Madeleine McCann’s parents have marked her 16th birthday with a touching message.
Earlier this month marked 12 years since Madeleine disappeared from the family’s resort apartment room in Praia da Luz, Portugal on May 3, 2007, just days before her fourth birthday.
On Madeleine’s birthday, which falls on May 12, parents Kate and Gerry McCann marked the date with a message to their daughter on a Facebook page.
“Happy 16th Birthday, Madeleine!” they wrote alongside a photograph of Madeleine. “We love you and we’re waiting for you and we’re never going to give up. #ForAsLongAsItTakes”
In an 2017 interview with BBC’s Fiona Bruce, the parents said they still celebrated Madeleine’s birthday with presents.
“I obviously have to think about what age she is and something that, whenever we find her, will still be appropriate,” said Kate.
“But I couldn’t not, you know; she’s still our daughter, she’ll always be our daughter.”
In her 2011 book Madeleine: Our Daughter’s Disappearance and the Continuing Search for Her, Kate also wrote about how her family would leave presents in Madeleine’s bedroom.
“As we’ve continued to do since, we had a tea party at home with balloons, cake, cards and presents,” she wrote, as reported by Express.
“The presents go into Madeleine’s room to await her return. Her pink bedroom remains exactly as it was when she left it but it’s a lot busier now.”
On the 12th anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance, Kate and Gerry shared a statement expressing their gratefulness for the support they received from around the world.
“There is comfort and reassurance though in knowing that the investigation continues and many people around the world remain vigilant,” they wrote.
“Thank you to everyone who continues to support us and for your ongoing hope and belief.”