Kate and Gerry McCann said their thoughts and prayers are with everyone who has suffered during 2020 (Picture: PA)
The parents of Madeleine McCann have vowed to carry on searching for their daughter with ‘hope, energy and determination’.
In a new year’s message posted on the Official Find Madeleine Campaign website, Kate and Gerry McCann said their thoughts and prayers are with everyone who has suffered during 2020.
The couple, from Rothley in Leicestershire, said the investigation to find Madeleine had understandably been forced to slow down as a result of the pandemic.
They added: ‘It hasn’t stopped, however, and the hope, energy and determination to find her and uncover the truth remain steadfast.’
Madeleine was nearly four when she went missing from her family’s holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, on Portugal’s Algarve, on May 3, 2007.
Kate and Gerry revealed they have both lost parents during 2020, meaning two of Maddie’s three grandparents have sadly passed away without ever knowing her fate.
Despite grieving their parents, the couple said they are aware they have been ‘more fortunate than many, with our family unit at home and jobs to go to.’
Madeleine McCann went missing in May 2007 (Picture: PA)
‘There’s no doubt that 2020 has been tough for most people, and often distressing, with so much loss, worry and isolation,’ they said.
‘Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who has suffered this year. Let’s hope 2021 is a brighter, more positive one.’
The couple are clinging onto hope that Madeleine, who would now be 17, is still alive, despite German police saying they have evidence she is dead.
In their message they thanked their supporters and well wishers for continuing to be by their side.
‘We are very grateful for the continued support, especially throughout this rubbish year and for all the Christmas wishes too. Thank-you,’ the statement said.
Scotland Yard last month confirmed it has no plans to end its missing person investigation.
Christian Bruckner is the main suspect in the German inquiry into Madeline’s disappearance (Picture: PA)
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said the force is working ‘really, really closely’ with the German authorities, who believe Maddie was murdered, but does not expect them to share all of their evidence.
A suspect in the German inquiry, Christian Brueckner, was told last November that he will remain behind bars until 2026, after losing a bid to overturn a rape conviction.
He was last year found guilty of the 2005 rape of a 72-year-old American woman in the same Portuguese resort and sentenced to seven years in jail at a court in Brunswick, Lower Saxony.
The 43-year-old German national – referred to as Christian B in Germany due to the country’s strict privacy laws – was identified as a suspect in the Madeleine investigation last June.
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