updated 11/10/2008 AT 11:00 AM ET
•originally published 11/10/2008 AT 11:30 AM ET
Eighteen months after their child’s disappearance and nearly four months after Portuguese police officially closed the books on their probe, the parents of Madeleine McCann have revealed they are only a fraction of the way through analyzing voluminous files relating to the unsolved case.
Writing a rare blog on a Web site dedicated to finding Madeleine, her father, Dr. Gerry McCann, says on behalf of himself and wife Kate (also a doctor), “We continue to work very hard behind the scenes. Our support team has been expanded as we try to identify what has been done, what has not been done and what can still be done to help find Madeleine.”
He adds, “We are not yet halfway through the Portuguese files but there is less information within the files than we were expecting.”
Their daughter was just days away from her fourth birthday when, as her parents were dining with friends, she went missing from a Portuguese vacation resort on May 3 last year.
Access to Files
Although there have been numerous sightings of Madeleine around the world since, none have proved credible. Her British parents, along with a local Portuguese man, were later named as official suspects – aurguidos – but last July investigators dropped all suspicion of their involvement. Afterwards the McCanns were given access to volumes of Portuguese police files.
Gerry McCann’s last blog was on Day 533 – Oct. 17 – after the couple’s friends who dined with them on the fateful night won libel damages of more than $500,000 from a British newspaper group. The former aurguidos have previously received substantial libel damages from British media outlets.
“As I have stated many times, someone has a key bit of information that can unlock this frustratingly difficult and painful situation,” adds McCann.