Parents of Madeleine McCann ask for thoughts and prayers days ahead of her 17th birthday

Parents around the world held their little ones even closer following news that 3-year-old Madeleine McCann had gone missing while on vacation in Portugal.

The British youngster was with her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann; her two-year-old twin siblings; and a group of family friends and their children when she was reportedly taken from her bed.

Madeleine was reported missing on May 3 2007, just days before her fourth birthday, and her case is often referred to as one of the most reported missing persons’ cases in history.

Now her parents have posted an update on the 13th anniversary of her disappearance asking for people to “spare a thought or prayer for Madeleine and all missing children.”

Madeleine’s parents have never given up the search for their little girl and millions of dollars has been spent on the investigation.

The couple said they had been fortunate to be able to spend even more time together with their children since lockdown and it had made them think about Madeleine even more “as she would have shared this period of special closeness with us too.

“It is now 13 years since we were last with Madeleine. Her 17th birthday is to follow in the next couple of weeks….the latter tangibly, painfully, bringing it home to us what we have missed and continue to miss as a family.”

They said their thoughts and prayers were with those families separated from each other and those who had lost loved ones.

“There will also be many vulnerable people whose situation will have become even more precarious in the current lockdown conditions, with fear, worry and isolation – emotions that we dreaded Madeleine experiencing and which haunted us for a long time – and still do on occasions,” the statement added.

They confirmed the investigation into finding Madeleine remains open and continues but “not in a way that is ideal.”

The couple ended the statement with: “Here’s hoping that more ‘normal’, safe and happy times are close at hand.”

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