Who Is Madeleine McCann? Everything You Need To Know About Netflix Documentary Subject, and Her Ongoing Mystery

The story of Madeleine McCann has haunted audiences globally since her disappearance in 2007. Now, the night that forever changed her family’s life will be brought back to focus by the Netflix documentary The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann. Though it follows in the footsteps of documentary films like Making A Murderer and The Innocent Man, McCann’s story is not true crime. Instead, it’s a reflection on the internationally-shocking event with a common goal of engaging the public in hopes of finding McCann nearly 12 years after her disappearance.

McCann, a British, four-year-old tourist, was abducted from her bed in Algarve, a region of Portugal. At the time, her parents were visiting with friends just a short walk from their rented apartment at a tapas restaurant on the property. Every twenty minutes, one of McCann’s parents, or a family friend, would check on McCann and her two siblings. One time, though, McCann’s mother returned and found McCann’s bed empty and an open window to the room.

When exactly McCann was abducted is unsure, as is a plethora of facts and pieces of evidence from the night. In fact, there wasn’t much evidence to be found at the crime scene, mostly because of the excessive contamination from McCann’s parents and other resort members who tore the apartment apart in hopes of finding McCann or a clue.

GettyImages-74165450 A picture of missing toddler Madeleine McCann is held by her aunt Philomena McCann as she gives television interviews after visiting Parliament on May 16, 2007, in London. Madeleine McCann disappeared from a holiday complex in Praia da Luz, Portugal. Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Today, McCann is still missing. On May 3, it will be 12 years since her disappearance. Since her abduction, limited clues have surfaced. One of the largest pieces of information is a sighting of a man carrying a small, unmoving child in pajamas away from the temporary McCann residence, and in the direction of the beach, just before McCann’s mother found her bed empty.  This unexplained, and still mysterious sighting still one of the most talked-about points in McCann’s disappearance.

Today, McCann would be nearly 16 years old. Her family is still active in searching for her. A website,, acts as their form of communication with the public. On it are tip hotlines, both phone and email, as well as a segment of the site dedicated to identifying possible key players in McCann’s disappearance. Her parents also wrote a book on her disappearance, which is available for purchase on the site.

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