Probe into Madeleine McCann's disappearance gets extra $400k in funding, parents say there's 'still work to do'
After receiving an extra £300,000 ($400,000) in funding to continue the search for their daughter, Madeleine McCann's parents have said there's "still work to do."
More than 12 years after the disappearance of their daughter and over £11 million (~$14m) in taxpayer funds spent on the investigation, the announcement by the Home Office was a welcome boost for parents Kate and Gerry McCann, The Sun reports.
On the night of May 3, 2007, Maddie disappeared from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal. She was just three when she mysteriously vanished from the resort.
"Kate and Gerry have expressed their gratitude to the police for all the work they have done and continue to do in the search for their daughter," spokesman Clarence Mitchell said in a statement on behalf of the family. "They are greatly encouraged that the Metropolitan Police still believe there is active work left to be done and they remain incredibly grateful to the Home Office for providing an extra budget for the investigation.”
"It shows that officers are still doing everything they can to get a resolution after all this time," he added. "And it gives them hope that one day they may finally find out what happened to Madeleine."
Scotland Yard had asked for more resources to pursue "active lines of inquiries" after previously revealing that a "very small team" was working to solve the case.
The Yard opened Operation Grange in 2013 after a Portuguese inquiry into her disappearance foundered. The operation has so far cost taxpayers £11.75m (~$14m).
The probe has been largely scaled back in recent years and detectives reportedly made only two trips to Portugal in 2017-18. That said, at least 31 detectives were working on Maddie's case during its peak.
Now, those still involved with the probe are spending most of their time chasing down potential witnesses and eliminating known sex offenders.
"Most of what Operation Grange is doing is having things set up to knock down and rule out, rather than pursuing a particular fantastic lead that could unlock it all," an unidentified source told Daily Mail on Sunday. "I’m not aware of any earth-shattering lead or breakthrough imminently."
No trace of Madeleine has been found as yet despite a 12-year search for the missing girl, who would now be 16.
Embattled parents Kate and Gerry laid gifts in her untouched bedroom to celebrate her 16th birthday in May earlier this year. The couple also hosted a party at their home in Rothley, Leics in remembrance of their beloved daughter.
"Happy 16th Birthday, Madeleine!" the McCann's wrote on the Official Find Madeleine Campaign Facebook page. "We love you and we’re waiting for you and we’re never going to give up.”