Madeleine McCann timeline: when did she go missing, age at disappearance and how old would she be now

Madeleine McCann, who went missing when she was 3, would be 20 years old now
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It’s been 16 years since Madeleine McCann disappeared from a holiday apartment in Portugal after being left alone with her siblings whilst her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, dined at a nearby tapas restaurant.

As searches begin in and around a reservoir in Portugal in connection to the case, here’s everything you need to know about when Madeleine McCann went missing, how old she was and how old she would be now.

When did Madeleine McCann go missing?

Madeleine McCann vanished from her holiday apartment in Portugal in May 2007.Madeleine McCann vanished from her holiday apartment in Portugal in May 2007.
Madeleine McCann vanished from her holiday apartment in Portugal in May 2007.

Madeleine went missing on 2 May, 2007 from her family’s holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal.

The McCanns were enjoying a tapas dinner in the holiday resort with friends now dubbed the “Tapas seven.”

They left their children alone in their apartment, which was located 50 metres away.

The parents and friends took turns to check on each other’s children.

Timeline of events from the night Madeleine went missing:

  • 8.35pm: Kate and Gerry McCann arrive for dinner at a tapas restaurant in the resort.
  • 9.05pm: Gerry checks on his children, and sees Madeleine.
  • 9.30pm: Friend, Matthew Oldfield checks the McCann’s apartment, he hears no noise, does not check the children’s bedroom and leaves without seeing Madeleine.
  • 10.00pm: Kate McCann checks on her children, Madeleine is discovered missing and the alert is raised.

According to the Daily Mail, Madeleine’s parents said that they left the children alone as they didn’t want to disturb their sleep routine and didn’t feel comfortable leaving them alone with a stranger.

Has anyone ever been charged with Madeleine McCann’s disappearance? 

There has been much speculation around what happened to Madeleine and so far, no one has been charged with her disappearance.

The McCanns were named suspects in 2007, after Portuguese police claimed they accidently killed Madeleine and covered it up. However, this theory was dropped in 2008 due to lack of evidence.

In 2022, Christian Brueckner from Germany was officially named as a suspect in Madeleine’s disappearance.

The convicted rapist is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence for raping a 72-year old woman in Portugal in 2005, close to where Madeleine went missing.

However, Brueckner has not yet been charged with the crime.

On the 15th anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance in 2022 German prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters said “new evidence” against Brueckner had been found.

How old was Madeleine McCann when she disappeared?

Madeleine was just a few days away from her fourth birthday when she disappeared from her holiday apartment in Portugal.

The three-year-old was last seen by her father who checked on her whilst he and his wife dined with friends at their holiday resort’s tapas restaurant.

How old would Madeleine McCann be now?

Madeleine McCann was born on 12 May, 2003 and would now be 18 years old, celebrating her 19th birthday in May 2022.

Speaking on her 18th birthday last year, her parents Kate and Gerry McCann said in a statement on Facebook:

“Every May is tough – a reminder of years passed, of years together lost, or stolen.

“This year it is particularly poignant as we should be celebrating Madeleine’s 18th birthday. Enough said.

“The Covid pandemic has made this year even more difficult for many reasons but thankfully the investigation to find Madeleine and her abductor has continued.

“We hang on to the hope, however small, that we will see Madeleine again.

“As we have said repeatedly, we need to know what has happened to our lovely daughter, no matter what.”

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