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Madeleine McCann’s parents Kate and Gerry are not "giving up hope" that their daughter is dead, despite prosecutors claiming she is a murder victim.
Cops are investigating a key suspect but do not have enough evidence to charge him.
But Kate and Gerry "won't believe she's dead" until a body has been found, it is claimed.
A source close to the family said: "Until a body is found and it is proved to be Madeleine’s, Kate and Gerry are not giving up hope.
"These latest ‘she’s dead but there's no body’ theories have been repeated over the past three-and-a-half months but in all this time there appears to be no significant new development.
"It leaves Kate and Gerry on tenterhooks and in a state of limbo not knowing if there will be a breakthrough or if German officers sadly may have got wrong. It’s been another desperately difficult time for them."
"They want answers more than anyone but while the Met Police are still treating Madeleine’s disappearance as a missing people’s inquiry… it gives the family hope she could still be alive.
"Nothing has changed for them. They will continue hoping until they know for sure."
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Madeleine disappeared on May 3, 2007 from her bed in a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, as Kate and Gerry dined at a restaurant 55 metres away.
Chief investigator Hans Christian Wolters insisted this week that "everything points to her being dead."
His team of prosecutors "believe" prime suspect, Christian Brueckner, a convicted paedophile, is responsible for the Brit toddler’s disappearance.
Christian was allegedly nicknamed "The Climber" because he was so good at breaking into holiday apartments.
Madeleine McCann suspect will never face trial for disappearance, lawyer claims
A former partner-in-crime has come forward to shed new light on Brueckner's past criminal life.
Manfred Seyferth, 64, believes Brueckner is guilty of abducting Madeleine, calling him an "evil psychopath" who would be "capable of taking a small child".
He told The Sun: "We called him 'The Climber' because of his skills.
"He was an expert at getting into apartments and hotel rooms.
"Christian was athletic and he was strong. I saw him many times climb up to first and second-floor apartments and break in.
"He would take watches, passports, money and anything electronic that he could sell. He was a great burglar."
- Madeleine Mccann
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