Madeleine McCann has been missing since
The parents of Madeleine McCann say they still hope for her safe
return, six days after she went missing from a Portugal
In a statement, Kate and Gerry McCann said they were focusing their
efforts and emotions on finding her.
Other family members have spoken out against criticism of the
police made in the Portuguese and British media.
Three-year-old Madeleine, of Rothley, Leicestershire, disappeared
from an apartment in Praia da Luz six days ago.
The parents' statement, read out by Alex Woolfall, spokesman for
the operator of the resort where the family were
staying, said: "We are grateful to all of those
currently taking part in the search for our daughter
"At present, we are channelling all of our emotions and all of our
efforts into the steps that are being taken to secure
Madeleine's safe return."
Police have also been handed CCTV footage showing a woman with a
girl fitting Madeleine's description at a service
station just a few miles from where she was abducted.
The woman was said to be urging the girl to say "thank you" to
staff, but the youngster had appeared reluctant.
British child-abduction experts have flown to Portugal to join in
Madeleine's grandparents, Brian and Susan Healy, have spoken of the
strain that her parents are under.
Mrs Healy told Sky News that the couple, who are Catholic, were
drawing strength from each other, prayers, support,
sympathy and kindness.
"They can pull it together when they have to, but obviously there
are times when they are very distraught," she said.
Mrs Healy added that the inexperience of the Portuguese police
possibly led to mistakes initially, but debating what
went wrong "doesn't achieve anything".
"We just have to move on and just pray that because of the
publicity, for which we're grateful, somebody will come
The Anglican church in Praia da Luz held a prayer vigil for
“ We all have deep fears and absolute hope ”
Fthr Haynes Hubbard
Praia da Luz
Its vicar, Father Haynes Hubbard, said he did not know whether
Madeleine's parents would attend but they were aware of
the service and were grateful for the desire of people
there to remember Madeleine in their prayers.
"We all have deep fears and absolute hope," he said.
The BBC's Alix Kroeger said police in Portugal had released no new
information about their inquires, but false alarms and
speculation was rife.
Among rumours, one claimed an abandoned car was undergoing forensic
testing, and another was that CCTV footage from a petrol
station was being examined by police.
But none had proved accurate so far, said our correspondent.
Madeleine is believed to have been taken from her bed last Thursday
evening while her parents were eating at a nearby
They had been regularly checking on her and their two-year-old
twins, Sean and Amelie, before she went missing.
Mr Healy said that people who criticised the parents for leaving
the children are "misguided and have got it wrong".
Their comments came after the British ambassador to Portugal, John
Buck, defended the police search.
He said he had been assured by Portuguese authorities that
"everything possible" was being done to ensure the
girl's safe return.
have faced criticism over their handling of
On Tuesday, Portuguese officers said they had quizzed 100 people
and searched 500 apartments.
Portuguese police have also rejected local media claims that more
effort has been put in than would have been made for a
A Downing Street spokesman said these were difficult
days for the family and for those trying to lead the
investigation, and said help was being given wherever
Mark Warner Holidays, operator of the resort, said it has received
more than 400 messages of support for the McCanns from
An online appeal to help find Madeleine has also been set up.
The appeal, created by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection
Centre and the Virtual Global Taskforce, is available in
English, Portuguese and Spanish on www.ceop.gov.uk.
Crimestoppers have also set up an international number - +44 1883
731 336 - which people with information can call
complex where Madeleine disappeared