McCanns' last hope of finding Madeleine through police work

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Gerry and Kate McCann appear on Crimewatch this week. Photo: BBC Crimewatch

When Madeleine McCann was born she was given a toy that played the song 'You are my Sunshine'.

As she nursed her new baby, Kate McCann would change the word sunshine to Madeleine – the final line of her adapted song being, “Please don’t take my Madeleine away.”

She says the terrible irony of those words still makes her cry. The memories are polluted with a dark undertone, in her words, “like the tinkling notes of a nursery rhyme in a horror film.”

Yet the horror for the McCanns is not in a film. It is very real and has been for six years.

An age progression image showing Madeline as she could look aged 9. Credit: Teri Blythe/Metropolitan Police/PA Archive

They have fought hard for the British investigation. Once again they find their daughter’s face on the front page of the papers, across the internet and television. Painful as that must be, it does give them some hope that international focus may yet bring them answers.

Tomorrow’s Crimewatch will be the first time Kate and Gerry McCann have sat alongside an investigating officer and pleaded for help. There is a significance to that not missed by the Metropolitan Police.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood also takes part in the Crimewatch show. Credit: BBC Crimewatch

The parents are with them, rather than being the focus of the enquiry. The McCanns, and the so called “Tapas Seven” group of friends in Praia Da Luz that night, have been totally ruled out of the investigation.

This is the last time the hunt for Madeleine will be so focused. The rights and wrongs of the Government investing £5 million in the search for one child are questioned by some. But this is the McCanns' best - and most likely their last - hope to find out through police work what happened to their little girl.