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The day Madeleine was too excited to cry

HOMEPAGE NEWS REPORTS INDEX BLOGS 4th BIRTHDAY PHOTOGRAPHS NEWS MAY 2007
Original Source: TELEGRAPH: 29 MAY 2007
By Richard Edwards and Fiona Govan in Praia da Luz
Last Updated: 2:14am BST 29/05/2007
 
The parents of Madeleine McCann last night released a touching last video of their four-year-old daughter.

Kate and Gerry McCann at the unveiling of the giant poster of Madeleine yesterday

The images, which show the little girl full of excitement as she boarded the flight to Portugal exactly a month ago, are stored on the mobile phone of Kate McCann. They are the last moving pictures of her daughter and she is said to watch them regularly.

It is 26 days since Madeleine went missing from her family's apartment in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz. The global campaign to find her, led by Mr and Mrs McCann and supported by well-wishers, gathered pace yesterday.

The parents oversaw the unveiling at the resort of an 800 sq ft inflatable billboard with Madeleine's face on it.

The poster was created by Chris Lennox and Les Harley, who drove to the Algarve from Glasgow. They plan to show it throughout Europe to raise the profile of the case.

Mr McCann said the billboard was "brilliant". "Some people are going to extraordinary lengths to help us," he added. "We would like to thank the thousands, if not millions of people who are helping from the bottom of our hearts."

The video clip released last night had been captured on the mobile phone of a friend.

It shows Madeleine clambering up the aircraft steps, clasping her pink Barbie rucksack. In her excitement she slips, grazing her shin.

But Mr McCann said she was so thrilled about going to Portugal she refused to get upset. "She was really brave. She started crying but stopped almost immediately," he said.

"When we got to the top of the steps I saw she had grazed her shin. It looked really sore - the step was just the right height for her leg. It was something that usually would have caused 10 minutes of crying rather than 10 seconds."

The McCanns will fly to Rome tonight and are expected to meet Pope Benedict on Wednesday. The visit is designed to offer them support and raise awareness of their daughter's plight. Mrs McCann is a devout Catholic.

A second trip is planned to Madrid, where they may meet David Beckham to thank him for making an appeal in Spain.

They have also been approached by American chat show hosts Larry King and Oprah Winfrey but are anxious not to be seen as a celebrity couple, a spokesman said.

Police in Portugal are focusing on a local marina.

Detectives have been checking records at Lagos marina - three miles from Praia da Luz. The manager of the port, Ingrid Fortunato, said police had been in regular contact and had questioned four yacht owners, three of them British.

Police are particularly interested in any vessels bound for north Africa. A potential sighting of Madeleine in Marrakech, Morocco, is still a "strong lead", source said.

There were local reports last night that police were on the trail of an English "sailor" who lives on a yacht in Lagos. It was said "suspicious references" were found about him on the computer of Robert Murat, the formal suspect on the case. He denies having anything to do with the disappearance.

The Simple Minds song Donít You Forget About Me may be re-released in the campaign to find Madeleine, it emerged last night. The 1985 hit has been used on a video appeal and has proved an internet phenomenon. A McCann family spokesman said a new video appeal would feature the Bryan Adams hit Everything I do, I Do It For You.

Video: Heart-breaking final footage of Madeleine McCann

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