By: SHEENA RAWCLIFFE
Madeleine McCann has now been missing for nearly 48 hours – a lifetime for a little 3-year-old in a country where she does not speak the language and in the company of who knows who.
Gerry and Kate McCann will be berating themselves, for leaving their children for even the shortest time. The McCanns are young, well educated parents. They would never have left their family without a baby sitter if they had considered that something so dreadful as Madeleine’s disappearance could happen.
The disappearance of the petite little girl, due to celebrate her fourth birthday in a few days, has brought the Algarve together with a common cause. Portuguese, expatriates, residents and visitors alike have been searching for clues as to Madeleine’s whereabouts, since Katy McCann raised the alarm that her elder daughter was missing.
The Portuguese police authorities have worked tirelessly for tangible clues which would lead them to Madeleine. In spite of this they have come in for criticism of failing to do enough. Who in the position of the McCann parents would not want every effort doubled, would beg for 100 policemen searching for their daughter to be increased to 200 and then to 400. This is human nature. Nothing is too much to secure the early and safe return of Madeleine to her family.
It does seem from all reports that the Portuguese authorities are doing everything they can to solve the riddle of missing Madeleine. The Portuguese police forces are not known for holding press conferences – they just get on with the job. Portugal is a nation known for their love of children and their family values. Many of the police searching for Madeleine will be the same age as Gerry and Katy McCann – many will have children of Madeleine’s age and will be working with the same sense of concern and urgency as if it were their own child that was missing.
The hope that Madeleine had just walked out of the holiday home is diminishing as each hour goes by. But there are so many questions that are being asked. The McCanns were dining at a restaurant from which they could see the door of their holiday home; but they did not see anything – why? The complex on which the McCanns are staying is a busy one – but no-one saw Maddy being taken away by anyone – why? The Operations Manager of the holiday complex has stated categorically that there were no signs of a break-in, although a window had been opened. If Maddy has been abducted how did her abductor enter the premises when the door was locked and no window had been forced open?
Hope and prayers are all anyone can hang on to that what may have begun as an adventure for Madeleine does not turn in to a tragedy.
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