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, 13 years on from the disappearance, Kate and Gerry McCann are being thrust into the spotlight once again as authorities investigate a new suspect, a German national currently doing time for the 2005 rape of a 72-year-old American woman.
In June 2020, it was reported by the UK tabloids that German prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters had informed the McCanns their daughter was dead via a letter.
Speaking to the Mirror, Wolters said: "We, of course, really consider the fact that it is going to be very hard for the family when we tell them we assume Madeleine is dead.
"But we can't say why she is dead.
"It is more important that we are successful and we are able to get the culprit, as opposed to just putting our cards on the table and tell them why we think she might be."