Four years ago today, a little British girl, Madeleine McCann, was snatched from her bed at her family’s holiday villa in Praia da Luz, Portugal and hasn’t been seen since.
The Portuguese police completely botched the investigation – they didn’t take any fingerprints till it was too late and failed to close either the ports or the border to Spain. After several months, embarrassed by adverse press reports, they turned on Madeleine’s parents, two doctors from Leicestershire, and made them official suspects or arguidos in the disappearance and presumed death of their own daughter. How they had to fight to clear their names and turn the attention of the police and judiciary back to looking for Madeleine is told in a new book written by Madeleine’s mother, Kate McCann. It will be published on May 12th, Madeleine’s 8th birthday. Kate’s sole intention in writing the book is to raise enough money to continue the family’s private search for Madeleine.
I won’t rehash the whole story here because some of you know it as well as I do (and for those who don’t, click here). The crux of the matter four years on is that it seems increasingly likely that Madeleine was stolen to order, either for a pedophile ring or – we must hope – for some kind of illegal adoption service. If this is true, then she is probably still alive somewhere in the world. However much her appearance may have changed, the unique mark in her right eye will still be there.
So please never stop looking into the eyes of all the children you see. One day someone will notice that mark and will start asking the questions that will finally bring Madeleine home.