The family has been celebrating the girl’s birthday since she was abducted from a holiday apartment in Portugal in 2007 when she was just three years old. It remains unclear whether the main suspect in Madeleine’s disappearance will ever be charged. Christian Bruckner, 45, is in prison in Germany for raping a woman, and prosecutors say he is responsible for her abduction and murder.
But Bruckner vehemently denies his involvement, and German authorities admit they do not have enough evidence to accuse him.
Yesterday, doctors Kate and Jerry collected symbolic gifts and postcards from family members and well-wishers. The couple never gave up hope that Madeleine was still alive and prayed that one day they would meet.
Her pink bedroom at a house in Rotley, Lakes, has become a shrine for the girl. But it is unclear how it is now used. As Jerry said: “Soon there will be a practical question of what to do with the” spare “room that one of the twins may need.”
A source close to the family said: “It is a difficult time for them, but they will remember Madeleine with a quiet holiday behind closed doors. There will be gifts, prayers, a cake, pleasant memories and, above all, hope. “
Last week, relatives and friends gathered in their village to mark the 15th anniversary of the disappearance.
Her great-grandfather Brian Kennedy, 83, said 19 was “an age we never thought she could reach without knowing what happened.”
She disappeared in Praia do Luz just nine days before her fourth birthday.
Cardiologist Jerry, 53, and hospital doctor Kate, 54, spoke about the need to “close” in the anniversary message.
They said, “Whatever the outcome, Madeleine will always be our daughter, and a truly heinous crime has been committed.”
Bruckner served seven years for the rape in Praia do Luz, two years before Madeleine disappeared. Police say he was in the area when Madeleine was abducted.