Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

McCanns mark sixth anniversary

Madeleine McCann went missing in the Algarve on May 3 2007
Kate and Gerry McCann said they had found a 'new normality' since their daughter's disappearance

Missing Madeleine McCann's parents will mark the sixth anniversary of her disappearance with a small ceremony in their village.

Kate and Gerry McCann will attend an evening ceremony at the candle that burns continually in the centre of Rothley, Leicestershire, where they will mark the occasion with prayers and poems. The low-key ceremony marks six years since Madeleine, then nearly four, disappeared from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in Portugal's Algarve on May 3 2007, as her parents dined at a tapas restaurant with friends nearby.

Earlier this week, her parents said their family, including twins Sean and Amelie, now eight, had found a "new normality'' since Madeleine's disappearance. Mr and Mrs McCann, 44 and 45, said they continued to search for their daughter and remained as hopeful as ever - if not more so - as a case review by the Metropolitan Police was under way.

''In many ways things haven't changed and you could argue that, with the Met review two years in, we are actually in a better place because so much more information has been collated and lots of pieces of the jigsaw have been filled,'' Mr McCann told the Press Association on Wednesday. "It's just about keeping looking, find out what's happened to Madeleine and hopefully finding those responsible.''

His wife said the Met Police seemed "more determined than ever". The couple said although they struggled with various occasions, including Madeleine's birthday, they were coping with her absence. ''Probably the last couple of years it's been a new normality,'' said Mr McCann.

"We have adapted to our situation. 'The thing for Kate and I was always about having a proper search and turning over every stone and we feel like that is being done. Of course we miss Madeleine terribly but we still hope that we will find her. We are still in the same situation and for us we have got to keep going until we find Madeleine and those responsible.''

Mrs McCann said twins Sean and Amelie, who were just two when their sister went missing, were coping well and were "no different to any other eight-year-old child". ''They have grown up knowing that Madeleine is missing, she is their big sister, we're trying to find her and she should be back home with us. 'As they get older and they wander on the internet and other things, there will be more questions, but going by how things have panned out so far I think we will be alright, I think they'll handle it well.''

The couple admitted they found Madeleine's birthday - May 12 - more difficult than the anniversary of her disappearance. ''We both find that more difficult really because it's her special day and we should be there celebrating it and we still do," Mrs McCann said.

But they insisted they have not given up hope and will continue the hunt for their daughter. Mr McCann said: ''I think it's still about being vigilant and to remind people that we are looking for a 10-year-old girl, and not a three/four-year-old at the time. 'But if they have any information, they think they have seen someone who could be Madeleine, then the route is to contact the police.''

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Service continue their investigative review into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, liaising closely with the Portuguese authorities."

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