Maddie: The Last Picture

Maddie: The Last Picture
Jerry Lawton

25 May 2007
Daily Star

Hours later she'd gone

MADELEINE McCann smiles for the camera only seven hours before she disappeared.

This is the last picture mum Kate and dad Gerry, both 38, have of her.

Their daughter is dangling her feet in the pool yards from the family's holiday apartment in Portugal where she was snatched.

The photo was taken by GP Kate at 2.39pm on May 3 in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz. But by 9.30pm Madeleine had vanished from her bed as her parents dined at a tapas bar 40 yards away. Last night police hoped it would restart the hunt for the four-year-old amid criticism their bungles had let her abductor escape.

The McCanns still remain convinced Madelaine is alive.

But a spokesman admitted they were growing frustrated at the lack of progress.

He added: "The only thing that would really make them happy is Madeleine's safe return."

The McCanns yesterday met British Ambassador to Portugal John Buck, consular officials and British police.

And last night detectives were probing reports a Moroccan man had tried to snatch a three-year-old blonde girl in the nearby village of Silves around Christmas.

He was scared off but has recently been seen in the area again, renewing fears that Madeleine might be linked to child trafficking in Africa.

Yesterday the Algarve's Catholic bishop Manuel Neto Quintas offered to be a go-between with a kidnapper.

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