LONDON May 1, 2014 -- The parents of Madeleine McCann, the girl who vanished in 2007 while on vacation at a plush Portuguese resort, say they’re still searching for their daughter - and for closure - on the seventh anniversary of her disappearance.
In an interview with the British Tabloid Newspaper The Sun, Kate and Gerry McCann said they need to know if their daughter is alive or dead.
In another interview on British TV channel ITV, the parents discussed the pain that the family – including Madeleine’s siblings, Sean and Amelie – continue to carry.
“I think for us, our life is defined by pre- and post- the abduction, so it’s very much we were a family of five, and now we’re functioning as a family of four,” Gerry McCann said.
“Time rolling on for us is still painful, and living in a limbo of not knowing is horrible for all our family,” Kate McCann added.
The McCanns have been desperately searching for their daughter ever since she vanished, launching several appeals, most recently a TV recreation on Britain’s version of “America’s Most Wanted,” showing the night Maddie – who was 3 years old at the time – was snatched from her bed while her parents dined at a restaurant near their vacation apartment.
The TV show spurred more than 5,000 calls and a wave of new clues. Scotland Yard says they are now looking for a lone intruder who abused young girls during break-ins, zeroing in on one particular attack on a British 10-year-old girl in the same resort where Madeleine's family was staying.
Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, who is in charge of the Scotland Yard investigation, said at a recent press conference that the person of interest is a man who targeted British families vacationing in Portugal’s Algarve region between 2004 and 2010.
Police described the predator as tanned, with short dark hair and a potbelly who spoke English in a low, slurred voice. They believe he was wearing a long-sleeve burgundy shirt with a white circle. Redwood calls the new leads "extremely positive" and a "priority" for his investigation.
McCann’s parents hope the mystery of their daughter's disappearance will finally be answered.
“We have adapted, but still the weeks and months rolling by,” Kate McCann said. “We want the progress that’s been made to continue.”
Marking the seventh anniversary, the McCanns’ latest launch is a new missing child alert system in the UK, a process similar to the Amber Alert system in the United States.