22/05/2007

Madeleine's father returns to Portugal

The father of missing British girl Madeleine McCann has returned to Portugal this morning following a brief visit to the UK.

Gerry McCann rejoined his wife Kate and their two-year-old twins Sean and Amelie following the visit to the UK.

On Tuesday, the couple told reporters that they would "travel wherever is necessary" in order to find Madeleine.

During his visit home, Gerry McCann met with lawyers and organisers of the Find Madeleine Fund and also read messages of support left in the family's home village of Rothley in Leicestershire.

Mr McCann also added a yellow ribbon - which has been adopted as a symbol of hope for Madeleine - to the thousands already tied to the railings surrounding the village's war memorial.

The four-year-old disappeared from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in the Algarve on May 3.

Police in the UK have appealed for anyone who visited Praia da Luz in the two weeks before Madeleine's disappearance to send any holiday photographs which showed strangers in the background to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre.

The photos will then be compared to a database of paedophiles and other criminals, using a biometric facial recognition programme, and any relevant information will be passed on to Portuguese police.

Photographs can be uploaded at: www.madeleine.ceopupload.com.

An unofficial one-minute silence was held in Portugal at midday on Monday for Madeleine. It was organised by an anonymous chain email circulated around the country.

The Find Madeleine website has now received nearly 100 million hits since it was set up last week. Details of how to donate to the Find Madeleine fighting fund are available at: www.findmadeleine.com.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Crimestoppers on the international number: +44 1883 731 336.

(KMcA/SP)

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