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Comment: There are two children we've forgotten about in the Madeleine McCann story.

Mamamia logo Mamamia 26/04/2017 Michelle Andrews
Madeleine McCann. © Rex Images Madeleine McCann.

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Next week will mark the 10th anniversary of the day Madeleine McCann went missing – a day her mother describes as “a horrible marker of stolen time”.

In the 10 years since May 3rd 2007, we’ve seen the most heavily reported missing person case in modern history descend into murky waters, blurring the line between fake and real.

We’ve seen distraught parents Kate and Gerry, from Rothley, England, stand before the world, holding up digitally altered images of their little girl, pleading with us: ‘This is what our daughter might look like today, have you seen her?’

We’ve seen fingers pointed, 8685 potential sightings recorded, and at last count, over seven million articles published.

And while the media spin out stories that feel reminiscent of those published on the disappearance of Azaria Chamberlain, we’ve forgotten about the two other children entangled in this sad, ugly mess:

Madeleine’s younger twin siblings, Sean and Amelie, who were sleeping just metres away in their cots when their sister was supposedly snatched. They’re now 12.

“We are bracing ourselves for the next couple of weeks,” mum Kate wrote on the official Find Madeleine Campaign Facebook page on Monday. “It’s likely to be stressful and painful and more so given the rehashing of old ‘stories’, misinformation, half-truths and downright lies which will be doing the rounds in the newspapers, social media and ‘special edition’ TV programmes.”

She continued: “We could spend all our time and energy trying to defend ourselves by correcting inaccuracies and lies, but then we would have no strength left to look for Madeleine, look after our other children and to live our life.”

It’s one of the rare times the McCanns have referenced the twins, who – on the cusp of adolescence – are now privy to the big bad internet, and its insatiable coverage of their vanishing big sister. Sean and Amelie are just learning the fact the developed world isn’t just intrigued with their family’s true crime story, but obsessed with it.

“I truly hope that those reporting on the ‘story’ over the next couple of weeks will have a conscience,” Kate wrote. “Even if little consideration for Gerry and me is shown, they will at least bear in mind the effect such unfounded and unwarranted negativity could have on our other children – and of course Madeleine.”

Kate and Gerry McCann's message is clear: please spare our children the blowback of your infatuation with our misery.

"We will go on, try our hardest, never give up and make the best of the life we have," Kate said.

With 10 years of pure hot hell behind them, I only hope the 10 to come are in some way sunnier for the McCanns.

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