So many things can happen when we are not paying attention. Jess Kimball knows what Fatal Distraction is. Here’s a real life example. But first, a question for you.
If you were vacationing in Portugal from the UK, and you had a three-year-old daughter, would you allow her to sleep with the door unlocked while you ate dinner with your friends about 160 feet away?
A 30-second walk.
That’s the situation reports say the parents of Madeleine McCann describe the night their daughter disappeared.
You probably remember the little girl’s face. The story was all over international news in May of 2007.
Madeleine’s mother wrote a book about her daughter’s disappearance. In that book, she says she and her husband left Madeleine and her two younger siblings sleeping in their rented apartment, while they ate dinner with friends at 8:30 p.m. About every 30 minutes, the McCanns reportedly said they or one of their friends went to the apartment to check on their children. At the last check, at about 10:00 p.m., Madeleine’s mother, Kate McCann, allegedly said she checked on Madeleine, only to find that she was missing. Media reports stated that Kate said she ran back to her friends at dinner, screaming that someone had taken her daughter.
Over the years authorities have considered several suspects, including Madeleine’s own parents. Apparently, they were given arguido, or suspect status, until July 2008 when the Portuguese Attorney General found that there was no evidence to link the McCanns to Madeleine’s disappearance.
One of the reasons I’ve been fascinated with this missing child’s case is because Madeline could be identified if she’s found. Many missing children are not so easily noticed, thus making it harder to spot them. This is one of the struggles Jess Kimball has in searching for her missing son, Peter, in Fatal Distraction.
Madeleine has a distinctive mark in her left eye. You can see it in the poster above if you look closely.
It was even featured on a poster with the words ‘LOOK’, with the mark drawn in the first ‘o’ of the word on the poster.
Her loved ones hope that mark will help find Madeleine. I hope so, too. Don’t you?
Recently, the McCann case has kicked up again. Police who are investigating her appearance have said “a substantial phase of operational activity” will begin. Will this activity produce answers to this case?
Here’s an age-progressed picture of what Madeleine may look like now, at age nine.
What do you think happened to Madeline McCann?
First of all, I would never leave my daughter in an apartment while I go out to dinner with friends, especially in another country where there are strangers all around. Have been following this case on TV. Hope they find her soon.
It’s scary how much can happen in a 30-minute window, isn’t it? I sure hope they find her, too.
Such a sad story and I agree with Linda, who in their right mind would live a child alone, absolutely stupidity.
The McCanns got a lot of criticism for that decision from the public and from the media. I bet a lot of parents kept a much closer eye on their children after this case. So sad.
Not clear what happened to this child.
UK culture about kids and dinner is different for most families than the US, where young children eat early as a late tea/ early dinner, but many families travel with a nanny.
I personally wouldn’t feel comfortable with either arrangement, but come from a different culture and customs.
If ppl thought she was dead before, I wondered why they did not enlist sonar to search? There have certainly been many snafus, the least of which is the #humantrafficking question, which world wide continues to be a #publichealthmenace as #DrGeneAbel has placed it. It is odd that WHO or CDC are not at the helm of determining international standards for missing children, or sex assault of any person. Issues of public health are determined with a swiftness not found in law enforcement. It is easier to report bad food and get a result for one and all, followed by criminal prosecutions as need be, than it is to accurately document a sex assault or missing child, and get a result benefitting the victim, family and community.
I am surprised your article did not mention the look alike girl, who was DNA tested and not the child, because it does seem true that she could be located.
Given the issues of child porn and child sex still ticking for that Dutch nest, wonder how that factors into this if at all.
The question of the parents being extensively questioned in this or any case often seems about proximity…. and how much time has been wasted in any wrestling and the absence of a statistically proven, functional plan to evalute and act?
Police are using radar this week to search for Madeleine’s body near the disappearance site, but you’re right. It’s a bit late, isn’t it? I wonder what compelled them to start searching there. It will be interesting to see how this develops.
Yes, I think its interesting that they are now checking that lot. Did someone see something and are
now sharing that info. To me there is only one or two things. One the human sex trade and the other is
she is dead but the proverbial ‘Who Done It.’ It will probably be like Jon Benet Ramsey Case!
Fingers crossed that this week’s searches will bring some answers.
I agree that different cultures pay a part in this, but if I were traveling to a different culture I wouldn’t continue the entirety of my own cultural norm in the new place. I feel bad in saying that but you just can’t be too careful while traveling as all of the factors are not known.
The fact that so many people came in and out of an obviously unlocked door to an apartment could have been the alert that tipped off the kidnapper. Just watch the timing and go after the 9:30pm check-in. Thirty minutes is all one needs. Makes me sick to think about it but that’s how the criminal mind works.
I felt, and still feel, so badly for the parents (even given my comments above). The loss of their child, the hounding they got by the press, and then being listed as suspects by a corrupt justice system (and politicians) just makes your heart break for them and for dear Madeleine.
Will be interested in further (years later) information. Thanks for bringing us up on the ongoing search, Diane.