Page last updated at 12:58 GMT, Saturday, 19 December 2009

Madeleine McCann's parents in Christmas 'heartbreak'

Madeleine McCann
Investigations have so far failed to find Madeleine McCann

The parents of Madeleine McCann have released two new photographs of their missing daughter's last Christmas at home, on their website.

Kate and Gerry McCann said it was "heartbreaking" to face a third Christmas without Madeleine, who was nearly four when she went missing.

The new pictures show Madeleine playing with sister Amelie months before she vanished from an Algarve flat in 2007.

The McCanns, of Rothley, Leicestershire, are still searching.

'Great disappointment'

On their website the couple, both 41, posted a statement reading: "It is heartbreaking for our family to accept the likelihood of spending a third Christmas without Madeleine.

"Her absence is even more tangible at this time of year."

They added they felt "great disappointment" that their high-profile search had failed to find Madeleine, but added they had "no option" but to continue.

The couple returned to Portugal this week ahead of a court case over a book about the case written by a former Portuguese investigator, claiming Madeleine is dead.

Goncalo Amaral is trying to overturn the banning of his book, The Truth Of The Lie, in which he questions the McCanns' account that Madeleine was taken while they were eating with friends.



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