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.
Last year, a Netflix documentary, The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann, recounted the chain of events in detail, and offered several theories as to what may have happened to Madeleine, who would now be aged almost 17.
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.
Today, it has been 13 years since Madeleine went missing.
Writing on the Find Maddie and Facebook campaign websites, Kate and Gerry McCann said:
“It is now 13 years since we were last with Madeleine.
“Her 17th birthday is to follow in the next couple of weeks – the latter tangibly, painfully, bringing it home to us what we have missed and continue to miss as a family.
“It shows how easy it is to become complacent with our lives and circumstances, albeit a totally normal and understandable, human characteristic.”