We want to grieve in peace

We want to grieve in peace
Ross Hall in Praia da Luz, Portugal
10 June 2007
The News of the World

Maddie's tired parents put campaign on hold

The exhausted parents of Madeleine McCann last night revealed they are putting their campaign to find her on hold so they can finally grieve for their missing daughter.

Kate and Gerry McCann have worked ceaselessly to keep their four-year-old's plight in the public eye since she was snatched from their holiday flat in Portugal 37 days ago.

But last night Gerry, 39, revealed: "In the first few weeks when I slipped into dark moments of despair I was finding it quite easy to emotionally switch a light back on, but I've been finding it increasingly difficult to do that.


"More importantly I don't want to do that any more. I want to be able to grieve and let those emotions out."

Kate, 38, still clutching Maddie's favourite Cuddle Cat toy, said: "I find when I am alone I feel a lot of anxiety.

"When I'm speaking to people it takes my mind off things. I'm not thinking, 'Where is Madeleine, how is she feeling?' It's a distraction and it helps, but it's time to step back from that."

Today the couple will travel to Morocco in the last phase of their campaign before considering what to do next.

Gerry said: "After this we've not got any other visits planned because we think we've covered all the main areas. Kate and I and also family and friends who have been campaigning will need a break. We need to take a step back and work out how we can help in the search for Madeleine.

"We have to ask ourselves whether this is a long-term campaign. We never wanted it to be one, we want her back as soon as possible.

"But we are thinking of the wider issues now, that Madeleine's disappearance might be linked to organised abuse of children."

The McCanns are expected to return to Praia da Luz from Morocco on Tuesday.

Then Gerry will go home to Leicestershire for a short time while Kate stays in Portugal.

She said: "I feel close to Madeleine here. She could be further away from here than she is from the UK but I feel emotionally close to her here. I can't face leaving here."

West Ham soccer star Carlos Tevez made an appeal last night to a mystery caller who rang police with what they thought was "credible" information about Madeleine which may link her to a kidnap ring.

The caller, using a mobile phone registered in Argentina, promised to ring back to talk to the McCanns but did not.

Last night there were claims the call had been made by a known criminal in Cordoba. Police sources claimed the alleged informant has been involved in kidnappings by gangs operating between Spain and Argentina.


Argentinian Tevez, 23, said: "I have a two-year-old daughter of my own and my prayers go out to the McCann family. I would urge the person who called the Spanish police with information about the kidnap to ring again."

Meanwhile, the owners of the flat Maddie was snatched from on the Mark Warner complex are returning to Portugal next week for the first time since her abduction.

The couple, believed to be English, have been told their ground floor apartment is no longer a crime scene.

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