At around 8.30pm on May 3, 2007, Kate and Gerry McCann left their three sleeping children in their holiday apartment in the quiet Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz and headed out for dinner.
They thought that Madeleine, three, and 18 month old twins, Sean and Amelie would be safe just 83 metres from where they were dining at a tapas restaurant with the group of friends they were holidaying with.
Throughout the evening, the adults took it in turns to check on the kids.
At 10pm, it was Kate McCann’s turn.
When she arrived at apartment 5A, she knew immediately something was wrong.
Madeleine was gone.
What happened next is well documented. The story of the blonde toddler’s disappearance became a global news story.
Now, a new Netflix documentary, The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann, recounts the chain of events in detail, and offers several theories as to what may have happened to Madeleine, who would now be aged 16.
The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann trailer. Post continues after video.
Kate and Gerry McCann refused to take part in the program, stating that it could impede the ongoing police investigation.
In a statement on their website, they said: “We did not see and still do not see how this programme will help the search for Madeleine and particularly given there is an active police investigation, could potentially hinder it.”
That said, they have never given up hope of finding their daughter and continue in their fight for information that might lead them to her.
Who are Madeleine McCann’s parents?
Kate McCann (neé Healey) was born in 1968 in Huyton, near Liverpool. She graduated in 1992 with a degree in medicine from the University of Dundee. Gerry McCann, born the same year as Kate, was also a medical scholar, in Glasgow. After working in obstetrics and gynaecology, Kate became a GP. Gerry worked in sports medicine before moving into cardiology.
The couple, described by friends as “inseparable,” met while working as junior doctors at the Western Infirmary in Glasgow.
They married in 1998 and had their first child, Madeleine, in 2003 after IVF treatment. Twins Sean and Amelie followed two years later. The family moved to Rothey in Leicestershire, when Gerry got a job as a consultant cardiologist at Glenfield Hospital in 2005.
Did the McCanns split up after Madeleine McCann went missing?
While the McCann’s never actually split up, Kate has spoken about how close their relationship came to breaking point. In her book, Madeleine, Kate talks about how she withdrew into herself after Madeleine’s disappearance, ceasing to read, play music, or even have sex with husband Gerry.