I'd be astonished if any of you reading haven’t heard of the Madeleine McCann abduction case. My children know about it having heard about it on the radio and having read the front-page headlines the story made last year while we were in Ireland. While on holidays last week, I heard my five-and-a half-year old say to her seven-year-old sister, as they prepared to go to bed, ’We have to close the window so no one steals us.’ I hate that she’s worried about such a thing, and a year ago, I’d have dismissed the notion as preposterous. Madeleine McCann’s mother probably would have too. There was a reason that Madeleine was on their minds during our trip to Gran Canaria. Firstly, they caught sight of the ad appealing for information on Madeleine’s disappearance, which appears everyday in the international edition of the Daily Mail (London). But it was the poster of the missing boy and girl which hovered over them every time we went in and out of the SPAR supermarket that served as a daily reminder that there are people in the world who steal children.
In July 2006, Sarah Morales (14) (top photo) vanished from Las Palmas, the main city on Gran Canaria, while on her way to a shopping centre. In March 2007, Yeremi Vargas (7) disappeared while playing outside his home in another part of the island. Extensive searches involving thousands of people, poster campaigns and community rallying have yielded nothing in the search for both children. Ten thousand posters of Yeremi have been distributed throughout Spain (of which the Canary Islands are part). Here's is a Times article from March 2007 reporting Yeremi's disappearance.
These three children are by no means the only children missing from their families but they are three that I cannot forget. Nobody should forget until they are found (and the monsters who took them are apprehended).