Kate and Gerry McCann in their own words: 13 years of never giving up hope

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer
Madeleine McCann parents Kate and Gerry have long fought to find their missing daughter. (PA)

German police have identified a new prime suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann – and her parents have fresh hope they will find out what happened to their daughter.

Kate and Gerry McCann have always vowed to continue searching for their daughter in their 13-year-quest to “uncover the truth”.

In a statement accompanying the revelation that a suspect had been identified in her disappearance, the couple said: "All we have ever wanted is to find her, uncover the truth and bring those responsible to justice.”

Here’s what else the McCanns have said throughout the years about their search for their daughter.

Gerry and Kate McCann arrive at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium. in 2008. (AP)

May 2008

On the first anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance, Kate said that she “senses” that her daughter is alive.

She said: “Madeleine just feels very close. It's more of a kind of sensation that she's there. You try to be objective and you think it is because I am her mum and I want to believe, but it has not changed.”

Gerry added: “Today is about Madeleine and today is about us stating our absolute categoric belief that there's no evidence Madeleine has been seriously harmed…

“People want to help. They must want to help. She's a completely innocent four-year- old girl. Surely we can find her if everyone pulls together.”

July 2008

With the case closed, and no suspects identified, Kate and Gerry were officially cleared of any involvement in Madeleine’s disappearance.

And, despite mounting legal issues, the couple reaffirmed the search for their daughter.

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Kate said the news they were no longer suspects was “no cause for celebration”, while Gerry added: “Our priority has always been the search for Madeleine and that will be what will be prioritised in the coming weeks.”

Kate and Gerry McCann talk to the media outside a court in Lisbon. (AP)

May 2009

On the day an age progression image of their daughter was released, on the second anniversary of her disappearance, the couple said: "It is two long years since Madeleine was taken. It is two years since we were a happy family of five. The pain and anxiety does not lessen, but our determination to find our beautiful daughter remains steadfast…

"Madeleine is still missing! She has the right to be back with her family. We have a responsibility to keep looking for her. We urge you – please do not give up on Madeleine.”

February 2010

After the Portuguese detective who led the initial investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance lost his attempt to overturn a ban on a book where he claimed the Kate and Kerry were involved in her disappearance, the couple highlighted how they were still holding onto hope that she was still alive.

They said: "By upholding the injunction against Goncalo Amaral's book and DVD, the judge has rightly agreed that there has been significant, ongoing damage to the search for our beloved daughter Madeleine and to the rights of our family.

"We are grateful to the judge for accepting that this injustice must not continue. The court case has demonstrated, once again, that there is no evidence that Madeleine has come to any harm.”

Kate and Gerry McCann pose with a missing poster depicting an age progression computer generated image of their daughter Madeleine at nine years of age. (AP)

April 2010

As the third anniversary approached, Kate said: “Certainly in my heart I feel she is out there. I mean, I know there is nothing to say that she isn’t so we have to carry on working and thinking like that.”

Gerry also reflected on how police in Portugal and the UK were not doing more to find their daughter, adding: “It’s not right that an innocent British citizen is essentially given up on and I don’t think that it is right that, as parents, we have to drive the search.”

May 2011

On the fourth anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance, Kate told the BBC that she believed her daughter was still alive.

She said: "We know there's no evidence at all that's she's come to harm. There's many cases of missing children who disappear off the radar for really long periods of time and still be found alive.

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"I feel that she's still out there. There's nothing telling me to stop or slow down. I truly believe she's out there and if we can get the help we need, we can find her and bring her home."

Kate and Gerry McCann react during a BBC TV interview ahead of the 10th anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance. (AP)

February 2016

Kate said she believed Madeleine had been taken far from Praia da Luz, which she described as the “place where I feel closest to her”.

She added to The Sun: “The urge to look for Madeleine absolutely hasn’t changed at all. You hear all the time about people who have been missing for years being found. There have been so many cases like that.

“We will never give up. You couldn’t settle if you thought about giving up. I want an end, an answer. Whatever that it is.”

Kate and Gerry McCann hold hands during a news conference at a hotel in Lisbon. (AP)

December 2019

Last Christmas, a message on the official Find Madeleine Facebook page, said "nothing has changed”.

As they faced their 13th Christmas without their daughter, the McCanns added: "We love her, we miss her, we hope as always.

"The search for Madeleine goes on with unwavering commitment.”

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June 2020

After a new prime suspect emerged, the McCann’s said in a statement: "All we have ever wanted is to find her, uncover the truth and bring those responsible to justice.

"We will never give up hope of finding Madeleine alive, but whatever the outcome may be, we need to know as we need to find peace.”