The search for missing girl Madeleine McCann continues despite the cost of the investigation costing millions over the last several years. Although some say Scotland Yard should considering winding down the investigation, Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, are thankful that the search is still being funded.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, when authorities in Australia found a dead girl in a suitcase they considered whether they had finally found Madeleine McCann.
The missing girl's disappearance has puzzled police departments across nations for years. Madeleine was just 3-years-old when she disappeared from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in Portugal's Algarve. Her family were dining at a nearby restaurant when the girl went missing.
Last year, Scotland Yard's Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said that if any evidence for Madeleine's location is discovered, chances of it being comprehensive were slim.
"A thorough serious crime investigation works systematically through all the credible possibilities, and often in an investigation you will have more than one credible possibility," he said.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children has released an image showing what the missing girl may look like if she is still alive.
This past month, a former Flying Squad chief urged Scotland Yard to reduce their spending if solid evidence is not discovered soon.
"You can't keep chasing shadows. Chasing sightings all over the world. It depends on whether the detectives are making any real progress. For me it needs to be reviewed by a senior officer," said John O'Connor, according to the Sun. "If there are no firm leads, and by that I mean no substantial operational things like active surveillance on suspects, then I'd have thought they should be considering winding it down now."
When Operation Grange was launched to search for Madeleine McCann in May of 2011, David Cameron had promised to spend £5 million, or about $7.7 million U.S. dollars. According to the Mirror, Lord Bates recently revealed that Operation Grange has already spent about $15.7 million.
"The total cost of the investigation in to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann (Operation Grange), up until end of June 2015, is £10.1m. The Home Office has budgeted £2m ($3.1m) for the investigation in 2015/16," he said. "The Home Office funds this work from the special grant budget. The level of funding provided to the Metropolitan Police in relation to this investigation is reviewed regularly and will continue to be monitored."
A spokesman for Madeleine McCann's parents said they were "incredibly grateful" for the continuing investigation, and they thanked the prime minister and the Home Office for "making it possible." Earlier in May, their official website also released this message about Operation Grange.
"We've always promised ourselves that something positive has to come out of all the suffering Madeleine and our family have endured," they said. "If highlighting the issues of child abduction (and missing children in general) and raising money to enable the charity Missing People to carry out their invaluable work improves this very real and heartbreaking problem, then every push of those pedals will be worth it. Always."
[Image via Wikipedia]