Madeleine McCann has not been found, despite rumors to the contrary over the years. She was reported missing on Thursday, May 3, 2007, while on vacation with her family in Portugal. Though McCann’s whereabouts are still unknown to this day, there have been several reports and rumors that she’s been found.
Despite these reports, all of which authorities believe to be false, the world doesn’t seem any closer to finding out what happened to McCann or learning where she is today. Additionally, it’s unknown if she is dead or alive.
On Friday, March 15, Netflix will release a documentary about Madeleine McCann.
Here’s what you need to know:
McCann Disappeared From Bed While Her Parents Were Eating Dinner at a Nearby Restaurant
McCann was just 3 years old when she disappeared in Portugal. As the story goes, McCann’s mom and dad, Kate and Gerry McCann, put her to bed along with her 2-year-old twin siblings. While the children slept, Kate and Gerry went to dinner with the friends they’d been vacationing with — but repeatedly checked on the children, as they were just 180 feet from their ground-floor apartment.
During one “check-in,” Kate and Gerry found that Madeleine had been missing from her bed and was not in the apartment. Police were called and a massive search for the child was soon underway.
Fairly early on in the investigation, Kate and Gerry McCann were named as suspects. The running theory was that Madeleine died in some sort of accident and that her parents tried to cover it up. About a year later, Portugal’s attorney general archived the case and there wasn’t enough evidence to prove that something happened beyond an abduction.
Some People Believed a Girl Found in 2016 in Rome Was Madeleine McCann
In late 2016, a homeless girl in her early teens was spotted in Rome, Italy, and her appearance somewhat resembled that of Madeleine McCann’s.
“The teenager has been walking around with old clothes on, no belongings and has not accepted cash from locals. … “The Italian police have tried to identify the girl, who is sleeping rough on the streets with no passport or ID,” Express UK reported at the time.
People all over the world found themselves comparing photos of McCann (from when she was a child) and this girl, whose name might have been “Maria.” Although some similarities were found, “Maria” did not appear to have a mark under her eye, a sort of trademark of Madeleine’s appearance.
“Maria” was soon identified as Embla Jauhojärvi, who disappeared from her home six months prior, according to the Daily Mail.
A Possible Madeleine McCann Sighting Went Viral in 2010
Less than three years after her disappearance, a little girl who looked like Madeleine was spotted in New Zealand. Footage of the youngster made its way online and quickly went viral. A woman working at a department store saw the child and decided to approach her — and the man that she was walking with.
“I was quite [struck] by the [wee] girl who looked just like Madeleine McCann. I spoke to the girl and she had an English accent, as well. She told me that her name was Hailey and was quite apprehensive to talk to me and sort of stammered over her words when she was trying to think of her name,” Taryn Dryfhout said in an interview, which you can watch in the video above.
The CCTV footage was passed on to Interpol and then on to the Portuguese authorities but, as far as the public knows, no additional action was taken.
This was one of several leads that have been sent in to authorities over the years.
Investigator David Edgar Believes Madeleine Is Alive & That She Was Abducted by a ‘Child Sex Gang’
Investigator David Edgar truly believes that Madeleine McCann is alive. Edgar, 61, worked for the McCann family for three years.
“She is most likely being held captive, possibly in an underground cellar or dungeon and could emerge at any time,” Edgar told The Sun back in November. “I’ve always thought that whoever is responsible will have confided in someone else. They usually do and it is very rare that they don’t even if it takes years. Now we’re approaching the 12th year, that’s a significant time but I think she could still be alive and someone is protecting her captors. Someone knows what happened and it’s time they came forward, may be they have and officers are waiting for a confession. It happens,” he explained.
“She could literally be anywhere in the world but my hunch is that she is in Portugal. The chance that she may have been smuggled out of the country without being detected is highly unlikely. There is someone in Portugal with open knowledge of where she is and what happened. Someone knows what happened and it’s time they came forward – maybe they already have. Unless a body is found there is hope. Everyone hopes for a positive outcome and Kate and Gerry will never give up, even when the funding runs out. I hope they get an answer they’ve been waiting for so long,” he added.