The mother of missing Madeleine McCann has pleaded with her kidnapper: "Please, please do not hurt her."
Kate McCann said: "Please do not scare her. Please let us know where to find Madeleine or put her in a place of safety and tell somebody where."
As she was speaking she clutched a picture of her daughter and the child's favourite soft toy.
It is now four days since Madeleine was snatched from her family's holiday apartment in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz.
Sitting next to her husband Gerry, Mrs McCann said: "We would like to say a few words to the person who is with our Madeleine, or has been with Madeleine.
"Madeleine is a beautiful, bright, sunny and caring little girl. She is so special. Please, please, do not hurt her.
"Please do not scare her, please let us know where to find Madeleine or put her in place of safety and tell somebody where.
"We beg you to let Madeleine come home.We need our Madeleine."
Speaking of their two-year-old twins, she continued: "Sean and Amelie need Madeleine and she needs us. Please give our little girl back."
Mrs McCann then repeated the final sentence in Portuguese, saying: "Por favor, devolva a nossa menina."
Portuguese police later held a press conference - only their second since she disappeared - but gave no more details.
A spokesman said the search was continuing, and Interpol was now involved in the hunt.
He added: "There's still a very strong commitment to this search. They are collecting information, they can't however give any further information to that which has been given."
When asked by a British journalist whether it was likely the girl was still alive, he answered: "I can't make any kind of supposition."
Please pray for tiny Madeleine. This is just the most dreadful horror imaginable.
Monday, 7 May 2007