Clarence Mitchell on Larry King

CNN Larry King Live

Aired May 4, 2009 - 21:00 ET



KING: Madeline McCann, you'll remember, is the little English girl who went missing in Portugal two years ago and she is back in the news, because today an age progression photo was released of what Madeline could look like today if she is still alive. There you see her on the right. Madeline's sixth birthday is in a few days.

Joining us from London is Clarence Mitchell, spokesperson for Kate and Jerry McCann, the parents of Madeline. Do they, Clarence, hold out much hope for this picture working?

CLARENCE MITCHELL, SPOKESMAN FOR MCCANN FAMILY: Larry, good to be with you. Yes, they do, very much. This picture has been done by experts in forensic imaging at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Alexandria, Virginia. And they believe and Kate and Jerry believe it is the best guess, if you like, of what Madeline looks like now. And Kate and Jerry really want people to focus on the new image and look out for that little girl, rather than the younger image, which has become famous over the past years. They're very hopeful.

KING: The parents were guests on "Oprah" today and Kate McCann recalled the terrible moment she realized her daughter was missing. Watch.


KATE MCCANN, MOTHER OF KIDNAPPED CHILD: And I just looked, and it was quite dark. And I was just looking and looking at Madeline's bed. And I was thinking, is that her? I was looking for -- why isn't Madeline there?

So I went through to our bedroom and she wasn't there. And then I kind of -- see that, I'm starting to panic a bit. And I ran back into their room, and literally as I went back into the room, the curtains that were drawn over just flew open. And that's when I saw that the shutter was right open. The window was pushed right open. And that was when I just knew that someone had taken her. (END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Clarence, for a long time, the press blamed the parents. When did that go away?

MITCHELL: Well, it took a long time to go away. We had to correct some fundamental misconceptions, misunderstandings, and frankly, down right lies that appeared in the press in Portugal. When Kate and Jerry were made suspects in the inquiry by the Portuguese police, that, too, took several months to deal with, to get the message of their innocence out there. And that was ultimately accepted by the authorities in Portugal. There is no evidence to suggest that they're involved. They weren't involved. That's why.

The aguido (ph) status as it was called, was lifted last year. And since then, Kate and Jerry have been going through the police files with private detectives, former British detectives here in Britain, looking for new evidence, new material. And along with the "Oprah" interview, the new picture, we have also done a new reconstruction in Portugal, which will be shown on British television in coming days.

KING: The Portuguese police have closed the case, right?

MITCHELL: They have. They shelved it. They say that they won't reopen it unless significant new evidence comes to light. And so far the only people now looking for Madeline, I'm afraid to say, are Kate and Jerry themselves, with their own private investigation.

KING: Well, we're seen worldwide. We hope that the picture helps. By the way, before we leave you, here's another clip of the parents on the "Oprah" show, sending a plea to the abductor. Watch.


JERRY MCCANN, FATHER OF KIDNAPPED DAUGHTER: Not too late to do the right thing. You know? They can give her up. They can tell us where she is. They can hand her over to a priest or someone in authority. They can do the right thing.

K. MCCANN: Madeline should be with us. Madeline with the family. She has a little brother and sister who want her back in their life. And, please, you know, if you don't want to think about Jerry and I, think about Sean and Adlai (ph) Bring their big sister back. You know?


KING: What a tragedy. We thank Clarence Mitchell for joining us from London.
Source: mccannfiles

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