May 3, 2007
Madeleine McCann goes missing from the family’s holiday apartment in the resort of Praia da Luz, Portugal, between 9.30pm and 10pm.
May 7, 2007
Kate McCann, Madeleine’s mother, made an emotional plea for the Maddie’s safe return.
May 12, 2007
Madeleine McCann’s 4th birthday.
May 14, 2007
Portuguese police started searches at the villa of British ex-pat Robert Murat. The villa is one of a number of properties that were searched near where Madeleine was last seen.
Kate and Gerry McCann said that they will not leave Portugal until Madeleine is found.
May 15, 2007
Robert Murat was named as an official suspect or ‘arguido’ by the Portuguese police.
May 16, 2007
Police interviewed Russian computer expert Sergey Malinka, who owns a property in Praia da Luz.
May 30, 2007
Madeleine’s parents visited the Pope at the Vatican.
June 6, 2007
In Berlin, the McCann’s denied any involvement in Madeleine’s disappearance in response to a question from a German journalist.
June 28, 2007
A man and a woman are arrested by Spanish police for attempting to extort money from the McCann’s.
August 4, 2007
Police conduct a second search of Robert Murat’s villa.
August 6, 2007
Newspapers report that sniffer dogs had detected traces of blood and the smell of a corpse in the apartment where Madeleine went missing from.
August 9, 2007
The McCann’s said they would not be bullied into leaving Portugal.
September 6, 2007
Kate McCann was questioned at a police station in Portugal.
September 7, 2007
Kate McCann was named as a formal suspect or ‘arguido’ in the investigation. She was then questioned again at the police station. Gerry McCann was also questioned separately and also declared ‘arguido’. Neither were held at the station after questioning.
September 8, 2007
The McCann’s announced their plans to return to the UK.
September 9, 2007
The McCann’s arrived back in Britain and go home to Rothley in Leicestershire.
September 11, 2007
Reports emerged that DNA evidence in the McCann’s hire care and holiday apartment matched missing Madeleine’s.
October 3, 2007
The Portuguese policeman heading the investigation was sacked from the inquiry.
November 1, 2007
Gerry McCann returned to work in Leicestershire.
November 29, 2007
Portuguese and UK forensic experts met in Leicestershire to discuss the DNA samples from the inquiry.
The McCann’s made a TV appeal for information about their daughter’s disappearance.
January 8, 2008
The McCann’s categorically deny that they are considering a movie about Maddie’s disappearance.
January 20, 2008
The McCann’s released drawings of a man who they say needs to be eliminated from the investigation to find Madeleine.
February 1, 2008
The McCann’s launch a new website dedicated to finding Madeleine on the day that their twins, Sean and Amelie had their third birthday.
March 19, 2008
The McCann’s accepted £550,000 libel damages from Express Newspapers for stories alleging they were involved in Madeleine’s disappearance. They also received front page apologies from many of the tabloids. The money will be used to fund the ongoing search for their daughter.
April 8, 2008
The McCanns are asked to return to Portugal to appear in a reconstruction of the time when Madeleine disappeared.
April 10, 2008
The McCann’s visited the European Parliament to urge it to introduce an EU-wide missing child alert system based on the US AMBER alert system.
May 12, 2008
Madeleine McCann’s 5th birthday.
May 28, 2008
The McCann’s reveal that they will not return to Portugal for a reconstruction of events.
May 30, 2008
The friends of the McCann’s were also asked to return to Portugal to take part in a reconstruction, but at least four refused after asking for a guarantee that they would not be made suspects in the case, but Portuguese authorities would offer no guarantees and could also charge them with ‘child abandonment’ which carries a sentence of up to ten years.
June 18, 2008
Kate and Gerry McCann will soon have access to the police files covering the official investigation into Maddie’s disappearance. Portugal’s Attorney-General Fernando Jose Pinto Monteiro has said that the period of official secrecy in the case ends in July and that all interested parties would be able to consult the documents held in secret for over a year.
June 19, 2008
The parents of Madeleine McCann seem to be gaining vital backing of MEPs for a Europe wide child abduction alert system, similar to the Amber Alert used in the US.
Since the start of their latest visit to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, another 72 Euro MP’s have signed up to their campaign and they require the signatures of 393 Euro MP’s by July 24, but the president of the European Parliament is said to be ready to allow them more time to gather the necessary support. The original campaign started in April, with the McCanns’s travelling to Brussels.
Such a signed declaration by member States would carry no legal weight but hopefully it will be seen as the ‘political will’ to implement such a scheme throughout Europe.
At this time, there is still nothing that shows that the McCann’s or their friends had anything to do with Maddie’s disappearance on May 3, 2007 and there has been no results from the many forensic tests to implicate any of them. The McCann’s believe that once they were made ‘arguidos’ the police stopped their search.
There are still private investigators working on the case, yet there is no new information as to where Maddie is or what happened on the night she disappeared.