The parents of Madeleine McCann will do “whatever it takes for as long as it takes” to find her, they said in an interview ahead of the 10th anniversary on Wednesday of their daughter’s disappearance.
“My hope for Madeleine being out there is no less than it was almost 10 years ago,” said Kate McCann, 49. Her husband Gerry, 48, a cardiologist, said: “We are still looking forward, I think that’s the most important thing – we still hope.”
Their daughter, aged three, disappeared on the evening of 3 May 2007 from her bed in a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in the Algarve in Portugal.
Despite an £11m Metropolitan police inquiry, no trace of her has been found. Scotland Yard said last week officers were still pursuing “critical leads”. Criticism of the amount of money was “unfair”, the couple said in a BBC interview.
“I guess the one thing – because you always do feel guilty as the parent of a missing child – is that other families haven’t had the publicity and the money. The positive is that it has brought the whole issue of missing children to the forefront and I think people have benefited in different ways,” said Kate McCann.
When asked about the online abuse which has been directed at the family, Gerry McCann said they preferred to focus on the kindness of well-wishers. “I think we’ve seen the worst and the best of human nature. And our personal experience, rather than on the internet, has been overwhelmingly seeing the better side of human nature.”
The couple intend to continue a legal battle against the former Portuguese detective Gonçalo Amaral, whom they unsuccessfully sued for libel over a book he wrote about their daughter’s disappearance.
Kate McCann, who gave up being a GP to look after the couple’s twins, Sean and Amelie, now 12, has returned to work in a different area of medicine.
Describing the decade as “a horrible marker of time, stolen time”, Kate McCann said it was “time we should have had with Madeleine. We should have been a family of five all that time.”