Madeleine McCann's parents 'hang on to hope we will see her again' days ahead ...

Madeleine McCann's parents have said they 'hang on to hope, however small' that they will see their daughter again as they marked the 14th anniversary of her disappearance alone.

In a message shared online, Kate and Gerry McCann noted that this year's anniversary was even more poignant because it would have been missing Maddie's 18th birthday.

The message, which was shared on the Find Madeleine website, read: 'Every May is tough – a reminder of years passed, of years together lost, or stolen.

'This year it is particularly poignant as we should be celebrating Madeleine’s 18th birthday. Enough said.'

The couple said the pandemic had made this year 'even more difficult for many reasons' but added: 'Thankfully the investigation to find Madeleine and her abductor has continued.

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Kate and Gerry McCann make an appeal for their three year old Madeleine's return in 2007

The then three-year-old Madeleine vanished from a holiday apartment in Portugal in 2007

Madeleine McCann's parents have said they 'hang on to hope, however small' that they will see their daughter again as they prepare to mark the 14th anniversary of her disappearance alone

The disappearance of Madeleine McCann

Madeleine McCann, known as Maddie, disappeared from a holiday apartment in Portugal's Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007.

She was on holiday with her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann; her two-year-old twin siblings; and a group of family friends and their children.

She and the twins had been left asleep at the apartment, while the McCanns and friends dined in a restaurant 55 metres (180 ft) away.

The parents checked on the children throughout the evening, until Kate discovered she was missing at 10pm.

What followed is widely regarded as one of the most reported on missing person investigations in the world.

Portuguese authorities closed their enquiries in July 2008 but Maddie's parents continued with private detectives.

Scotland Yard launched their own investigation - Operation Grange - in 2011 and enquiries are ongoing.

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'We hang on to the hope, however small, that we will see Madeleine again. As we have said repeatedly, we need to know what has happened to our lovely daughter, no matter what. We are very grateful to the police for their continued efforts.

'We still receive so many positive words and good wishes despite the years that have gone by. It all helps and for that we are truly grateful – thank you.'  

Kate and Gerry marked the anniversary privately after an outdoor prayer gathering was cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic. 

But the couple asked well wishers to come together remotely to remember and pray for Madeleine, just days before her milestone 18th birthday on May 12.

Three-year-old Madeleine, known as Maddie, vanished from a holiday apartment in Portugal's Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007.

She had been left sleeping alone with her younger twin siblings while her parents

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