It’s been more than a decade since 3-year-old Madeleine McCann vanished from a Portugal vacation home as her parents dined at a restaurant just steps away.
Her disappearance received widespread attention and thrust the heartbroken McCann family into the public spotlight, according to The Telegraph.
Police have followed a number of leads since her May 2007 disappearance, but have not been able to locate the little girl.
This week, one man decided to use her police photo as the inspiration for his Halloween costume.
— Carl (@spikes_bandana) October 29, 2017
According to the Daily Mail, 25-year-old British man Daniel Gearie dressed up in same soccer uniform that Madeleine used to wear and topped off the outfit with a blonde wig.
He then posted the image to his now-private Twitter and joked that he’d “taken it too far.” Gearie then took a dig at the missing child’s parents:
“And before you say ‘this is sick’ etc I know it is but I’m not the one who left a child unattended in a Portuguese hotel.”
But before long, Gearie was getting slammed by other Twitter users. Some wrote:
This is so so wrong.. You clearly do not have kids
— Northern union (@Northernunion1) October 28, 2017
Ugh @DanielGearie dressing up as a missing child for Halloween is lower than a snakes belly. Vile twat
— Miss Mac ?? (@xoSorchaxo) October 30, 2017
A lot of sick twisted people on this post . A missing or (murdered ) child is game for a laugh. KARMA people KARMA.then i hope its so fun
— rena davidson (@renabhabe) October 29, 2017
@DanielGearie you sir are a sick twisted individual who only apologized due to the backlash! I hope you get everything that is coming Ur way
— paul williams (@cursinghomer) October 30, 2017
A rep for the family told the Daily Mail that they were so fed up with this kind of harassment that they weren’t going to respond at all:
“Kate and Gerry have never dignified this sort of offensive and cretinous behavior with any sort of comment at all and they are not going to start now.”
Gearie later deleted the tweet and apologized for his actions, according to the Mirror. He wrote on Twitter:
At the weekend I made the most incredibly stupid, vile and disgusting decision of my life. I can honestly say that I am embarrassed and disgusted by my own behavior and can only apologize for any offense that I caused anyone.
Looks like he might be a little more careful about what (or whom) he chooses to dress up as next year.