Madeleine McCann's sister Amelie speaks out for first time since disappearance

  • 04/05/2023
British girl Madeleine McCann went missing in 2007, while she and her family were on holiday in Praia da Luz, Portugal.
British girl Madeleine McCann went missing in 2007, while she and her family were on holiday in Praia da Luz, Portugal. Photo credit: London Metropolitan Police.

Amelie McCann, the younger sister of missing British girl Madeleine McCann, has spoken publicly for the first time about the disappearance.

Family and supporters held a ceremony in their hometown of Rothley, England, to mark 16 years since Madeleine's disappearance.

"It's nice that everyone is here together but it's a sad occasion," she told the crowd.

Now 18, Amelie and her twin brother Sean had grown up mired by widespread coverage of their sister's disappearance.

Parents Gerry and Kate McCann did not speak at the vigil, while brother Sean did not attend.

Reverend Rob Gladstone led prayers, acknowledging the pain the family had endured waiting for answers.

"We are here this evening to show our loving concern for Madeleine and for all young children who have been taken away from their families against their will," he said.

The case had been revived in the world's media recently when Polish woman Julia Faustyna appeared on Dr Phil, claiming she could be Madeleine.

She's since apologised to the McCann family after a DNA test proved she could not be their daughter, but she still holds hope.

"I still believe that it's a possibility that I could be Madeleine," she said.

German national Christian Brueckner was named as a suspect in 2022, as he had spent several years in Portugal, including Praia da Luz.

Brueckner denied any involvement.


Over the years, there have been a few reported sightings of Madeleine here in Aotearoa.

One was in 2007, where CCTV video showed a man leading a young girl into a Dunedin supermarket.

The security guard on shift was convinced it was Madeleine, reporting it to Police, but the girl's name was actually Hailey.

Then in 2013, a woman in Queenstown reported they saw a young girl on New Year's Eve who looked like Madeleine.

Police said they were contacted several times about the striking similarities between the two girls.

Meanwhile, convicted paedophile Roderick Macdonald was apparently living in the same part of Portugal at the time of Madeleine's disappearance.

Police said he had warrants out for his arrest in Aotearoa, relating to child indecency charges from 2009.


Madeleine was three years old when she went missing from the Praia da Luz apartment she and her family were holidaying in.

Kate and Gerry had gone to a restaurant 100 metres away for dinner, while the three kids remained at the apartment.

When Kate got back about 10pm, Madeleine was missing from her cot.

The parents promptly called local Police as a mass search of the apartment complex kicked off, but she was never found.

Nobody has been charged over the disappearance.