Madeleine McCann: Seven Years Of Nothing But Waiting
MADELEINE McCann: As the anniversary of her vanishing looms, the Sun creates a splashy no-news story.
As ever, the tabloids are focusing on the missing child’s parents:
‘I need to find out if Madeleine is alive or dead… an end to not knowing’ – Says Kate McCann
Once upon a time, the notion that the child might be dead was not one the McCanns would countenance, at least not in public. Has anything changed?
KATE McCann last night opened her heart over missing daughter Madeleine, saying: “I just want to know if she’s alive or dead”. Speaking to publicise a new child rescue alert system, she added: “We need to know. The worst thing is not knowing.”
“We obviously want Madeleine back number one — but we do want an answer, whatever. I have spent days thinking, ‘What would you rather? Not know, or find out something you didn’t want to hear?’ Obviously our ultimate hope is that we find Madeleine and she comes home and we re-establish her into our family and spend the next few years of her life getting it all as good as it can be. But if it was down to not knowing or finding out news that isn’t what you want to hear? At the end of the day I can’t change that. What would you rather? I’m not underestimating the blow of hearing bad news that your child had been killed, because obviously you’re not going to go, ‘OK at least we know’. But I’ve spent hours thinking about that and, each time, I still come up thinking we need to know. Regardless now, we need to know.”
She is supporting the Child Rescue Alert, run by the charity Missing People for the National Crime Agency. Kate is appealing for help:
“Please, please sign up, it could be the most important thing you ever do. All you have to do is visit www.childrescuealert.org.uk. Please do it, you could make a real difference. The scope for reaching a huge amount of people is fantastic. People will be able to share the alert via social media… It can act as a deterrent in two ways. Firstly it will make an abductor think twice before he does it. But also I know in the States there were 16 cases in one year of the abductor releasing the child as soon as the alert went out.
“Stats from the countries that already have a Child Rescue Alert system in place prove it works — 685 children in America have been rescued thanks to Amber Alerts. In the countries with alert systems in place, there is success story after story of children being saved.
“In the Netherlands, 2.2million people are signed up to receive alerts. That’s a phenomenal number and it greatly increases the chance of a child being found.
“That child has to be somewhere, they could be in the next car to you, they could be walking past you, or it might just ring a bell that it’s something that you noticed that didn’t seem quite right. Then, when you hear the alert, it makes sense.
“We’re not asking anyone to do something massive, it’s just keeping your eyes and ears open. The more helping the search, the greater the chance of finding the missing child.”
The BBC has another report:
The parents of Madeleine McCann have told the BBC they are frustrated there is no joint British and Portuguese police inquiry into her disappearance. Her mother, Kate McCann, said she also finds the slowness of the Portuguese investigation “distressing”.
Mrs McCann’s visits to Praia da Luz take place once or twice a year, with the most recent being in April 2013. “That’s obviously the last place we were with Madeleine,” she said. “I’ll still walk those streets and I guess try to look for answers. It helps me, most of the time.” She admitted she went “quietly” so as not to generate publicity which some local people “resent”.
As for the investigation, Gerry McCann says:
“The concern that we have, and I think also that the Metropolitan Police have, is that at the minute, there’s almost parallel investigations going on, which doesn’t make sense. We’re not quite sure why there’s resistance to the joint investigation team, because clearly resources in Portugal is an issue and this would be one mechanism by which they could have additional funding.”
Saturday marks 7 years since the child vanished. Many children go missing. But this story rolls on, riding high in the news cycle each May:
Mr McCann said: “It’s really hard. She’s not there. It’s by far the toughest day of our year, every year.”
The BBC then quotes Mrs McCann in a way the Sun’s headline did not:
The best-case scenario, said Mr McCann, would be if Madeleine had been “taken by someone who wanted a child” and has been “loved and cared for”. High-profile cases of missing women found years after they were taken, including Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight who were rescued from a house in Ohio last year, have given them hope, the McCanns said.
“If you’re one of those people, then statistics mean nothing.” said Mrs McCann. “It is real hope. We’re not blinkered. We know what the statistics say. But we also know about all of these cases. For each one of those children, now women, that have been found, statistics would have said they were dead.”
Indeed, after the Sun’s sensational splash, Sky News leads with the more predictable:
McCanns ‘Still Hope To Bring Madeleine Home’
Such are the facts…