The Netflix series The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann takes a closer look at one of the most famous missing children cases in the world. No one knows how or why the titular three-year-old vanished from a European resort while on vacation with her family, but the media scrutiny has been intense ever since it happened. You may remember when Madeleine McCann went missing, because it dominated the news for months after.
According to Refinery29, Madeleine McCann disappeared on May 3, 2007 from the Ocean Club resort in Praia da Luz in Portugal, where she was staying with her parents Kate and Gerry. The McCanns were on a joint vacation with several other couples and their kids; there were eight children in the group in total, including Madeleine and her siblings, twins Sean and Amelie. At night, the children would typically be left alone in their rooms while their parents went out to a nearby tapas restaurant. Refinery29 reported that the restaurant was 80 meters from the apartment where the children were, and members of the party would regularly go to check on the kids. But the night of May 3, Kate returned to the table and announced that Madeleine was missing.
Despite a massive search, no sign of Madeleine was ever found. To this day, no one knows what happened to her.
According to ScreenRant, Madeleine was last seen at 9:05 p.m. on May 3 when her father went to check on the kids. Another friend stopped by around half an hour later, but didn't actually go into the bedroom to see if the kids were all there or not. Kate's check-in was at 10 p.m., which was when it was discovered that Madeleine was gone. Kate noted that a window was open and the shutter outside was lifted up. The police arrived shortly afterwards and the search began, but there was little to no evidence of Madeleine's fate.
Many have tried to figure out what happened to her. Theories have run rampant on the internet in the last decade, helped along by the exhaustive media coverage of the case. The eight episode Netflix series revisits Madeleine's disappearance and the media storm that followed. Every tiny bit of evidence was analyzed in the news and on the forums, but no concrete conclusion was ever reached. Instead, it was just endless speculation.
ScreenRant reported that the McCanns' friend Jane Tanner claimed to have seen a man in the area carrying either a "bundle of clothes" or a small child. Tourist Martin Smith also stated that he saw a man carrying a child not long after Tanner's sighting, but there is no way to know who the man or child were. Madeleine being abducted was a very common theory, but not the only one. According to the Daily Beast, another prevalent theory is that Madeleine may have wandered off on her own. However, evidence is lacking there too.
It's impossible to know for sure what happened to Madeleine unless more evidence emerges. The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann may make you look at the case in a new light, but it probably won't answer the biggest question.