Madeleine McCann's parents to spend her 18th birthday praying for breakthrough

MADELEINE McCann’s parents will be spending her 18th birthday today praying for her as they hope for a breakthrough.

Kate and Gerry have called the day “particularly poignant’’.

The couple will leave gifts in her bedroom, which has remained untouched since she vanished 14 years ago.

Family and friends will gather for a small celebration at their home in Rothley, Leics, with their 16-year-old twins Sean and Amelie.

Madeleine’s great-aunt and uncle Janet and Brian Kennedy, who also live in the village, will pray for her too.

Retired headteacher Brian, 81, said: “They have asked the family and supporters to remember Madeleine’s birthday quietly and to continue to hope for a definitive outcome to the continuing investigation.”

GP-turned-medical worker Kate, 53, and heart doc Gerry, 52, said online: “This year it is particularly poignant as we should be celebrating Madeleine’s 18th birthday.”

They continued: “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 hang on to the hope, however small, that we will see Madeleine again.”

Their gifts and cards will be kept in a room crammed with yet-to-be-opened Christmas and birthday presents — amassed since she went missing from their holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in May 2007.

Convicted paedophile and rapist Christian B, 44, jailed in Germany, remains a prime suspect in the case.

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