Madeleine McCann’s disappearance just over a decade ago has long been thought to have gone cold and become unsolvable. However, the investigation has recently been given additional funds by the British government to pursue a new lead that they hope will finally put this case to bed.
The Metropolitan Police were awarded a total of $103,000 (£85,000) by the UK Home Office which will help extend the search for Madeleine by another six months from April to September of this year. It has been revealed that the funds for the search have been running low until this new wave of funding.
Madeleine was almost 4 years old when she was reported missing from her family’s holiday home in Praia da Luz, Portugal. The search for baby McCann has been ongoing since May 3, 2007, and has since yielded no substantial leads as to her whereabouts.
Her parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, have vowed to “never give up” on looking for their daughter and so have the local authorities. The search for Madeleine, nicknamed “Operation Grange,” has been long and has cost $13.5 million thus far. There were a few suspects that have been brought in, but it led them nowhere.
A spokesperson for the UK Home Office said,
“Following an application from the Metropolitan Police for Special Grant funding, the Home Office has confirmed £85,000 in operational costs for Operation Grange for the period 1 April until September 2017. As with all applications, the resources required are reviewed regularly and careful consideration is given before any new funding is allocated.”
The police have revealed that there is one person in particular that they would like to speak to. They have also revealed that this person is alleged to have been in the same area that baby McCann was taken from. Authorities have yet to release anything further, but detectives are optimistic that this person could lead them to Madeleine.
Madeleine’s parents left her asleep at their Algarve resort that night with her twin siblings. They left to a tapas restaurant barely 150 feet away to have dinner with a few of their friends. Her mom, Kate McCann, checked on the kids at around 10 p.m. only to find Madeleine missing.
Senior officers working on Madeleine McCann’s case have revealed to the media that they feel that this new lead is the “last throw of the dice” in this investigation and that if this lead does not reveal anything substantial, the investigation may be shelved.
This investigation has seen the combined efforts of the police forces from UK and Portugal as well as several intelligence agencies. As for little Madeleine’s parents, they have come under massive scrutiny for leaving their child alone by the media just last year.
The McCann family have also become embroiled in a libel case in Portugal where they lost an appeal in the country’s highest court last month. The case involves a detective who, in his book and documentary, claimed there was no abduction and that Madeleine was dead and that the McCann couple hid the body.
The detective, Goncalo Amaral, was ordered to pay $534,225 (€500,000) to the family in damages by a lower court but that decision was overturned. Amaral led the Portuguese investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance until it was closed in 2008.
Gerry and Kate McCann released a statement on their website, Find Madeleine, saying,
“What we have been told by our lawyers is obviously extremely disappointing. It is eight years since we brought the action and in that time the landscape has dramatically changed, namely there is now a joint Metropolitan Police-Policia Judiciaria investigation which is what we’ve always wanted.
“The police in both countries continue to work on the basis that there is no evidence that Madeleine has come to physical harm.We will, of course, be discussing the implications of the Supreme Court ruling with our lawyers in due course.”
One can only hope that in due time, Madeleine McCann will be brought home to her family.
[Featured Image by Francisco Seco/AP Images]