Madeleine McCann may still be alive. On Thursday, British investigators from Scotland Yard said that they have identified 38 people of interest, including 12 Britons, after a two-year review of the evidence in the case of the three-year-old girl who disappeared without a trace in Portugal in May 2007.
According to MSN UK, British Prime Minister David Cameron said that he welcomed the decision: “It is welcome because they say that there is new evidence, new leads to follow, new things to be done. It was a case that did shock and still shocks the nation and if an answer can be found we should try and find it.”
A Yahoo! report said that parents Kate and Gerry McCann had contacted Cameron in 2011 to help them search for their daughter.
When Madeleine McCann first vanished, Portuguese authorities named the parents as suspects. They were cleared in 2008, and the case was eventually closed without a result by Portuguese authorities.
None of the new persons of interest are known to the McCanns. It’s possible that the early focus on the parents, who were eating dinner at the time of Madeleine’s disappearance, distracted the earlier investigation away from other suspects.
In the course of reviewing the case, British detectives made 16 trips to Portugal in addition to gathering over 30,000 documents. British and Portuguese police, as well as seven private detective firms, have supplied information.
A team headed by Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood now wants Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service to ask Portuguese authorities to assist in the continued investigation. According to The Belfast Telegraph, he hasn’t given up hope:
“Over the last two years what the review has told me is that there is no clear definitive proof that Madeleine McCann is dead. So on that basis I still genuinely believe that there is a possibility that she is alive.”
He added that both British and Portuguese authorities are still committed to finding out what happened to Madeleine McCann.
[Madeleine McCann missing photo by Waerfelu via Wikimedia]