LISBON The mother of Madeleine McCann, a three-year-old girl who vanished from her bed in a popular resort in southern Portugal, begged her suspected captor on Monday to return the child safely.
She made the televised appeal as police extended their search for the blond girl and a suspected kidnapper to a radius of 15 kilometres (9 miles) from Praia da Luz, a resort village in the Algarve.
"Please, please do not hurt her. Please do not scare her. Please tell us where to find her or put her in a place of safety and let somebody know where she is," Kate McCann said in a faltering voice as she held up a picture of her daughter.
"We beg you to let Madeleine come home. Please give our little girl back," she said in the televised statement.
The McCanns have gone on television four times since Madeleine disappeared, hoping to appeal to whoever may have taken her on Thursday.
Portuguese police said they were working with foreign agencies, including Europol and Interpol, to find the girl.
"I can say that the authorities remain strongly committed to finding little Madeleine," Olegario Sousa, chief inspector of the judicial police, told journalists at a news conference. "At this moment it is not possible to give more information."
Sousa said the hunt for a suspect, whose picture had been drawn on the basis of witnesses, was just "one of the elements of the investigation". He said he would not risk making an estimate about when the police could find Madeleine.
"We are treating it as the disappearance of a minor in circumstances that are still not been completely clear, but kidnap has not been ruled out as a possibility," Sousa said.
Police had said on Saturday they were almost certain it was kidnapping and had ruled out other possibilities. The McCanns have insisted it was an abduction due to evidence of forced entry into the bedroom where she was sleeping.
Hundreds of locals and tourists have joined the search for the Madeleine, who disappeared while her parents were dining late on Thursday at the Praia da Luz resort village.
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