Service of Prayers Marks 100 Days Since Madeleine’s Disappearance

The parents of missing British four-year-old Madeleine McCann on Saturday marked the 100th day since their daughter's disappearance from their holiday apartment in the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz with a special service of prayers.

In the highly emotional service, Madeleine's father, Gerry McCann, struggled to hold back tears as he told the congregation that he and his wife Kate had not given up hope of finding their daughter.

Madeleine disappeared from the bedroom of the family's holiday apartment where she had been left alone with her two-year-old twin siblings while her parents ate dinner in a tapas bar just yards away.

Kate McCann clutched Madeleine's favorite pink soft toy, which she has rarely been seen without, in her hand throughout the service.

She said during the service, attended by around 200 people, "It is so hard, every day has been so hard without Madeleine."

Husband Gerry said, "We have not given up hope that we will be reunited with her. We will not stop looking for her until she is found," before receiving applause from the family and friends gathered.

The McCanns, both Roman Catholics, have campaigned relentlessly since their daughter's disappearance, traveling to various countries where they have met press and distributed posters of Madeleine with the hope that someone may have spotted her. Possible sightings of Madeleine have so far proven false.

Their campaign has also included a visit to the pope, who prayed for their daughter.

In recent days, relations between the McCanns and the Portuguese police showed signs of strain after the police publicly acknowledged for the first time that Madeleine may be dead before they had made their fears known to the McCanns.

Traces of blood found in the room where Madeleine had been sleeping are currently being analyzed in the United Kingdom to see if they match her DNA.

In an interview in English with the British Broadcasting Corp., Chief Inspector Olegario Sousa said, "In the past few days there have been some developments and clues that have been found that could point to the possible death of this child.

"All lines had been open but this line is now checking with a little bit of intensity."
Since Madeleine's disappearance, only one suspect has been named – 33-year-old Briton Robert Murat, whose home Portuguese police and British detectives returned last week to search.

Using rakes and hedge cutters, police cleared vegetation from the grounds of the house where Murat lives, which is about 100 yards from where Madeleine was last seen.