LONDON – The parents of Madeleine McCann, the young British girl who disappeared in Portugal in May, released a video on Saturday pleading for information about her and saying to her: "Our only Christmas wish is for you to be back with us again."
Madeleine disappeared from a Portuguese resort on May 3, a few days before her 4th birthday.
Despite an impassioned global campaign by her parents, Madeleine has not been found and no one has been charged over her disappearance.
Portuguese police have named the parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, and a British man, Robert Murat, as formal suspects.
In the McCann's worldwide Christmas appeal recorded at their home in Rothley, England, the couple tell their daughter: "Be brave, sweetheart."
The parents say they believe Madeleine was abducted from their holiday apartment as they had dinner with friends at a nearby restaurant.
Forensic scientists from Britain and Portugal met last month to discuss DNA evidence in Madeleine's case. Britain's Forensic Science Service has examined DNA samples from the McCanns' Portuguese vacation apartment and from a car rented by the family after her disappearance.
The new three-minute video, made available to broadcasters worldwide, includes three clips of Madeleine filmed last Christmas, which had not been seen publicly before.
In one she is shown excitedly opening a parcel containing the same pink bag she took on vacation in May. In another she is carrying a gift from her to her brother, Sean. The third shows her standing on a kitchen table.
Sitting in front of the family Christmas tree with his wife by his side, Gerry McCann speaks of how this will be the "hardest Christmas imaginable."
Each parent discusses the possibility that someone knows what happened to their daughter. They make a direct appeal to such a person to end their "despair and anguish" at Christmas.
Kate McCann then speaks directly to Madeleine in the hope she is watching, giving her love and that of the McCanns' 2-year-old twins, Sean and Amelie.
"We're doing everything we can, Madeleine, to find you, and there are so many good and very kind people helping us. Be brave sweetheart.
"Our only Christmas wish is for you to be back with us again, and we're hoping and praying that that will happen."