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Madeleine McCann's parents give heartbreaking update on 17th anniversary of her disappearance

Madeleine McCann's parents give heartbreaking update on 17th anniversary of her disappearance

Gerry and Kate McCann have thanked followers of the harrowing story for their support

Seventeen years after their three-year-old daughter Madeleine famously disappeared from a family holiday in Portugal, Gerry and Kate McCann have shared a heartbreaking update.

The toddler went missing from her bed in a holiday apartment on a family holiday in Praia da Luz, Lagos, back in 2007.

Since then, tens of millions of pounds have been invested into the Scotland investigation into the youngster's whereabouts, and just weeks ago, it was recently revealed that up to a further £192,000 has been granted by the Home Office for resources.

Madeleine's disappearance has also been the subject of countless documentaries and a handful of global conspiracy theories.

Many of these point fingers at parents Gerry and Kate, who'd left their daughter - as well as her younger twin siblings - in their Algarve apartment to enjoy dinner with their friends on the night that Madeline's went missing.

And in the last few years alone, multitudes of now-teenagers have come forward, claiming they could be the 'real Madeleine McCann', but still, the case remains unsolved.

And with today (3 May) marking 17 years since the tot disappeared, her mother and father have shared a heartbreaking post on social media, commemorating the life of their little girl, who would now be 20 years old.

Madeleine McCann has been missing since 2007. (PA)
Madeleine McCann has been missing since 2007. (PA)

"It's 17 years since Madeleine was taken from us," the couple wrote. "It's hard to even say that number without shaking our heads in disbelief.

"Whilst we are fortunate in many ways and able to live a relatively normal and enjoyable life now, the 'living in limbo' is still very unsettling. And the absence still aches."

They continued: "Your support continues to encourage us and bolsters our strength to keep going. We know the love and hope for Madeleine and the will to find her, even after so many years, remains, and we are truly thankful for that.

"Thank you again for remembering Madeleine and all missing children."

The update comes just hours after Det Con Mark Draycott informed press that the case had been 'blown open' by a recent discovery on a Scotland Yard answering machine.

The officer was yesterday giving evidence in the trial of Christian Brueckner - a German-born convicted paedophile, accused of a string of sex offences unrelated to Madeleine's case - who was named as the prime suspect in Madeleine's disappearance in 2020.

Draycott during the hearing revealed that Christian's former friend Helge Busching had tipped off the force in 2017 on an answer machine, alluding to Brueckner's involvement in the crime.

"Back then we still had a public phone number which was publicised around the world,” he said. "Members of the public were able to ring in with any information related to Operation Grance – the investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance.

"One of my jobs was to check the answer phone messages. On May 18th I checked the answer phone and there was a message.

"It was from a male by the sound of his voice, he spoke good English and he asked to speak to David Edgar (private investigator). He said he had information and he left a Greek mobile number."

Draycott went on to recall: "I then rang this Greek mobile number and spoke to a male I now know to be Helge Lars Busching. He referred to himself as Lars and he gave information in relation to the Madeleine McCann investigation.”

Featured Image Credit: Joe Giddens - WPA Pool/Getty Images/PA

Topics: Madeleine McCann, Crime, UK News, News, Parenting