Madeleine McCann Disappearance: Could Be Found Alive, 195 New Leads In Missing Girl Case

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  • Madeleine McCann
    British police are still hoping to find Madeline McCann alive after reviewing 40, 000 pieces of evidence that turned up 195 new “investigative leads” in the missing girl’s case.
  • missing British girl Madeleine McCann
    A likeness of missing British girl Madeleine McCann is seen in age progressed computer generated handout images received from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) in London on November 3, 2009.
  • Kate and Gerry McCann
    Kate and Gerry McCann pose after speaking about the disappearance of their daughter Madeleine at a news conference in Quorn, central England, November 2, 2010.
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British police are still hoping to find Madeleine McCann alive after reviewing 40, 000 pieces of evidence that turned up 195 new investigative leads in the missing girl case.  

McCann, a then three-year-old child, went missing while on a family vacation in Portugal on May 3, 2007, just nine days shy of her fourth birthday.  

She disappeared from her family's apartment in Praia da Luz while her parents were dining at a nearby tapas restaurant with their friends.

Her disappearance led to a worldwide search, with some citing the toddler in Belgium, Spain, Morocco, France, Malta, and Australia.

Her parents, Kate and Gerry, were named official suspects by Portuguese police four months after McCann's disappearance, reported Reuters. British media pointed to the parents as suspected killers, but Portuguese police dropped the case in July 2008 citing lack of evidence.

The McCann family has tried to keep the search for their daughter alive by launching the Madeleine Foundation, hiring private investigators to look into the case, writing a book, and appearing on the 'Oprah Winfrey Show.'

In 2011, McCann's parents wrote to British Prime Minister David Cameron asking him to look into the case.

Cameron ordered a new probe by British police.

Around 37 investigators poured through 100,000 pages of evidence from British and Portuguese officers on the little girl's disappearance, leading them to identify 195 investigative opportunities. They are also developing what they believe to be genuinely new material said Metropolitan Police to the BBC.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood told reporters that new information has come to light that could help break the case wide open, though he would not go into specifics.

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. Based on the former, we are releasing the age-progression image today [Wednesday] with a specific appeal. If you know where Madeleine McCann is now or you have new direct information/evidence about what has happened to her then please contact us, he said, according to the New York Post.  

Redwood said he has gone to Portugal seven times after McCann's disappearance, visiting the family's apartment and meeting with the review team.

Redwood told the Associated Press that evidence revealed that there were moments when McCann may have been abducted, but he is keeping an open mind on who that could possibly be, though he believes her disappearance was the result of a criminal act by a stranger.

Most significantly, the message we want to bring to you is that, on the evidence, there is a possibility that she is alive and we desperately need your help today to appeal directly to the public for information to support our investigation, said Commander Simon Foy.

Police have released a photo of how McCann would look now, at age 9.

In April, Spanish police said they were investigating a sighting of a girl with a strong physical resemblance to McCain in Nerja, Spain, reported the New York Post.

We genuinely believe there is a possibility that she is alive, said Redwood to Reuters. We would like the case to be reopened.

What we are not doing is just passively passing through material. We are actively seeking to bring closure in this case, he said, according to the Independent.

British police said the investigation has cost £ 2 million ($3.2 million) so far. 

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