THREE-YEAR-OLD British girl has gone
missing while on holiday in the Algarve,
Portuguese police are investigating the
disappearance of Madeleine McCann who
went missing last night in the seaside
village of Praia da Luz in south-west
Portugal where the girl was staying.
The parents of the three-year-old were
“distraught” when they discovered she
had disappeared from their rented
apartment while they dined nearby.
Sniffer dogs were brought in by
detectives today to comb the area.
A Foreign Office spokesman said that he
understood the girl’s parents had gone
to have dinner once their children were
asleep last night, but returned to check
on them only to find the girl had gone
He said: “They reported it straight
away,” adding that consular assistance
was being offered.
And a family friend was reported to have
said the parents were certain that the
girl had been abducted - but this was
She said: “They were just watching the
hotel room and going back every
half-hour and the shutters had been
broken open and they had gone into the
room and taken Madeleine.
“They went out about eight, went back in
at nine, they were fine, went back in at
10 and she was gone.”
She added: “This is the first time they
have done this. They are very, very
anxious parents and very careful and
they chose Mark Warner because it is a
She said the couple, from Leicester,
also had twins.
Today the manager at the Mark Warner
resort, John Hill, confirmed the missing
girl as Madeleine McCann and her parents
as Gerry and Katie.
He said around 60 staff and guests at
the purpose-built complex had searched
until 4.30am while police notified
border police, Spanish police and
“It was a very emotional and very
frantic night and everyone did a
fantastic job of getting involved and
trying to search the area,” he said.
“As you can imagine, Madeleine’s parents
are distraught and not doing very well
He said there was no physical evidence
that the girl had been abducted from the
family’s rented apartment while they ate
at the tapas restaurant 200 yards away.
“It’s still questionable as to whether
it’s an abduction,” he said.
“We are hoping that Madeleine is found
as soon as possible and safe and well.
"Everybody here is just wishing that she
is found as soon as possible."