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Madeleine McCann and the apartment where she went missing in 2007

Madeleine McCann: what happened to the apartment where young girl went missing?

What happened to the apartment where Madeleine went missing?

Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
July 5, 2024
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Madeleine McCann went missing from her family’s holiday apartment back in 2007 aged just three. The youngster was sleeping in a room with her younger siblings, twins Sean and Amelie, while her parents Kate and Gerry McCann dined at a restaurant nearby and was discovered missing by her mother when she checked up on the children. 

It has now been 17 years since Maddie’s disappearance, but what happened to the apartment where the tragic event took place? 

WATCH: A brief history of the Madeleine McCann case

The McCanns stayed in a two-bed ground-floor apartment, 5A Rua Dr Agostinho da Silva in Praia Da Luz. The Portuguese authorities received considerable criticism after around 20 people walked into the crime scene, contaminating the crime scene, with one officer calling it the “worst preserved crime scene” he’d ever seen.

General view shows the apartment hotel building where Madelaine McCann disappeared in Praia da Luz© VASCO CELIO
General view shows the apartment hotel building where Madelaine McCann disappeared in Praia da Luz

After the room was searched for forensic evidence, it was surprisingly rented out again, with two families staying in the apartment throughout 2008. However, the apartment was listed by its owners soon afterwards for £250,000. Due to the circumstances in its sale, the apartment ultimately sold for less than half of the asking price to a British woman named Kathleen Macguire-Cotton. 

Gerry and Kate McCann, the parents of the missing three-year-old girl Madeleine McCann, read a statement to the press outside their resort apartment, 11 May 2007© AFP
Gerry and Kate McCann, the parents of the missing three-year-old girl Madeleine McCann, read a statement to the press outside their resort apartment, 11 May 2007

She reportedly bought the apartment for £113,000 in 2017, and opened up about her thoughts on staying in the apartment. She told The Sun: “I’ve been offered money by the whole world [to visit the apartment] but I’m not interested. I don’t think that’s very fair to the McCann family or the people of Praia da Luz, upsetting everybody – it’s terrible. It happened a long time ago and I don’t have any opinions on it.” 

Kate opened up about discovering the moment that Madeleine was missing in her book, Madeleine: Our Daughter's Disappearance and the Continuing Search for Her. 

Kate McCann, the mother of the missing 4-year-old British girl Madeleine McCann looks at a poster showing her missing daughter during a press conference in 2007© Miguel Villagran
Kate McCann, the mother of the missing 4-year-old British girl Madeleine McCann looks at a poster showing her missing daughter during a press conference in 2007

She wrote: “When I realised Madeleine wasn't actually there, I went through to our bedroom to see if she'd got into our bed. That would explain the open (bedroom) door. On the discovery of another empty bed, the first wave of panic hit me. 

“As I ran back into the children's room the closed curtains flew up in a gust of wind. My heart lurched as I saw now that, behind them, the window was wide open and the shutters on the outside raised all the way up. Nausea, terror, disbelief, fear. Icy fear. Dear God, no! Please, no!” 

The Ocean Club apartments in Praia da Luz, where toddler Madeleine McCann disappeared © Jeff J Mitchell
The Ocean Club apartments in Praia da Luz, where toddler Madeleine McCann disappeared

She also discussed how she was briefly named as a suspect in the investigation, explaining: “I felt I was being bullied, and I suppose I was. I assumed the tactics were deliberate - knock her off balance by telling her that her daughter is dead and get her to confess.

“On and on it went. They tried to convince me I'd had a blackout, 'a loss of memory episode', I think they called it. My denials, answers and pleas fell on deaf ears. This was their theory and they wanted to shoehorn me into it, end of story.” 

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