Portuguese Refuse To Reopen Madeleine McCann Disappearance Case, Claim No New Evidence To Launch Probe

 
on April 26 2012 1:38 PM
A computer-generated photograph shows how Madeleine McCann may look as her ninth birthday approaches
Portuguese officials have refused to reopen the case of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, citing insufficient reasoning to do so, despite new interest in the case. McCann is seen how she may look as her ninth birthday approaches in this computer-generated handout photograph released in London April 25, 2012. Reuters

Portuguese officials have refused to reopen the case of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, citing insufficient reasoning to do so, despite new interest in the case.

The attorney's general office told the BBC that the case would only be reopened if there were was new evidence brought to light to do so.

The reopening of the so-called 'Maddie case' has not been ordered, so far. As it has always said, the public prosecutors office will only reopen the case if there are new, credible and relevant facts and not mere hypotheses or speculations, the atoffice said.

The decision came a day after British authorities said they had identified 195 new investigative opportunities that could locate the whereabouts of the girl.

British police believe the young girl, who went missing when she was three while on a family vacation in Portugal, may still be alive.

Pedro do Carmo, the deputy head of the criminal police department, told AFP that Portuguese police have received no formal request for the reopening of the inquiry.

There are no new elements at the moment that would allow for the reopening of the inquiry, said do Carmo, further elaborating that a team of investigators would continue to re-examine elements of the inquiry in collaboration with the British police, though that didn't constitute as a new probe.

A computer generated image of how McCann would look in present day, was released Wednesday, a week away from her ninth birthday.

We need to remind people around the world that this is probably what Madeleine looks like today, not the very famous picture of her when she went missing. This is Madeleine as a young girl now, said Clarence Mitchell, a spokesperson for McCann's family to the BBC.

Mitchell said Kate and Gerry, the missing girl's parents, are coping as best they can as her five year anniversary draws closer.

''Kate and Gerry welcome this and they are hugely encouraged by what the police have been doing all of this last year since the launch of the investigative review. They [Scotland Yard] believe that it is quite possible that Madeleine could still be alive and that is what Kate and Gerry have said throughout the five years and they are hugely encouraged by all of this momentum in the case,'' said Mitchell to the Telegraph.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood told reporters that the 195 investigative leads found by 37 officers -- who poured over 40,000 pieces of evidence by British, Portuguese, and private investigators -- could possibly lead to finding the little girl alive five years after her disappearance.

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 was keeping an open mind on who could have possibly abducted her, but he believed her disappearance was the result of a criminal act by a stranger.

McCann, then three, went missing from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in 2007 while her parents were away dining with friends at a nearby tapas restaurant. Her parents were named as official suspects four months after her disappearance, but Portuguese police dropped the case in July 2008 citing lack of evidence.

British Prime Minister David Cameron ordered Scotland Yard to look into McCann's disappearance after a request from the missing girl's parents. Cameron ordered a new probe by British police.

When McCann was first reported missing in 2007, the original Portuguese team leading the case thought she died in a tragic accident, the Daily Mail reported.

Reports of McCann sightings have occurred worldwide. Yet Portuguese authorities have admitted publically that they did not investigate other possible leads or theories because they believed her to be dead.  

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