By DAISY SAMPSON firstname.lastname@example.org
This week marks the fourth anniversary of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann from the apartment that she and her family were staying at in Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007.
While the active search for Madeleine McCann by official authorities may have long ceased, her family continue to work to find their missing daughter, employing private investigators and continuing to urge the public to help in their search.
For many, the Algarve is no longer only associated with the news story of Madeleine McCann, a story which resonated around the world as the pictures, reports and footage of Kate and Gerry McCann addressing the press from Praia da Luz in an attempt to find their daughter created global awareness of the case.
British tourist Eva Barry told the Algarve Resident: “While I have been here on holiday, I travelled to Praia da Luz for a day trip with my family and, to be honest, I never once connected the Madeleine McCann case to the resort. “It has been a long time since she went missing and although it would be wonderful if she was found, it is not something that I immediately associate with the Algarve as I may have done years ago.”
Praia da Luz may have recovered from the case but it will always remain a focal point, not only for the press but also for the family of Madeleine McCann and their supporters.
On May 3 a vigil will be held at the church in Luz from 9pm. Father Haynes Hubbard told the Algarve Resident: “There will be a vigil on the day for 30 minutes in the church and all are welcome to join us in prayer for her return. I do not expect any of her family members to be here for this.”
Kate and Gerry McCann are said to be attending a vigil in their home town of Rothley in Leicestershire to mark the anniversary before Kate McCann launches a book that she has written about the case in a bid to raise further money for the Find Madeleine Fund.
The book, entitled Madeleine, is to be published on May 12 to coincide with the eighth birthday of their daughter, who was only three when she went missing.
Kate McCann said: “My reason for writing is simple: to give an account of the truth. Publishing this book has been a very difficult decision and is one that we have taken after much deliberation and with a very heavy heart.”
She added: “However, with the depletion of Madeleine’s Fund, the decision has been taken out of our hands. Every penny we raise through its sales will be spent on our search for Madeleine. Nothing is more important to us than finding our little girl.”