Why Gerry and Kate will never give up hope

Why Gerry and Kate will never give up hope
13 September 2009
The Sunday Life

Marcos Aragão Correia

Marcos Aragão Correia
  • Marcos Correia
    • human rights lawyer
    • relocated from Madeira to investigate Madeleine's case
    • convinced Madeleine in Algarve
    • said had information Madeleine murdered and body dumped in reservoir
    • told McCanns of suspicions but they decided not to back his search


Jaycee Lee case has given couple new strength

Kate and Gerry McCann will never stop hoping that their daughter will one day come home.

While the stories of Natasha Kampusch, Elisabeth Fritzl and Jaycee Lee Dugard make chilling reading, for Kate and Gerry they are evidence that one day they will be reunited with Madeleine.

The McCanns were so moved by the release of Jaycee Lee Dugard they released a statement saying her story makes them more determined to find their little daughter.

But they make no reference to the fact that she was not discovered for 18 years -- or that 11-year-old Jaycee was abducted by Phillip Garrido, a convicted sex offender who fathered her two children when she was a teenager.

Instead they cling to the positive: Jaycee is alive and is back with her family.

Kate and Gerry McCann remain so positive because the alternative -- that their daughter is lost to them forever -- is unbearable.

It's more than two years since Maddie disappeared from the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz.

She was just about to turn four.

If she's still alive (and the McCanns say there is no evidence to suggest otherwise) she will be six years old.

Two years is a long time for a six-year-old child, but Kate and Gerry choose to look at the bigger picture, taking the view that it's just a small fraction of the life that lies ahead.

They explain that they keep looking because Maddie needs their help and that ultimately, they love and miss her desperately.

Dave Edgar, the Ulster-born detective working on the case, has told Sunday Life he believes Madeleine is still in the Algarve, close to the resort of where she was abducted.

In 2008 I flew to Praia da Luz to report on the case for Sunday Life and I couldn't fail to notice the remote wilderness that is a feature of that region.

At that time I interviewed Marcos Correia, a human rights lawyer who had relocated from his home in Madeira to investigate the case.

He was also convinced that Madeleine was in the Algarve, but unlike Dave Edgar, he said he had information that she had been murdered and her body had been dumped in an isolated reservoir.

Correia had told the McCanns of his suspicions but they decided not to back his search.

So much about the disappearance of Madeleine McCann remains a mystery.

But one thing is clear: when Kate and Gerry say they will never give up hope, they mean it with all their hearts.

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