Madeleine McCann was just three years old when she went missing, in Portugal, in 2007. Many people around the world will know the story of little Maddie, but for those who don't here is a little background.
The McCann's, Mother Kate, Father Gerry and their children the twins and Maddie were staying in the resort of Praia Da Luz on the Algarve coast. It was 3rd May 2007 and Kate and Gerry joined a group of freinds for their evening meal, in a nearby restaurant.
The restaurant was about one hundred and thirty yards from their holiday apartment, where their children were sleeping. There has been much debate about the rights and wrongs of their actions, on that fateful night. Most people would never dream of leaving their children in this way.
No matter what you feel about their behaviour, though, recriminations are pointless. The McCanns have to live with what happened.
The couple and their friends took it in turns to pop back to the apartment, from the restaurant, to check on the children. In fact such checks were made quite a few times. When Kate McCann returned to check on her children at 10pm, she found Maddie was not there.
The parents became suspects.
At one point the parents became the Portuguese police's only suspects. The police seemed to believe that something had happened in the apartment which had resulted in Maddie's death. It was believed that it was at the hand's of one or both of her parents. It was insinuated that Maddie was accidentally killed and her body hidden, by her parents, in order to protect themeslevs.
One Thousand Days
The television morning news, on 27th January 2010, reported that it is now one thousand days since Maddie went missing. Recently the McCanns have been in the public eye again, as they travelled to Portugal, in an attemopt to bring legal action, to ban the release of a book by their arresting police officer. This man still maintains that Maddie is dead.
I have toyed with lots of thoughts and opinions since Maddie went missing. We visited the Algarve in Setember 2007 and there fore witnessed the Portuguese press coverage of events.
Could Maddie be dead?
I suppose that she could be. If she is that does not mean it was at the hands of the McCanns. The McCanns are unlikely suspects, in such a case. Gerry McCann is a consultant cardiologist and Kate is a General Practitioner or family doctor. Of course neglect, murder and abuse are not only perpetrated by lower working class people. However, the McCanns do seem unlikely suspects.
There was talk at one time that officials in Portugal were to charge the McCanns with neglect, for leaving their children alone. However, right or wrong, they will not be the first or last parents to behave in such a way. They were dining in the Holiday Complex and there was a babysitting service. Some had likened this to what happened at camps, such as Butlins, many years ago. Of course, times have changed.
Still they had left the door unlocked.
Of course with hindsight it is so easy to pass judgement.
The McCanns have to live with their actions, of that day, forever. Should Maddie be found alive this tragedy will never leave their lives. Maddie will carry scars forever, as will her parents.
Currently her parents live with these events every day. Maddie and her disappearance must fill their very souls.
Until anyone proves that the McCanns had any involvement in the disappearance of Maddie, these poor people need leaving alone. The punishment for leaving their children, so briefly, has been severe. Who are we to judge?
The one thousand day anniversary has been marked in an attempt to try and keep Maddie alive in our minds. Until we know differently, we must assume that she can still be saved.