Madeleine McCann's parents say 'we're never going to give up' in poignant tribute to mark her 18th birthday

MADELEINE McCann’s parents have said "we're never going to give up" as they paid tribute to their daughter on her 18th birthday.

Kate and Gerry have called the day “particularly poignant’’.

The couple wrote “Happy 18th Birthday Madeleine” on the official Find Maddie Campaign Facebook page.

And they posted a poignant tribute to mark their daughter’s 18th birthday today – telling her: "We love you and we’re waiting for you and we’re never going to give up.”

The message accompanies a cherished last photo of her as a three-year-old, beaming under a sun hat.

Wellwishers have sent messages with cakes, balloons, flowers and hearts to Maddie and her family on the website which is viewed by thousands across the world.

Carole Blackburn said: “Thinking of Madeleine on her 18th birthday. Hoping she will be found one day."


Cathy Reilly added: “Happy 18th birthday Madeleine, wherever you may be.”

Kate and Gerry will leave gifts in Madeleine's bedroom, which has remained untouched since she vanished 14 years ago.

Family and friends will gather for a small celebration at their home in Rothley, Leics, with their 16-year-old twins Sean and Amelie.

Madeleine’s great-aunt and uncle Janet and Brian Kennedy, who also live in the village, will pray for her too.

Retired headteacher Brian, 81, said: “They have asked the family and supporters to remember Madeleine’s birthday quietly and to continue to hope for a definitive outcome to the continuing investigation.”

GP-turned-medical worker Kate, 53, and heart doc Gerry, 52, said online: “This year it is particularly poignant as we should be celebrating Madeleine’s 18th birthday.”

They continued: “As we have said repeatedly, we need to know what has happened to our lovely daughter, no matter what.

"We are very grateful to the police for their continued efforts. We hang on to the hope, however small, that we will see Madeleine again.”

Their gifts and cards will be kept in a room crammed with yet-to-be-opened Christmas and birthday presents — amassed since she went missing from their holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in May 2007.

Convicted paedophile and rapist Christian B, 44, jailed in Germany, remains a prime suspect in the case.

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