The parents of Madeleine McCann, who went missing in 2007, have issued a statement ahead of the 10th anniversary of her disappearance.
The message was posted on the Official Find Madeleine Campaign Facebook page, which has over half a million followers. In it, Maddie’s mother Kate expresses gratitude for the public’s support and the ongoing ‘active police investigation’ to find their daughter.
Madeleine’s has been one of the highest-profile missing persons case in recent history and so far the investigation has cost over £11m. Earlier in the year, the Home Office confirmed it has granted a further £85,000 to keep the investigation open for a further six months.
In the run up to the tenth anniversary of the evening she went missing, Maddie’s parents have prepared for increased media interest, and ask that ‘those reporting on the ‘story’ over the next couple of weeks will have a conscience.’
‘Media appearances are draining and on occasion, unhelpful to the only thing we want, finding Madeleine. They need to have a purpose. We could spend all our time and energy trying to defend ourselves by correcting inaccuracies and lies, but then we would have no strength left to look for Madeleine, look after our other children and to live our life,’ it reads.
Speaking of the decade mark the family are now reaching in their search, Kate writes: ‘I remember when Madeleine first disappeared I couldn’t even begin to consider anything in terms of years. Shawn Hornbeck abducted and kept hidden for over four years, Natascha Kampusch for over eight years. I couldn’t go there. And now here we are…Madeleine, our Madeleine – ten years.’
Madeleine was just three years old when she went missing, and the most recent picture of her is an artist’s impression of what she might have looked like in 2012. Five years on from this point, with ‘no new appeals that the police wish to make at this moment in time,’ the family are hoping to be able to keep a low profile over the next few weeks, when coverage of the case is likely to be at a high.
‘We are bracing ourselves for the next couple of weeks. It’s likely to be stressful and painful and more so given the rehashing of old ‘stories’, misinformation, half-truths and downright lies which will be doing the rounds in the newspapers, social media and ‘special edition’ TV programmes.’
But the family are keen to stress that whilst they do have a ‘quiet majority’ of support, they will never give up hope or looking for their daughter.
‘The two themes that seem most appropriate to me as we reach this ten year mark are perseverance and gratitude,’ writes Kate. ‘We will go on, try our hardest, never give up and make the best of the life we have.’