The parents of Madeleine McCann have marked the 16th anniversary of her disappearance by thanking well-wishers and saying she is “still very much missed”.
In a short statement on the official Find Madeleine Campaign website, Kate and Gerry McCann said: “Today marks the 16th anniversary of Madeleine’s abduction. Still missing… still very much missed.
“It is hard to find the words to convey how we feel.
“The police investigation continues, and we await a breakthrough. Thank you to everyone for your support – it really helps.”
The couple, of Rothley, Leicestershire, also posted a poem named The Contradiction, written by Clare Pollard, which they said resonates strongly as they mark the anniversary.
Part of the poem reads: “The absence contradicts itself: the missing conjures what we miss.
“I cannot hold you, yet I do: please let me hold you in my head and where you are now, hold me too.”
Madeleine was aged three when she disappeared from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in Portugal on May 3, 2007.
The McCanns’ statement comes two weeks after a German court said it had decided not to hear a sex offences case against a man who is a suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine.
Prosecutors in the northern city of Braunschweig in October charged Christian Brueckner in several separate cases involving sexual offences allegedly committed in Portugal between 2000 and 2017.
The court decided not to hear the case because the region where it is located is not the last place where Bruckner lived in Germany.
Brueckner, who has reportedly denied any involvement in Madeleine’s disappearance, was identified as a murder suspect in the McCann case by Portuguese officials in June 2020.