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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 May 2007, 17:15 GMT 18:15 UK
Village holds vigil for McCanns
Two women at the vigil
Villagers have been tying ribbons to show support for Madeleine
Villagers in Rothley, Leicestershire, held a silent vigil to show support for missing Madeleine McCann.

People were encouraged to tie a ribbon or light a candle at the War Memorial in the girl's home village.

Medical staff also joined in prayer at Leicester's three hospitals earlier - Madeleine's father is a doctor at the city's Glenfield Hospital.

The three-year-old was abducted from a holiday apartment in Portugal on Thursday.

Message of support

Alison Hipkin, practice manager of the Latham House Surgery where Kate McCann is a GP, said: "I think that, other than the despair you see on the television, I don't think we can say much more than that.

"It's heart-rending for them, that's why we're here today. We're very pleased that Glenfield have put it on.

"We're continuing to raise the awareness around the country and the world and hopefully if they see the pictures then they'll feel supported by everybody here today."

Dr Doug Skehan, a colleague of the McCanns, added: "There were hundreds of people who interrupted what was a busy, post bank holiday day at the hospital to come down and be with us for a ceremony which was dignified and respectful."

'Keep up search'

Brian Kennedy, the three-year-old's great uncle who lives a few streets away from the McCanns, said the village vigil was a "wonderful idea".

He said Madeleine's mother must be under tremendous strain but seemed to be keeping her spirits up.

"But as the days go on, it must be very difficult," he added.

He said any analysis of the police investigation had to take second place to the hunt to find Madeleine.

"I think the main thing is to keep up the search. Any shortcomings should be looked at afterwards."


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The tributes left in the village of Rothley



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