Madeleine McCann's brother and sister: What has happened to Sean and Amelie since Maddie went missing

4 May 2023, 11:59

Kate and Gerry with twins Sean and Amelie McCann (l) and Madeleine McCann (r)
Kate and Gerry with twins Sean and Amelie McCann (l) and Madeleine McCann (r). Picture: Alamy

By StephenRigley

The disappearance of Madeleine McCann is one of the most heartbreaking and baffling missing persons cases the world has ever seen.

Twins Amelie and Sean were just two when Madeleine vanished 16-years-ago but as this week's events show, they clearly miss her and are desperate to see their big sister once again.

At a vigil marking the tragic anniversary, Amelie, now 18, spoke about her missing sister Madeleine for the first time and said: "It's nice that everyone is here together but it's a sad occasion."

Parents Kate and Gerry McCann were also at the informal prayer meeting in the family's home village of Rothley in Leicestershire on Wednesday evening.

Amelie joined in with chants including "Never never give up", "leave no stone unturned", "don't forget about me" and "still missing, still missed".

Kate and Gerry McCann with twins Sean and Amelie
Kate and Gerry McCann with twins Sean and Amelie. Picture: Alamy
Madeleine McCann who vanished in 2007
Madeleine McCann who vanished in 2007. Picture: Alamy

Read More: 'Never give up': Madeleine McCann's sister speaks publicly for the first time since her disappearance 16 years ago

Read More: Madeleine McCann’s parents are 'awaiting a breakthrough' as they share poem on anniversary of disappearance

Madeleine has never been found - dead or alive - and no tangible leads have ever been discovered. Her disappearance hit the headlines across the world last month after Polish girl Julia Wendell claimed she was Madeleine but a DNA test proved she wasn't.

If Madeleine is alive, she would be 19 years old today.

While her face is instantly recognisable around the world, we know very little about the two siblings who were only two-years-old at the time of their sister's disappearance.

The twins were sleeping just metres away from where Madeleine was allegedly stolen from her bed, while their parents dined at the hotel's restaurant just 55 metres away.

When Kate went to check on her children at 10pm, she found Madeleine had disappeared from her bed, while her twins were sleeping peacefully.

British and German authorities suspect Christian Brueckner of being involved in her case.

Holiday apartment where the McCann family were staying when Madeleine vanished
Holiday apartment where the McCann family were staying when Madeleine vanished. Picture: Alamy
Christian Brueckner who has been named prime suspect by German police
Christian Brueckner who has been named prime suspect by German police. Picture: Getty

Read More: Madeleine McCann prime suspect may not face charges over her disappearance after German court ruling

Read More: 'I'm not a fraud and I'm not a paedophile': Woman who claimed to be Madeleine McCann hits back in defiant post

So what has life been like for Sean and Amelie as they grew up without their older sister?

Growing up Kate and Gerry ensured the twins kept a very low profile and stayed out of the public eye despite their high-profile campaign to find Madeleine.

The twins previously attended a local Catholic high school which retained a place for Madeleine and - like their parents - were keen runners.

We now know that Amelie is applying for university.

Inevitably the absence of their sister has left a dark cloud over their lives.

In an interview with The Sun, Kate said Sean and Amelie have "grown up essentially without Madeleine but knowing their sister is missing and they want her back."

Keeping busy is the family's way of coping, but still it will never fill the void left by Maddie's absence.

"They have their own friends and they keep busy and they're really sporty but their only wish is for their big sister to come home. We miss our complete family of five.

"As a family 98 percent of the time we're busy. I don't know if that's a conscious thing but it helps. The urge to look for Madeleine absolutely hasn't changed at all."

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