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British police believe Madeleine McCann could still be alive

Officers from the Metropolitan Police say they are looking to have the investigation into the girl’s disappearance nearly five years ago reopened. One detective said that they were working off the possibility that Madeleine could still be alive as a new age progression photo was released today.

Image: Metropolitan Police

BRITISH POLICE HAVE said they still believe that Madeleine McCann could be alive nearly five years after she went missing at a holiday resort in Portugal.

The Metropolitan Police in London have released an age progression image of the girl ahead of her ninth birthday on 12 May. McCann was three-years-old when she went missing from her family’s holiday apartment in the resort of Praia da Luz on 3 May 2007.

Her disappearance sparked a worldwide appeal for information about her whereabouts but to date she has never been found.

Detectives who are examining the case say there is a possibility that Madeleine is still alive and are appealing for anyone who can provide direct information to get in touch with them.

Last year British prime minister David Cameron ordered a review of the case following an appeal from her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann. According to PA, the review has cost £2 million.

Detective chief inspector Andy Redwood, who is working on the case, said: “From the outset we have approached this review with a completely open mind, placing Madeleine McCann at the heart of everything we do.

“We are working on the basis of two possibilities here. One is that Madeleine is still alive; and the second that she is sadly dead.”

Detectives from Scotland Yard’s Homicide and Serious Crime Command are conducting a review of the investigation, working with a team which includes a senior investigating officer from the Policia Judaria in Portugal.

The Met says that its aim is to work with the Portuguese with a view to having the case – which has been closed since 2008 – reopened.

But speaking on a BBC Panorama programme to be broadcast tonight DCI Redwood says it will be up to authorities in Portugal to take the case forward.

“It is a sovereign decision for the Portuguese authorities,” he says. “But obviously what we seek to do is to bring them the best quality information to assist them in making that decision.”

The original investigation by Portuguese authorities has caused controversy in Britain after Madeleine’s parents were each made an ‘arguido’ or a person of interest in the months following their daughter’s disappearance. The status was later revoked, clearing them of any involvement.

They have spent much of the past five years campaigning for their daughter and information about her whereabouts.

Read: McCanns say newspapers ‘made up’ stories about Madeleine >

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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