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Parents pray for missing girl in Portugal

By Katie Razzall

Updated on 04 May 2007

The desperate parents of a little girl who went missing from her Portuguese holiday apartment while they dined nearby were tonight praying for good news.

Three-year-old Madeleine McCann was last seen sleeping soundly by father Gerry at around 9pm last night at the Ocean Club resort in the seaside village of Praia Da Luz in the south-western Algarve.

But at 10pm when her mother Kate went to check, she found the shutter slid up, the bedroom window open and her daughter - described as "happy-go-lucky" - gone.

Fellow holidaymakers, staff from British travel firm Mark Warner, which has run the resort for two years, and police spent most of the night searching frantically for the toddler.

Dogs were brought in, the Spanish and border police and airports were notified and volunteer teams continued to comb the village, resort and beach today for clues as to the little girl's whereabouts.

Fears are now growing that Madeleine was taken against her will. Her anguished parents, both 38 and doctors, have accused Portuguese police of not doing enough to find her.

Madeleine, who turns four next Friday, and her two-year-old twin brother and sister Sean and Amelie were left in their apartment alone as their parents dined at the tapas restaurant 200 yards away.

The resort offered a creche service but the couple opted to leave the children sleeping at the apartment, taking turns to check on them at regular intervals.

Madeleine's aunt, Trish Cameron, who lives in Dumbarton near Glasgow, said her brother, Gerry, called her last night "breaking his heart".

She said his wife had gone to check on the children and "came out screaming".

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