The case of missing British girl Madeleine McCann may get a break after police are scheduled to release a photo of a suspect they believe may know something about or was involved in the 3-year-old’s disappearance six years ago.
Metropolitan Police are set to release a photo of the suspect, who was believed to be near the room of the Portuguese resort where Madeleine and her parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, were on vacation in May 2007, Sky News reported. Madeline’s parents went out for dinner when Madeleine disappeared.
Scotland Yard would not confirm or deny the release of the suspect’s photo but told the Daily Mail that they were planning a series of public information campaigns they hope will bring Madeleine home.
“We are not prepared to discuss, comment or speculate on the content of the upcoming appeal in relation to the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann,” Scotland Yard said in a statement. “This has been weeks in the planning and each element of the investigation must be set into the overall context of the appeal.”
Sky News said the McCanns were shown an image of the suspect and were “greatly encouraged” by the progress in the case of their missing daughter, who would be 10 years old if she is alive. The parents say they have no reason to believe Madeleine is dead.
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"I am confident we're getting closer just by filling more pieces of the jigsaw,” Gerry McCann told the U.K. news outlet.
Late last week, Metropolitan Police held a news conference discussing updates in the Madeleine McCann case.
Metropolitan Police said it was getting “increased cooperation” from Portuguese authorities who are supporting the investigation. Six Portuguese officers are assisting British authorities with requests in Portugal, but Metropolitan Police said that does not mean investigators there are or will be reopening their case of Madeleine’s disappearance.
“We very much look forward to developing a closer working relationship with the new team. We do respect the differences in our systems and understand that the work we have requested will be conducted by Portuguese colleagues,” Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said in a statement. “They have invited us to a meeting in a few weeks' time to receive an update on those inquiries, prior to completion which is most helpful.”
The suspect whose photo is set to be released is just one out of 41 persons of interest in Madeleine’s disappearance; 15 of the 41 are U.K. nationals.
Metropolitan Police Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood will be appearing with the McCanns in an appeal for information in the coming days. The campaign was spurred by analysis of new information in Madeleine’s disappearance.
"The information and purpose of this broader appeal is based on phone traffic analysis we have examined, which determines the footfall of people in the resort at that time. Our investigation in the U.K. remains ongoing. The total number of documents we have to go through is 39,148, of which we have processed 21,614 so far. Out of those, 4,920 have resulted in actions to complete of which 2,123 have been,” Redwood said. “We continue to appeal for information. If you were at the resort of Praia da Luz between April 28 and May 3 2007, either on holiday or in residence in the resort during this period, particularly in the vicinity of the Ocean Club, and you have not been spoken to by police either here or in Portugal then please call us on 0800 0961011 if you are within the U.K. The number for non-U.K. residents is +44 207 1580 126. Alternatively if you do not want to speak to us directly you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."