Page last updated at 10:58 GMT, Monday, 12 May 2008 11:58 UK

McCanns mark Madeleine's birthday

Madeleine McCann
Madeleine McCann has been missing for just over a year

The parents of Madeleine McCann have been marking the fifth birthday of their missing daughter with a low-key party at their family home.

The family's spokesman said the party was primarily for her younger brother and sister, but for them the birthday was "just another day without her".

But the couple also said a new appeal had been met with a huge response.

Madeleine, of Rothley, Leicestershire, disappeared from a holiday apartment in the Algarve on 3 May last year.

Kate and Gerry McCann's spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "Obviously, without Madeleine home yet, this is sadly just another day without her in many respects.

The emails have run into thousands and there have been hundreds of calls
Clarence Mitchell

"Gerry and Kate will, of course, mark her fifth birthday, as much for Sean and Amelie's benefit as anything else, but they will do this privately within the family."

The McCann's new appeal for information, launched ahead of the first anniversary of their daughter's disappearance, urged anyone who had spoken to Portuguese or British authorities about the case to contact them.

Mr Mitchell said: "We have had a very, very good and encouraging response so far. The emails have run into thousands and there have been hundreds of calls."

He said after more than year of false leads, the McCanns have learnt not to build their hopes too high over new information.

But he said an investigation firm working on their behalf was following a number of new leads "with some degree of urgency". He would not elaborate any further.


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