It was on Thursday May 3, 2007 that Madeleine McCann disappeared from her apartment in the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz. The search for the girl, who was three then, has spanned seven years — she would be ten now — that have brought for her parents untold pain and intermittent hope. The McCanns continue to be troubled by the case and excited by the search that has recently been renewed by the Scotland Yard.
On Monday, the British couple was distressed yet again when a Lisbon court adjourned a hearing of a defamation suit filed against a former Portuguese police official. The McCanns have gone through several such adjournments that they say are a ploy by the officer to delay the trial and wear them down. Goncalo Amaral used to head the probe into the disappearance of the British girl and was in the forefront of a media frenzy across Europe that had been triggered by her disappearance. It was Amaral’s book that set the cat among the pigeons. Probably in an attempt to make the most out of the international headlines the case was grabbing, he wrote a book blaming the parents for her disappearance. The book claimed that the couple hid the girl’s body and faked an abduction after she died accidentally. A relative of the McCanns recently said that the book aggravated their pain multiple times. The spirit of Madeleine’s parents is worth saluting. They have been through so much that the trial-related frustration sounds trivial though it made them travel to Portugal from Britain.
Recently, the Scotland Yard accompanied by their Portuguese counterparts thoroughly searched an area around the resort from where Madeleine was purportedly abducted. From the search, it looked like investigators were probably trying to see if she was eliminated and her remains interred in the soil.
Scotland Yard said overall “41 ground anomalies” had been identified by aerial surveys and ground analysis, which were then fully investigated. The ten-day search, however did not help cops come to a conclusion.
The McCanns are happy that the search did not yield results, effectively hinting that the girl is alive.
Saying that they have not given up, Gerry McCann added that there is a high probability of her being alive and they have to keep searching for her. It is this confidence that is laudable. Even after passing through seven years of worldwide scrutiny and ‘trial by the media’, the couple hasn’t abandoned hope.
The sustained search for Madeleine has been made possible by the striving of her parents. It is they who launched a campaign for the search immediately after their daughter disappeared. Their drive for Madeleine’s search was strategically planned and executed.
One day, if she is found, it will become a case history in criminal investigations. Besides everything, it will show the triumph of the parental spirit.