a nossa menina" -
which means "Please give our little girl back".
volunteers have been helping to search the area for signs of the
girl, including the clothes she was wearing when she vanished.
confirmed she was wearing white pyjama bottoms with a small floral
design and a short-sleeved pink top with a picture of Winnie the
Pooh character Eeyore.
bought in Marks and Spencer last year, had the Eeyore written in
Police have a
sketch of a suspect but will not elaborate on their evidence "to
safeguard the child's life".
The toddler is
believed to have been taken from her bed while her parents were
eating at a nearby restaurant and regularly checking on her and
their two-year-old twins Sean and Amelie.
Robert Hall said he had been out with a volunteer search team - made
up mainly of British expats and tourists - on Monday.
said they had not been well briefed by police, they did know one
item they were looking out for was Madeleine's clothing, our
Dave Felton, an
expat from Manchester who lives in the village, said people were
still hoping that Madeleine was "safe and sound somewhere".
Around the marina
in the nearby town of Lagos, maritime police have been searching
amid claims a man was seen with a small girl in the area.
Joao Riveiro said a number of officers had been searching and making
uniforms moved around a lot about two days ago. They moved around
and were asking questions."
taken records of all boats booked into the marina between 27 April
and 6 May.
Along the nearby
coast police have checked a cave complex at Ponta da Piedade, with
the help of volunteer canoeists.
Police, who have
received thousands of calls, have not reported any progress in their
investigation since saying on Saturday they thought Madeleine had
been abducted but was alive.
They are coming
under increasing pressure to give more information, but
correspondent Robert Hall said it was not the style of the
Portuguese police to provide constant updates to the media and
At the press
conference, Chief Inspector Sousa said that he was not able to
publish an artist's impression of a suspect because he feared it may
harm the case.
Asked whether the
family were being kept informed, he said: "The family is the number
one interest in the case but even then, they must be a little far
from the investigation."
Local mayor Julio
Barroso told BBC News 24 work was going on behind the scenes to try
to find Madeleine.
police are following all the signs, and they are working very hard
for all these days and they have many many people involved," he
He said about 130
people were working on the case, including 80 detectives, some of
whom had come from the capital Lisbon. The team also involved local
and maritime police, firefighters, volunteers and members of the Red
Cross, he said.
When asked how he
felt about what had happened he said: "In Portugal we say 'hope is
the last thing to lose'."
At the weekend,
officers were stopping cars on roads and searching abandoned homes
and scrubland in the surrounding Algarve countryside.
the country are on alert and police believe the toddler is still in
They have been
showing locals what one called "a vague sketch" of a suspect.
It is believed
the image shows only the rear view of a man.
Mrs McCann found
the outside shutter and window to Madeleine's room had been opened
and her daughter missing shortly before 2200 local time on Thursday.
managing director David Hopkins said in having a meal nearby in what
was a "very safe environment", the McCanns had "done nothing that
I'm sure many parents wouldn't have done".
A spokesman for
the company said two holiday bookings at the resort had been
cancelled and six had asked to go to another site.