It’s been nearly 11 years since Madeleine McCann went missing, but her family isn’t giving up hope she’ll one day come home.
That includes Madeleine’s younger twin siblings Sean and Amelie, who are using their 13th birthday wish to ask for their sister to return.
Madeleine was only three years old when she disappeared from the family’s holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal in May 2007. She was allegedly kidnapped while her parents, Kate and Gary, were out to dinner with friends.
Despite Madeleine’s disappearance being dubbed “the most heavily reported missing-person case in modern history,” investigations have proven to be fruitless, as there have been no traces of the missing girl.
Despite the family’s sorrow, their lives are still moving on.
Swedish fashion chain H&M has recently come under fire for using a black child model to sell a hoodie inscribed with the phrase “Coolest Monkey In The Jungle.”
Following the release of the image, many people took to social media to express how they feel about the situation and take matters into their own hands with a little help from Photoshop.
While some users redesigned their own versions of the hoodie with positive messages, like “Black is Beautiful,” the trolls also jumped on the bandwagon with some tasteless edits.
One person went as far as using a photo of Madeleine McCann. The Twitter user shared the Photoshopped image of the three-year-old, who went missing over ten years ago while vacationing with her parents in Portugal. The meme shows Madeleine’s head edited onto an H&M shirt with the slogan “Hide & Seek Champion” written on it.
The post has since received over 24,000 retweets and 68,000 likes. While some people praised the picture and dubbed it funny, many found it to be to awful and distasteful.
The missing girl’s parents, Kate and Gerry, did not make any direct comments to the media about the photo, but a source close to the family told The Sun that the McCann’s “can’t believe all this tasteless rubbish is resurfacing again,” adding, “It’s so offensive and so unnecessary.”
“We’ve had this this sort of stuff before and now it’s back up there again,” the source continued. “It causes more hurt to a family still suffering but they do their best to ignore negativity and spiteful postings.”
Just a couple days since the photo went viral, the man behind it, Kieron March, has reemerged with a message for Madeleine’s parents.
Last week, international fashion retailer H&M was the target of some serious backlash after one of their recent online advertisement for their children’s clothing line was seen as racist by many people.
The fashion chain was selling children’s hoodies on their U.S. and U.K. online stores inscribed with the phrases “Coolest Monkey In the Jungle” and “Mangrove Jungle Official Survival Expert Junior Tour Guide.”
When the hoodies were initially posted to H&M’s U.K. website, people noticed that the green-colored “Coolest Monkey In The Jungle” hoodie was modeled by a black child and many were offended by it.
Although “monkey” is often used by parents as a term of endearment, the historic context of the word has been deemed offensive by many black people because it was once used to demean them.
“@hm this is disgusting & irresponsible,” wrote an angry Twitter user. “You know the history of racist using the term “monkey” to demean people of African descent… and you put this on your website! ‘Coolest Monkey In the Jungle’ #SMH“
@hm this is disgusting & irresponsible. You know the history of racist using the term “monkey” to demean people of African descent… and you put this on your website! 😡😡😡😡 “Coolest Monkey In the Jungle” #SMHpic.twitter.com/IY877D2d8R
The Swedish-based retailer later apologized, but some people decided to take matters into their own hands with a little help from Photoshop.
Soccer player Romelu Lukaku was one of the first to kick start the trend of doctoring the boy’s photo to appear less offensive. He changed the words on the hoodie to “Black is Beautiful,” and shared his work on Instagram.
While some users redesigned their own versions of the hoodie with positive messages, the trolls also jumped on the bandwagon with some tasteless edits. One person went as far as using a photo of Madeleine McCann, who went missing a few years ago.
A source close to the McCann’s gave a statement to The Sun revealing how Maddie’s parents, Gerry and Kate, feel about the entire situation.
Over the last few years, many theories about Madeleine’s disappearance have come to light, including one that suggested she was killed by her parents by “accident due to neglect and possible medication.”
Her nanny dispelled that theory earlier this year by insisting that “no way they [Kate and Gerry] did it,” and gave a few different reasons why that would not have been possible.
Other versions of the events reveal that there was a woman standing outside of the Ocean Club apartment where Madeleine was supposedly abducted from just 90 minutes before she was reported missing.
Police followed this lead and recently identified the “woman in purple” as Luisa, a former waitress at a restaurant near the Portuguese resort where the McCanns stayed. However, they haven’t been able to bring her in for interrogation.
Now, just a few weeks after the information about the mysterious woman was made public knowledge, there’s another person stepping forward with some information about the case. In fact, she is claiming to be Madeleine, and has some “evidence” to prove she’s telling the truth.
This year marks the tenth anniversary of the disappearance of three-year-old Madeleine McCann from her family’s holiday apartment on a Portuguese resort.
Recently, there have been many new theories, leads and clues coming to light, including some that suggest that the little girl has died and it was caused by “accident due to neglect and possible medication.”
Back in April, Maddie’s nanny finally broke her silence to dispel the rumors, and her version of the events paints a very different picture from the “cover up” theory that blames the parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, for killing their daughter.
She insisted that there is “no way they did it,” and gave many different reasons why that would not have been possible.
The former nanny, who chose to remain anonymous, also revealed that the resort where the McCann’s were staying was notorious for being unsafe. Employees and nannies were given rape whistles and advised to not go out alone. Just a year before Maddie went missing, a 10-year-old girl was assaulted on the resort. As a result, the nanny is convinced that Maddie was taken by a stranger.
She blames the Portuguese authorities for not arriving to the scene in time to prevent tampering with evidence. She claimed that they took 90 minutes to arrive to the scene and by that point the potential crime scene was contaminated by people going in and out of the apartment.
Now, a new report has surfaced and aligns closely with the the nanny’s account.
According to two other witnesses, there was a woman standing outside the Ocean Club apartment where Maddie was supposedly abducted from just 90 minutes before the child was reported missing.
It took a little over a decade, but police have finally identified the woman, and she may hold some of the answers to the mysterious case.