IT’S A BIRTHDAY that should symbolise the beginning of life in the adult world.
But Madeleine McCann’s parents had little to celebrate as they laid gifts in her bedroom yesterday.
Kate and Gerry McCann wrote on the Facebook page for their missing daughter: ‘Happy 16th Birthday, Madeleine!
‘We love you and we’re waiting for you and we’re never going to give up.’
The couple have bought presents and put them in Madeleine’s untouched room since she vanished in Praia da Luz, Portugal in 2007 at the age of three.
A birthday party was expected to take place at their home in Rothley, Leicestershire. A family friend said there would be ‘prayers and quiet reflection but also a cake and presents to mark her turning 16’.
Earlier this month Mrs McCann, 51, and Mr McCann, 50, posted online: ‘She should be here and we should be celebrating with her. The months and years roll by too quickly. It’s impossible to put into words just how that makes us feel.’ But they said there is ‘comfort’ in knowing that the investigation continues ‘and people around the world remain vigilant’.
Mrs McCann also placed messages of support in the bedroom, which has become a shrine since Madeleine was abducted during a family holiday. An extra £300,000 from the Home Office is set to keep the Scotland Yard investigation going until March next year.
Great uncle Brian Kennedy said: ‘It would be lovely to have a real celebration one day. We never lose hope.’