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Tears, prayers for abducted British toddler

Original Source:  Smh: 08 May 2007
May 8, 2007

PRAIA DA LUZ, Portugal: The mother of Madeleine McCann, the British toddler abducted while on holiday in Portugal, led tearful prayers as hopes faded in the search for her daughter.


Sunday was Mothering Sunday in Portugal. After attending a special Catholic Mass in Praia da Luz, Kate McCann said: "Please continue to pray for Madeleine."


Concerns are growing for the toddler, who was snatched from her bed in the resort on Thursday night. The search, involving hundreds of officers, has extended more than eight kilometres from where she was taken.


It was disclosed on Sunday night that a sketch of a "prime" suspect announced at the weekend shows only the back of his head. It is believed a witness fleetingly saw a man in the area with a small blonde child on Thursday night.


During Sunday's service in a small church less than two kilometres from where Madeleine disappeared, a dozen local children gave roses to their mothers and offered them prayers of thanks.


Mrs McCann, 39, a Catholic, attended the service with her husband, Gerald, and broke down as she was given five pink and red roses at the church. Among the verses sung was one with the poignant words: "My mother, today I want to wake up and have you beside me. Today I want to be able to sing to you my everlasting love."


Throughout the service Mrs McCann clutched and kissed a small cuddly toy, a favourite of her daughter, who will turn four on Saturday.


Police sources said the suspect was most likely watching the apartment for some time and knew the parents left their children as they went for dinner.


Local media are pessimistic about the police investigation as it was revealed that detectives do not have a known suspect in mind.


It was also claimed that Portuguese border police were not informed of Madeleine's disappearance until 12 hours after the abduction, giving a suspect time to get across the border into Spain.


Telegraph, London


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