Madeleine McCann’s parents have launched a new appeal for information about their daughter focused on the area where she went missing in 2007.
About 10,000 leaflets in Portuguese will be handed out and posted through letterboxes in Praia da Luz, Lagos and Burgau in Portugal over the next fortnight. The Algarve campaign will be backed up with billboards and bus and van advertising.
Family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said the appeal was “very localised” with the aim of collecting the vital clue that could lead to Madeleine being found.
The official Find Madeleine Fund said in a statement: “At the time of Madeleine’s disappearance the emphasis was placed more on international appeals, and it has been recognised that the local Portuguese residents of Praia da Luz and the surrounding areas have never been properly asked about information they may have to give.
“The purpose of the current campaign is to do just that — ask the local Portuguese residents for information to help to find Madeleine. Experience shows the crucial answers are in the immediate vicinity.
“Someone in the area could almost certainly have the vital information that could help Madeleine’s return to her family, or a combination of people all coming forward with a single piece of information could piece together vital clues which could solve the disappearance.
“Experience also shows that people almost always confide in someone else.
“Someone in Praia da Luz may have been given information that should be passed on and now is the perfect opportunity to do just that.”
Information can be provided to the McCanns’ private investigation team anonymously by telephone, email, text message or freepost, and will be treated in confidence. Madeleine was nearly four when she went missing from her family’s holiday apartment in Praia da Luz on May 3 2007 while her parents dined with friends nearby. Despite a massive police investigation and huge publicity, she has not been found.
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