Madeleine Mccann Disappearance
Madeleine Mccann Disappearance, The garden of Apartment 5A Rua Dr Agostinho da Silva, in the resort of Praia da Luz, is reasonably well maintained but, here and there, weeds poke up between the flowers. The property is unloved rather than neglected, preserved but not used, as if frozen in time.
Five years ago today, a little girl, nine days shy of her fourth birthday, disappeared from this ground-floor holiday flat in the Algarve. Madeleine McCann was, according to her parents, spirited away in the night by a kidnapper so bold that he, or she, was prepared to enter the property via a window as they dined with friends in a neighbouring restaurant.
Kate McCann, Madeleine’s mother, describes the moment of discovery in her book, Madeleine. Explaining how, during the meal, she, her husband Gerry and a friend took it in turns to check on Madeleine and her twin brother and sister, sleeping together in one of two bedrooms, she writes: “When I realised Madeleine wasn’t actually there, I went through to our bedroom to see if she’d got into our bed. That would explain the open (bedroom) door. On the discovery of another empty bed, the first wave of panic hit me. As I ran back into the children’s room the closed curtains flew up in a gust of wind. My heart lurched as I saw now that, behind them, the window was wide open and the shutters on the outside raised all the way up. Nausea, terror, disbelief, fear. Icy fear. Dear God, no! Please, no!”
No trace of Madeleine McCann has been found since that night, despite the expenditure of vast amounts of effort, time and money. Few disappearances have commanded such attention over such a long period of time. Like all great mysteries, it divides, between those who champion one explanation and those who favour another, darker one. It also occupies its own landscape: as the Kennedy assassination has the Texas Schoolbook Depository and the Grassy Knoll, so the Madeleine McCann disappearance has Flat 5A and the Ocean Club tapas restaurant, where Mr and Mrs McCann dined on that fateful night.
The people of Praia da Luz would prefer it otherwise. They have no wish to be a destination for ghouls – or journalists. For many of them, May 3, 2007 is a day they would rather forget, a blight on a resort known for being family-friendly and safe. Some residents retain the sympathy for the McCanns that was universal in Portugal before they were declared arguidos, suspects. Others are hostile, accusing the British couple of everything from neglect to concealment of a death. (Calgary Herald)