Sunday, December 5, 2010

The last photo....

It is an ordinary picture of a family enjoying a holiday abroad together. A father sits next to his two daughters on the edge of a swimming pool, the children wearing hats to protect them from the sun.

But for Kate and Gerry McCann it is the last picture they have of their daughter Madeleine, who was snatched from her bed less than eight hours later.

The picture was taken by Madeleine’s mother Kate, 38, on her own camera in the holiday resort of Praia da Luz, Portugal, where they were staying.

It shows Madeleine’s father smiling, wearing sunglasses and looking straight at the camera proudly sitting with his two young daughters by his side.

Next to him in an orange top is his two-year-old daughter Amelie who is a twin with brother Sean.

Beside her is her big sister Madeleine, who was then three but looking forward to her fourth birthday at the end of the family holiday.

Madeleine is shown smiling, wearing a pink smock top, white shorts and a sun hat.

The picture was taken at 2.29pm on May 3 - Mrs McCann’s camera clock is one hour out so the display reads 1.29pm.

Later that evening, before 10pm, Madeleine disappeared.
She had been sleeping in the family’s holiday apartment next to the twins, when she was snatched.

Mr and Mrs McCann were just yards away at the time having dinner and her disappearance has been publicised around the world, but despite an extraordinary campaign to make her image known across Europe there has been no news of her whereabouts for three weeks.

Mr and Mrs McCann, backed by an army of friends and family, remain convinced that Madeleine is alive, 22 days after she disappeared, but they have revealed that they are growing increasingly frustrated with the failure of Portuguese police to find their daughter.