Is Rose Israel's Madeleine?

McCann 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
McCann 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
The sad saga of the missing little girl known publicly only as Rose is reminiscent of another recent high-profile mystery. And while a gag order prevents publication on details of the Rose case, it is hard to avoid recalling the case of Britain's Madeleine McCann. There are few who don't recognize the face of Madeleine. On May 3, 2007, just days shy of her fourth birthday, she was left unsupervised in a ground-floor apartment at a vacation resort in Praia de Luz, Portugal, while her parents enjoyed dinner in a nearby restaurant. When her mother, Kate, returned to check on the sleeping child two hours later, she found Madeleine's bed empty and her bedroom window open. Despite hundreds of leads, the McCann family has not heard anything of Madeleine since. In the months that followed the disappearance, the Portuguese police mounted an investigation, the details of which were for the most part kept private in keeping with Portuguese law. With little knowledge of what was being done to determine their daughter's fate, the McCanns waged a public relations campaign to ensure that Madeleine's picture was never out of the public eye in the hope that someone, somewhere would recognize the little girl. But almost 16 months on, neither these efforts nor those of the Portuguese police and the private detectives hired by the McCanns have proved fruitful. During the police investigation, a local man, Robert Murat, was declared a suspect by Portuguese inspectors and both Madeleine's parents were also formally identified as suspects. All three were cleared of their incriminating status on July 21, 2008, when the Portuguese attorney general closed the case. Despite the closure of the official investigation, the McCanns have refused to abandon hope. Shortly after the case was closed, lawyers acting on behalf of Madeleine's parents combed through the 20,000 files of information related to the disappearance accumulated by police. The files revealed that the Portuguese police failed to identify the apartment from which Madeleine was taken as a crime scene until two months after her abduction and that reported sightings of Madeleine, last summer, in Amsterdam and the Algarve province from which she vanished were not properly followed up. Similar claims had previously been examined by investigators, but did not lead to any substantive breakthroughs. On Sunday, it was announced that Oakley International, a private detective agency hired to continue the search, would not have its six-month, £500,000 contract renewed. The decision, was made by the Find Madeleine Fund, a charitable organization established to resolve the abduction, support the family and extend assistance to similar cases. They cited Oakley's "high expenses and low results" as the reason for their decision. Anyone with information on Madeline's disappearance should contact the McCanns at