Madeleine McCann's parents say daughter's absence 'aches' and it's a 'living limbo' 17 years since disappearance

Madeleine McCann's parents said their daughter's absence "aches" and they are still "living in limbo" as they mark 17 years since she vanished.

In one of the most high-profile cases of a missing person in British history, Madeleine disappeared while on holiday with her family in Portugal's Algarve back in 2007.

Gerry and Kate McCann had left Madeleine in bed with her twin siblings while they had dinner with friends at a nearby restaurant in Praia da Luz when the then three-year-old disappeared on 3 May.

In a message issued on the official Find Madeleine website, the McCanns, from Rothley in Leicestershire, said: "It's 17 years since Madeleine was taken from us.

"It's hard to even say that number without shaking our heads in disbelief."

Earlier this week it emerged the Home Office has given Scotland Yard a further £192,000 of funding towards the investigation into Madeleine's disappearance.

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It was also confirmed that as of March this year, the Metropolitan Police had spent £13.2m investigating the high-profile case.

"Whilst we are fortunate in many ways and able to live a relatively normal and enjoyable life now, the 'living in limbo' is still very unsettling. And the absence still aches," the McCanns said.

The couple added: "Your support continues to encourage us and bolsters our strength to keep going.

"We know the love and hope for Madeleine and the will to find her, even after so many years, remains, and we are truly thankful for that.

"Thank you again for remembering Madeleine and all missing children."

The prime suspect in Madeleine's disappearance is currently on trial in Germany charged with unrelated sex offences, allegedly committed in Portugal between 2000 and 2017.

The 47-year-old German, only known as Christian B because of the country's strict privacy laws, spent many years in Portugal - including in Praia da Luz around the time of Madeleine's disappearance.

He had denied all the charges against him and any involvement in Madeleine's disappearance.