Madeleine McCann's parents share heartbreaking message to mark her 21st birthday

12 May 2024, 09:47 | Updated: 12 May 2024, 10:26

Madeleine McCann's family shared a message to mark her 21st birthday.
Madeleine McCann's family shared a message to mark her 21st birthday. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Madeleine McCann's parents have shared a heartbreaking message to mark her 21st birthday.

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The three-year-old vanished on May 3, 2007, when her family were holidaying in Praia da Luz, Portugal.

Kate and Gerry McCann shared a post on the official Find Maddie Campaign Facebook page to mark her milestone birthday on Sunday.

It read: "Happy 21st Birthday Madeleine. Still missing. Still missed. Still looking."

Alongside the message was one of the last images believed to have been taken of Madeleine.

Underneath the caption was the word "hope".

It comes after a vigil was held earlier in the month to mark the 17th anniversary since she disappeared.

Read more: ‘I'm not crazy’: Madeleine McCann ‘faker’ doubles down on claim she's missing toddler as she travels to meet Kate and Gerry

Read more: Madeleine McCann 'faker' travels from Poland to attend vigil marking 17 years since toddler's disappearance

Happy 21st Birthday Madeleine!

Posted by Official Find Madeleine Campaign on Saturday, May 11, 2024

The McCanns said at the time that their daughter's absence "still aches".

"It's 17 years since Madeleine was taken from us," they said.

"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.

"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."

Madeleine McCann went missing in 2007.
Madeleine McCann went missing in 2007. Picture: Alamy

An additional £192,000 has been granted for the investigation into Madeleine's disappearance, Home Office minister Lord Sharpe of Epsom said.

He also revealed that as of March this year, the Metropolitan Police had spent £13.2 million investigating the case.

In response to a parliamentary written question, he said: "For the year 2024-25 the Home Office has agreed to provide up to £192,000 to the Metropolitan Police Service through special grant funding for Operation Grange, the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

"At March 31 2024, the total cost of the investigation was £13.2 million."

He continued: “Operation Grange's special grant budget currently funds a team of three police officers and one member of police staff, all of whom operate on a part-time basis.

"Special grant funding is reviewed annually by the Home Office.

"The department also liaises regularly with the Operation Grange investigation team to assess progress and challenge the use of funds as necessary."