By: ELOISE WALTON
PRAIA DA Luz is a beautiful place but the McCann family will never feel comfortable returning until Madeleine has been found, Gerry McCann’s brother told a packed press conference in the Algarve on Saturday afternoon (May 3).
John McCann, spoke at length to journalists on the beachfront in the resort.
They had arrived late in the morning for the 1.30pm conference so that they could be in Praia da Luz exactly one year after Madeleine disappeared during a family holiday.
John McCann thanked everyone for coming and showing the sort of support that the family had received throughout the year from residents of the town, the Algarve, Portugal and the rest of the world.
A positive and hopeful John McCann showed the latest Find Madeleine poster, which bore a new telephone number and asked the press to help get the word out in a renewed appeal to keep people looking and searching for Madeleine and leaving “no stone unturned”.
“Kate and Gerry have been working extensively on the issue of missing children and recently visited the National Centre of Missing Children in the US,” he said, “where statistics show that around 40 to 50 per cent of missing children are recovered.”
John McCann said that he was torn to be back in the Algarve.
“Praia da Luz is a beautiful place, although the family would never be completely happy or feel comfortable returning until Madeleine had been found.”
“There is still a substantial amount of money left in the Madeleine fund. At the last count there was around 850,000 pounds,” he said. “We talk as a family about what more we can do to find Madeleine and we will leave no stone, that we can afford, unturned.”
Speaking on behalf of the family, John McCann said that he knows Kate and Gerry considered coming to Praia da Luz today but decided to spend the day quietly at home with close friends and family, adding that he was not aware if Sean and Amelie, Madeleine’s brother and sister, knew about the significance of today.
“Our specific purpose is to conduct a vigil tonight, where we will mark the anniversary,” he added. “Last year, father José Manuel Pacheco spoke of strength, courage and hope and we want to continue that.”
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