Madeleine McCann’s parents vowed on her 18th birthday today: “We’re never going to give up”.
Kate and Gerry McCann still hope she will be found alive, 14 years after she vanished on holiday in Portugal in 2007, days before her fourth birthday.
They said in a poignant message: “We love you and are waiting for you.”
Devoted Kate and Gerry marked daughter Madeleine’s 18th birthday on Wednesday by leaving cards and gifts in her room, untouched since she vanished 14 years ago.
The couple posted a photo of her on the Find Madeleine campaign Facebook page, writing alongside it: “Happy 18th birthday Madeleine.
“We love you and we’re waiting for you and we’re never going to give up.”
Kate, 53, and Gerry, 52, had asked pals to mark the day in a low-key manner.
The Facebook post came a week after they marked the “particularly poignant” 14th anniversary of her disappearance.
Madeleine went missing from her family’s holiday apartment in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz days before her fourth birthday in May 2007.
Prosecutors want to question German paedophile Christian Brueckner over her disappearance and claim to have evidence that she is dead.
But Kate and Gerry, 53, of Rothley, Leics, refuse to give up hope that Madeleine is still alive and will one day be found.
In another post on the Find Madeleine page last week they said they “need to know what happened to our lovely daughter”.
Scotland Yard’s hunt for Madeleine’s abductor continues, with four detectives still working on Operation Grange.
A top-level summit between German, British and Portuguese detectives is due to take place in Lisbon this summer.
The Mirror revealed in January that cops are launching a push to find the “missing piece of the jigsaw” that could snare Brueckner.
German and Portuguese investigators are to carry out new interviews of key witnesses in the Algarve who knew him.
Brueckner, 44, was named as the prime suspect for Madeleine’s disappearance by German prosecutors last June.
They believe he abducted and killed the three-year-old.
He is currently serving a seven-year term in a prison in Hanover for raping a pensioner in Praia da Luz in 2005.
His lawyer Friedrich Fulscher insists the German has nothing to do with the youngster’s disappearance.
Last week the couple posted on Facebook: “Every May is tough – a reminder of years passed, of years together lost, or stolen.
“This year it is particularly poignant as we should be celebrating Madeleine’s 18th birthday. Enough said.
“The Covid pandemic has made this year even more difficult for many reasons but thankfully the investigation to find Madeleine and her abductor has continued.
“We hang on to the hope, however small, that we will see Madeleine again.
“As we have said repeatedly, we need to know what has happened to our lovely daughter, no matter what.
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“We are very grateful to the police for their continued efforts.
“We still receive so many positive words and good wishes despite the years that have gone by.
“It all helps and for that we are truly grateful – thank you. Kate and Gerry.”