17 years after Maddie disappears: ‘The absence still hurts’


It is exactly 17 years today since three-year-old Madeleine McCann went missing from her family’s holiday apartment at the Algarve tourist resort of Praia da Luz in Portugal.

Gerry and Kate McCann still have no answers about what happened to their blonde daughter at the time.

“It has been 17 years since Madeleine was taken from us. It’s hard to say that number without shaking our heads in disbelief,” the couple said on social media Wednesday at the anniversary of their child’s disappearance.

“While we are happy in many ways and can now lead a relatively normal and pleasant life, the uncertainty in which we live is still very disturbing. And the absence still hurts.”

The couple thanked members of the public for their continued support. “We know the love and hope for Madeleine and the will to find her, even after so many years, is enduring and we are truly grateful for that. Thank you again for remembering Madeleine and all the missing children.”

Madeleine would have turned 20 in April this year.

A further £192,000 has meanwhile been granted for New Scotland Yard, the Metropolitan Police Service in England,’s investigation into Madeleine, reports The Mirror.

Andrew Sharpe, British Deputy Home Secretary, recently confirmed in response to a parliamentary question that more money will be made available for the investigation known as Operation Grange.

More than £13m has already been spent investigating the case.

For the year 2024-25, the Home Office has agreed to provide up to £192,000 to the Metropolitan Police Service through a special grant for Operation Grange.

The special grant currently funds a team of three police officers and one police staff member who all work on a part-time basis.

Funding is reviewed annually by the UK Home Office.

The main suspect in the case, which has been dragging on for a long time, has not yet been arrested or charged in connection with Madeleine’s disappearance.

RNews previously reported that Christian Brückner is currently on trial in Germany for a host of unrelated sex crimes. He denies guilt.

On the evening of 3 May 2007, Gerry and Kate left Madeleine and her younger brother and sister, twins and two years old at the time, in their holiday apartment where they were sleeping.

The parents went to eat with friends at a restaurant about 55 m from the apartment, and occasionally went back to the apartment during the evening to check if the children were safe. Around 10:00 p.m., Kate checked again and found that Madeleine had disappeared from her bed. She was never seen again.