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Maddie fund will go by December

Original Source: SUN: THURSDAY 09 APRIL 2009

THE Find Madeleine Fund will be empty by the end of the year, Gerry McCann has confirmed.

Speaking during his first trip back to Praia da Luz, where Maddie went missing almost two years ago, he said: "There's still money in it.

"I can't give the exact figure but we have spent and continue to spend a lot of money with the aim of trying to enhance the chance of finding her.

"It won't dry up in the next few months, but probably by the end of the year at the rate we are running."

The fund, set up after Maddie disappeared, raised more than 2million from the public.

In January we reported how it had dwindled to 600,000 after donations dried up.

Accounts showed 250,000 was spent on search fees, 111,000 on legal fees, and 123,573 for management of the campaign.

Gerry, who returned to Portugal to help with a Channel Four reconstruction of his daughter's disappearance on May 3, 2007, was heckled by angry locals, who blame the McCanns for a major economic downturn in the seaside resort.

He said: "That aspect was everything I hoped could be avoided.

"I can totally understand that people want to move on.

"They don't want the media intrusion and the negative association with Madeleine's abduction.

"For me, and this is going right to 2007, I didn't feel any evil around Praia da Luz or anywhere else in Portugal.

"What happened there could have happened anywhere in the world.

"Actually the amazing response we had from the community was incredibly important to us.

"I am sorry for any harm caused to Praia da Luz. I specifically want to thank the local population for all their support and tolerance."

He added: "Kate and I have been desperate to go back to Praia da Luz but we haven't done so due to the media exposure and the controversy such a visit would pose.




"We want to go back and meet the people without it being highlighted.

"There is nothing bad about the resort. It is beautiful.

"In these difficult economic times we don't want to worsen things.

"But I do hope people understand why we are doing what we have done. This is a key factor in an investigation strategy. Madeleine is still missing.

"We need to do everything reasonable to get any information.

"The best thing for everyone is that she is found and that whoever took her is caught."

The father-of-three added: "We are united in our search for Madeleine and we are very strong in our relationship."

Gerry said Madeleine's siblings twins Sean and Amelie, now four, know their sister is missing and have been told someone took her.

He said: "The twins talk about her every day. They are great. They say things like 'When Madeleine comes home...'

"When we are having bad days, these comments drive you on.

"If Madeleine came through the door, Sean and Amelie would react like she went missing yesterday.

"She is still a huge part of their life and it's refreshing.

"They completely understand she is missing and they understand someone has taken her.

"There is not a lot more. We had counselling on how to cope with the twins, given to us by a child psychologist who has dealt with child abduction who said we should fill in the gaps as they get older.

"But, with us, the psychologist said the problem you have is that there is very little to fill in.

"The fact remains, she was there one minute and gone the next.

"The apartment doesn't hold any bad karma.

"It was just a couple of thoughts really. It was about re-enacting the events on the night of her disappearance and it was where I last saw Madeleine.

"But actually, I felt more emotional at church last Sunday with the support and seeing the photograph of Madeleine with the words 'Help Me' along with the green and yellow ribbons around it was more difficult to cope with."


The Channel Four documentary is due to go out on May 7.

Gerry added: "The reason we are doing this documentary is that it should be about Madeleine.

"I can understand why people don't like it or that our level of child care was not to their standard but the focus should be on an innocent child and that someone has taken her.

"There's one thing that has been revealed in the case files which is that there is no evidence that Madeleine is dead and there is no evidence to suggest that Kate and I were involved in any theories. It's about Madeleine.

"As her parents, I hope people understand that we have to do what we are doing."


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