LISBON, Portugal – The parents of a 4-year-old British girl who disappeared 11 days ago in southern Portugal said Monday they are considering how best to use expressions of support, including financial help, in the search for their daughter.
Madeleine McCann vanished May 2 after her parents left her, and her brother and sister, both aged 2, alone while they went to a nearby restaurant within their hotel complex at Praia da Luz, a vacation resort in Portugal's Algarve region. Police last week called off their ground search but are following various leads.
"There have been multiple offers of different forms of help, including financial pledges by people wishing to help Madeleine," the girl's father, Gerry McCann, told reporters outside their hotel.
"We have brought in our lawyers to help us decide how best to use these offers of support to help us find Madeleine," he said in comments broadcast on Portuguese television.
British media have said that promised contributions total some $5.1 million, including reported donations from Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, tycoon Sir Richard Branson and American Idol judge Simon Cowell. Also, celebrities including soccer star David Beckham have made public appeals for help in finding Madeleine.
Gerry McCann said he and his wife Kate had taken strength from the "spiritual outpouring" around the world.
Asked how long they would stay in Portugal, Kate McCann said, "I can't even consider going home at the moment, absolutely can't even let it enter my head."