THE PARENTS of missing child Madeleine McCann have issued a plea for fresh donations to the campaign searching for their daughter, admitting that the hunt for their lost child may have to end as accounts dry up.
Kate and Gerry McCann – whose daughter Madeleine went missing in May 2007, when she was left alone in their holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in Portugal – have issued the new appeal in a letter issued to previous supporters of the campaign including David Beckham and JK Rowling.
The couple have retreated from the limelight in the past year, as the world shifted its attention elsewhere with the hunt for Madeleine (who would now be six years old) failing to offer any new hope of finding the child.
Now as the various funds set up to fund their search for their daughter – or for answers as to how she went missing – they have returned to the public eye in an appeal to keep their hopes alive.
“There was a huge amount of money put into the search,” Gerry McCann admitted, “but at this point we are asking people – if they are happy to do so – to donate to the fund.”
Kate added: “We were fortunate enough that people donated, which enabled us to search for Madeleine. Without the fund nobody at all would be looking for Madeleine, so we are obviously grateful for that.”
The couple have also launched a new plea for a joint review to be conducted by UK and Portuguese police into how the search was handled, condemning the UK’s coalition government for failing to act on a pledge by former Home Secretary Alan Johnson to do so.
Kate McCann said the couple “need somebody to do something. It’s just heartbreaking to think that nothing is getting done other than what we are having to do, other than our small team.
“If we had a review, if we had help from the authorities, the chances of finding Madeleine would be much greater I think.
“We need action, I don’t need fluffy worthless words. We need somebody to do something.”
The McCanns still hire private detectives to investigate new leads, but believe the fund will run out next year if new donations cannot be found. The initial fund of £2m has fallen to £300,000 and will run out next year.