Madeleine McCann: Parents mark 18th birthday, hope to see daughter again | News | DW | 12.05.2021

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Madeleine McCann: Parents mark 18th birthday, hope to see daughter again

McCann's parents said that they clung onto hope, "however small," that they would see their daughter Maddie again.

A photo of missing girl Madeleine McCann

German police believe McCann is dead, but the British police are still probing the matter as a missing person's case.

The parents of Madeleine McCann, a British girl who went missing in Portugal 14 years ago, are marking her 18th birthday on Wednesday.

McCann vanished from her family's holiday flat in the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz in 2007, as she was sleeping while her parents dined at a nearby restaurant. Despite an international manhunt, no trace of her has been found.

McCann's family said they would have a small celebration at home and would not comment on the case unless there was a "fundamental" development. According to a source cited by the AFP news agency, the parents wanted to protect Madeleine's younger brother and sister from media attention.

A week before Madeleine's birthday, on the 14th anniversary of her disappearance, her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, had written about the years that had been "lost or stolen" without their daughter.

They said they hung onto the hope, "however small, that we will see Madeleine again." The parents added that the year of Madeleine's 18th birthday was "particularly poignant."

Suspect identified

The probe into McCann's disappearance 14 years ago focuses on a 43-year-old German man, Christian B. Prosecutors announced in June 2020 that they believed Christian had kidnapped and murdered the girl, after years of searching for a firm suspect.

Christian B. has a string of prior convictions, including child abuse and rape. German prosecutors have said that they have "concrete evidence" that she is dead, although British police continue to treat her disappearance as a missing persons case.

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