Missing Madeleine, aged three: search continues

Portuguese police continue search for missing Madeleine, aged three

Portuguese police have said they are doing all they can to find the missing three-year-old Madeleine McCann but they cannot be certain that she is still alive.

Police have released very little information about the progress of their investigation into her disappearance, leading to criticism that they are not doing enough to find her. But the chief inspector in charge of the hunt said yesterday that they were ‘doing the best they can’ but ‘we are not magicians’.

The toddler is believed to have been taken from her bed in a holiday apartment in Portugal on Thursday evening while her parents ate at a nearby restaurant. She was in the flat with her two-year-old twin brother and sister Sean and Amelie and her parents were checking on them regularly throughout the evening.

Yesterday Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry McCann made an emotional plea to her kidnapper not to harm their little girl. ‘Madeleine is a beautiful, bright, funny and caring little girl,’ Mrs McCann said in a television appeal. ‘She is so special. Please, please, do not hurt her.’ Neighbours in the family’s home village of Rothley, Leicestershire, were preparing to hold a silent vigil for her today.

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