New funds are going to allow the police to continue the search for Madeleine McCann, a little girl who disappeared a decade ago. The British police gave a big sum of money to extend the search for six more months between April and September 2017.
Madeleine was about to turn four years old when she disappeared from her family’s holiday apartment in Portugal back in 2007. Her parents have promised to continue to search for the girl. These new funds give fresh hope to Madeleine’s family.
“I am pleased to be able to support the British police who are trying to get to the bottom of what happened to Madeleine McCann and give some kind of closure and justice to her family.” Said Policing Minister Brandon Lewis, who signed off the new payment.
On May 3, 2007, The McCann Family was in their holiday’s apartment in the Portuguese town of Praia da Luz, when the little Madeleine went missing. Madeleine was just weeks away from her fourth birthday. The reason for her disappearance is still a mystery. Her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann promised they wouldn’t stop searching for their missing daughter.
So far, about $13.5 million have been invested by the police in the search for Madeleine, though ten years have gone by since she vanished from her parents’ sight. The search for the girl was nicknamed Operation Grange, which was officially launched in May 2011 following a request to Scotland Yard from then home secretary Theresa May and former Prime Minister David Cameron.
Since their parents are far from giving up, the UK Home Office has decided to extend the search for Madeleine by providing additional funds. They approved £85,000 ($103,000) in operational costs for the operation, which will allow an extra six months of investigations for the missing girl, who would be 14 years old this year.
“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,” the Home Office said.
Madeleine has been missing for over a decade
The search for Madeleine’s whereabouts has gone on for many years, with united efforts by investigators from the UK and Portugal. On the night she went missing, her parents had left the girl with her two younger twin siblings, Amelie and Sean. They waited for the children to be asleep and then they went out for dinner with friends at a nearby tapas restaurant. When they returned about 10 p.m., her mother, Kate, realized that little Madeleine was no longer there.
There are not reliable clues about the incident, though some suspects have been questioned. There were some disputes and controversies about the Portuguese investigation. Apparently, some mistakes were made in the early hours of the search for the girl ten years ago. For instance, an officer dusting the bedroom window’s exterior shutter for fingerprints without wearing gloves or any other protective clothing.
Madeleine’s family lost a legal battle against recent investigation led by Goncalo Amaral, who published a book where he accused the McCanns of faking her daughter’s disappearance. The book was called “The Truth of The Lie.” The Portuguese Supreme Court decided in 2015 to reverse the libel case decision that ordered Amaral to pay €500,000 (£394,000) in damages to the McCann family.
Six more months of research
These new funds will allow the research to continue between April and September. The 10-year investigation would have ended within few weeks, but now this could be the last attempt of the authorities to find answers about the case and to help the McCanns to reunite with their daughter.
This new funds might have been granted due to new clues. According to the police, they have identified a man who was in Portugal when young Maddie disappeared from their family’s house. They want to question him. This new lead has been strong enough to warrant an extension of the search.
“As with all applications, the resources required are reviewed regularly and careful consideration is given before any new funding is allocated.” Said the UK Home Office.
All the life’s savings of Kate and Gerry McCann have been spent on this investigation. Maddie’s parents have worked hard to find new clues and to push the investigation. Combined with the funds given by the police, a total $17.9 million has been spent trying to get Madeleine back home.
The case has been full of false leads over the years. Some reports led to believe that Maddie had been seen in Morocco, Spain, and Belgium. The police have even considered that Madeleine was kidnapped and sold to a child trafficking ring in Europe, maybe for sexual exploitation. However, these are just hypotheses. Sadly, given the uncertainty of Maddie’s disappearance, her parents have also been accused of killing her daughter and hiding her body.
Source: International Business Times