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Ronaldo appeals for Madeleine

Original Source: REUTERS: 09 MAY 2007
Wed May 9, 2007 8:05PM BST
LISBON (Reuters) - Portuguese police said on Tuesday they were following up hundreds of leads in their hunt for missing three-year-old Madeleine McCann and Manchester United striker Cristiano Ronaldo appealed for her release.

Police said they are considering all leads in the investigation but declined to give any details. Daily Correio de Manha said on Tuesday Madeleine may have been kidnapped by a paedophile ring in Portugal.

Judicial police spokesman Olegario de Sousa said the police had searched 500 apartments in and around the beach resort where Madeleine disappeared last week.

"Other lines of inquiry are still being pursued and investigated, which could lead to the motive for the incident," he told a news conference.

Britain's ambassador to Portugal, John Buck, travelled to the Algarve on Tuesday and met Madeleine's parents.

Buck said he had been in touch with Portuguese ministers and the prime minister's office in recent days about the case. "They all assure me everything possible is being done to ensure the safe return of Madeleine," he said in comments carried on television.

The case is drawing widespread media attention in Portugal after days of headlines in Britain.

Ronaldo, the most high-profile Portuguese man in England apart from Chelsea trainer Jose Mourinho, made an appeal for Madeleine.

"Please, if you have any type of information, please tell us," Ronaldo said in a televised statement released by Manchester United in English and Portuguese. "I think this is very important for all of us."

Kate McCann, Madeleine's mother, pleaded with whoever may be holding her daughter to let her go. The McCanns have made four televised appeals since their daughter vanished from her bed while her parents were dining late on Thursday at the Praia da Luz


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