They told the reception she was missing. Police and the national criminal investigation police unit arrived. A search went on, withtourists helping, but Gerry and Kate stayed in the apartment.
There where quite a few mistakes made during this time that may have affected the case negatively. First, the apartment was not sealed off as a crime scene so 20 people came in and out of the apartment, ruining the chances of getting a DNA match. Also, the border controls were not told until a hours after Madeleine’s disappearance & a missing person alert was not put out until days later.
Madeleine has never been found, and no one has been charged with her disappearance. She has been referred to as the girl who “[see magazine]”, but there are many theories. Here are 2 of the main ones...
Disappeared Into Thin Air
Theory 1: Madelaine was human trafficked. This is especially believable because Portugal provides easy access to numerous countries. 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year, half of them being children.
Theory 2: The parents killed her. It is possible that the McCann’s gave their kids sedatives to put them to sleep while they were at the restaurant. The morning of Madelaine’s disappearance, she said to her mother:
This would’ve given the parents a reason to. Since they are doctors, it is likely that Madelaine had a bad reaction to the sedative [rather than Kate & Gerry giving too high of a dosage]. It is also suspicious that Kate automatically said “they've taken her” instead of “she’s gone”. This could’ve been her trying to cover up Madeleine's accidental death as an abduction.