Two years after little Madeleine McCann disappeared, her parents are stepping up their campaign to ensure that she is not forgotten.
Gerry and Kate McCan, who were once treated as suspects in the case, headed to the U.S. Wednesday as they prepared to appear on a special Oprah Winfrey Show airing May 4 – a day after the two-year anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance.
As they stepped onto the plane, news emerged in one British newspaper that a new suspect is being checked into. The Sun reports that the family’s investigators have come across some new evidence as they combed the official police files. The paper claims that witnesses saw a man “loitering alone on a road near the flat where Maddie’s family were staying in Praia da Luz.”
Before filming the Winfrey show, during which a digitally-constructed image of what Madeleine may look now will be unveiled, the couple is planning to visit the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Alexandria, Va.
Meanwhile, a new documentary will be aired May 7 in the U.K. highlighting a reconstruction of the case, headed by Gerry McCann, including his return to Apartment 5A of the Ocean Club complex.
In the program, Madeleine Was Here, one of the couple’s friends gives his first interview. Matthew Oldfield talks about how he went into the apartment that night to check on the McCann children. Another friend, Jane Tanner, describes seeing a man with long hair and heavy clothing walking away from the holiday complex carrying a child.
Steve Anderson, the executive producer of the film, said, “This documentary has exclusive and significant access to the private investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance. The investigators hope that these testimonies, along with those of other witnesses, may jog the memories of others who may know, or have seen, something significant.”
The anniversary comes after an unimaginably difficult time for the McCann family. On one point, they were fingered as suspects, but were cleared of any involvement. The case was closed in July 2008.
The McCanns have vowed to “never, ever give up” on their child. They have written on their official Web site about their dream that one day she will be found. They also say they’ve gained hoped by seeing formerly missing children like Elizabeth Smart eventually returned to their families. “The return of these children to their families not only gives us great hope but also starkly emphasizes that perseverance is essential, and surely what every such child deserves,” the McCanns write.