McCann's parents told yesterday how they take hope from cases of
abducted children being found alive years after they were snatched.
Kate and Gerry
McCann said the ordeals suffered by child captives such as Austrian
Natascha Kampusch and Americans Elizabeth Smart and Shawn Hornbeck
show that youngsters can survive even after they go 'off radar' for
The couple, both
doctors from Rothley, Leics, have launched a push to trace Madeleine
through the internet by using social networking sites like Facebook.
The pair have
also opened a hotline and web portal for anonymous tip-offs from
people who may have information about who took Madeleine.
The move comes
after heart specialist Gerry launched a poster campaign in the Praia
da Luz area on Portugal's Algarve coastline where she vanished on
May 3, 2007.
To coincide with
the second anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance, a Portuguese
language version of the 'Find Madeleine' website has been created.
Gerry, 40, and
his wife Kate, 41, said the search for their daughter is focusing on
Portugal because residents 'have never been properly asked about the
information they may have to give'.
The couple were
interviewed at the weekend by US chat show host Oprah Winfrey for a
show to be broadcast on Monday to mark the second anniversary of
Madeleine's disappearance. They made an emotional appeal for
information on their daughter, whose sixth birthday is next month.
In a statement on their website the McCanns said: 'As the second
anniversary of Madeleine's abduction approaches, there is much still
to be done.
'We continue to
remain focused on our aim ' to find Madeleine and bring her back
'We cannot and will
not ever stop doing all we can to find her.
'The search for
Madeleine continues with the same strength and determination, and
thankfully, there are many people who are continuing to help.'
They added that the
cases of Elizabeth Smart, Shawn Hornbeck and Natascha Kampusch helped
them 'appreciate that children can seem to disappear 'off the radar' for
very long periods of time'. Schoolgirl Elizabeth was abducted from her
home in Salt Lake City, Utah on June 5, 2002, at the age of 14.
She was found alive
nine months later on in March 2003 about 18 miles from her home.
Shawn was missing
for more than four years before being discovered in Kirkwood, Missouri,
on January 2007 by police who were searching for another missing boy.
Natascha was held in
a cellar near Vienna by Wolfgang Priklopil for eight years, until she
escaped on August 23, 2006.
The McCanns said:
'It is vital that we never, ever give up on Madeleine. We urge you to
remember Madeleine as a real, living and findable little girl.'
On May 7, Channel 4
is screening a reconstruction of the youngster's disappearance to assist