2 November 2009
Press Association

Here is a timeline of the key events since Madeleine McCann's disappearance.

  • :: May 3 - Kate and Gerry McCann, from Rothley, Leicestershire, leave their three children asleep in their holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in southern Portugal while they dine with friends at a nearby tapas restaurant. Nothing is amiss when Mr McCann checks on the youngsters at just after 9pm, but when his wife goes back at about 10pm she finds three-year-old Madeleine missing. Jane Tanner, one of the friends eating with the McCanns, later reports seeing a man carrying a child away earlier that night. 
  • :: May 5 - Portuguese police reveal they believe Madeleine was abducted but is still alive and in Portugal, and say they have a sketch of a suspect.
  • :: May 14 - Detectives take Anglo-Portuguese property developer Robert Murat in for questioning and make him an "arguido", or official suspect. Officers also search the home he shares with his mother in Praia Da Luz, just 100 yards from where the youngster was snatched.
  • :: May 25 - Portuguese detectives finally release the description of the man reported by Jane Tanner three weeks earlier following pressure from the McCanns, their legal team and the British Government.
  • :: May 30 - Mr and Mrs McCann meet the Pope in Rome in the first of a series of trips around Europe and beyond to highlight the search for their daughter. 
  • :: August 6 - A Portuguese newspaper reports that British sniffer dogs have found traces of blood on a wall in the McCanns' holiday apartment. 
  • :: August 11 - Exactly 100 days after Madeleine disappeared, investigating officers publicly acknowledge for the first time that she could be dead.
  • :: September 7 - During further questioning of Mr and Mrs McCann, detectives make them both "arguidos" in their daughter's disappearance. 
  • :: September 9 - The McCanns fly back to England with their two-year-old twins Sean and Amelie. 
  • :: October 2 - Goncalo Amaral, the detective in charge of the inquiry, is removed from the case after criticising the British police in a Portuguese newspaper interview. 
  • :: October 25 - The McCanns release a new artist's impression drawn by an FBI-trained expert showing the man described by Jane Tanner. 
  • :: February 4 - Portugal's top detective, Alipio Ribeiro, says in a radio interview that police were "hasty" in making Madeleine's parents suspects in her disappearance. 
  • :: April 7 - Three Portuguese detectives fly to Britain to re-interview the seven friends on holiday with the McCanns when Madeleine vanished. 
  • :: April 10 - Speaking in Brussels, Mr and Mrs McCann call for a Europe-wide missing child alert system. But this is overshadowed by a leak of the couple's first police interviews, which reveals that Madeleine asked her mother on the morning before she vanished: "Mummy, why didn't you come when we were crying last night?" 
  • :: May 3 - A tearful Mrs McCann urges people to "pray like mad" for Madeleine as she and her family mark the first anniversary of the little girl's disappearance. 
  • :: July 21 - The Portuguese authorities shelve their investigation and lift the "arguido" status of the McCanns and Mr Murat. 
  • :: July 24 - Mr Amaral publishes a book about the case, entitled The Truth Of The Lie, in which he alleges that the young girl died in her family's holiday flat on May 3. 
  • :: August 4 - Thousands of pages of evidence from the Portuguese police files in the exhaustive investigation into Madeleine's disappearance are made public. They reveal details of the lines of inquiry pursued by detectives, witness statements and scores of previously unknown sightings of the little girl. 
  • :: January 29 - Nearly £2 million was raised for the official fund to find Madeleine in the first 10 months after she went missing, Companies House accounts show. 
  • :: April 4 - Mr McCann goes back to Portugal to help film a reconstruction of the events on the night his daughter vanished for a Channel 4 documentary.
  • :: May 1 - An age-progression image of how Madeleine might look aged six is released as part of an appearance by the McCanns on US television presenter Oprah Winfrey's chat show. 
  • :: May 22 - It emerges that private detectives working for the McCanns are investigating a convicted British paedophile called Raymond Hewlett who was staying near Praia da Luz when Madeleine went missing. 
  • :: August 6 - The McCanns' investigators launch a worldwide hunt for an Australian lookalike of Victoria Beckham seen at a marina in Barcelona three days after the little girl disappeared.
  • :: September 9 - Lisbon's main civil court bans further sale or publication of Mr Amaral's book following legal action by Mr and Mrs McCann. 
  • :: November 3 - The Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre releases an internet video aimed at pricking the conscience of a friend or relative of the person responsible for Madeleine's disappearance.

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