Hundreds Call Maddy Hotline After Parents' Christmas Plea

Private investigators look into new tips
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 26, 2007 4:45 PM CST
Kate and Gerry McCann arrive at the Church of St Mary and St John in Rothley, England for a special prayer service on the six-month anniversary of the disappearance of their four-year-old daughter Madeleine...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A hotline set up in the hunt for Madeleine McCann was flooded with 347 calls after her parents made a televised plea for information regarding the missing 4-year-old 's whereabouts. A private detective company hired by Gerry and Kate McCann, who both remain suspects in the case, will investigate the new tips, the Telegraph reports.

The televised appeal, which aired around the world, included previously unaired footage of Madeleine opening Christmas gifts in 2006. Madeleine "should not be spending Christmas away from her loving family," Gerry McCann wrote in his blog, beseeching the person who took his daughter "to end our suffering" so as to appease his or her conscience.