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How Long Has Madeleine McCann Been Missing?

As parents, one of the most terrifying things to imagine is one of your children going missing. Hundreds of thousands of parents in this country live this fear every year. For some, their children are found and reunited with their families. Others, sadly, experience the devastation of learning their children have passed, and have to figure out to move forward in life with a piece of their heart taken away. But then there are those parents whose children go disappear, never to be seen again. The terror of your child going missing is one thing - having to live knowing (or hoping) they're out there somewhere, waiting to be brought home but having no idea where to find them, is a terror and pain we cannot imagine.

Each year, the news reports on high-profile missing children cases. As parents, it breaks our hearts every time. But some cases stick with you, long after they've faded from the nightly news. Madeleine McCann was just 3 years old when she went missing from her family's room while on holiday in Portugal. It's been over a decade since that horrible night, and there's still no sign of Madeleine, who would now be almost 16.

PREVIOUSLY: New Madeleine McCann Documentary Hits Netflix, And It Looks Intense

The McCann family was on holiday on Portugal in May 2007. The family, originally from Britain, had traveled to the country for a week-long trip. Parents Kate and Gerry and children Maddie and 2-year-old twins Sean and Amelie were near the end of their stay in a rented apartment at the resort Praia da Luz in the Algarve region. On the night of May 3, Kate and Gerry left their children alone in their apartment while they dined at a nearby restaurant with seven friends.

The restaurant where they dined was about 180 feet from the complex where the children slept, and the parents took turns checking on the right children throughout the night. At about 10 p.m., Kate discovered Madeleine was missing.

As law enforcement searched for Maddie and gathered clues as to her whereabouts, the McCann parents quickly moved to the top of the list of suspects. However, there's no evidence that the McCanns were involved in Maddie's disappearance, and despite leads from all over the world, she has never been found and another suspect has never been named.

Maddie McCann would be nearly 16 now, and her parents continue to search for her. In November 2018, the Portugal police began re-examining the theory that little Maddie wandered off that night to look for her parents. It's been 12 years since she vanished, but the McCanns hold out hope that they will one day be reunited with their little girl.

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