Madeleine McCann's parents slam claims that she left holiday home herself while they were out with friends
Police in Portugal are reportedly re-examining a theory that states Madeleine somehow made it out of the room on her own accord.
In a recent development in the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann from the Algarve region of Portugal, it was revealed that Scotland Yard was reportedly pursuing two vital new leads over the May 2007 mystery, with parents Kate and Gerry "greatly encouraged" by the news.
However, according to the Sun, detectives are also re-examining a previously discarded theory that suggests Madeleine, who was 3 years old at the time of her disappearance, could have possibly left her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal to look for her parents that fateful day.
Detectives discussed the theory recently with Portuguese police who had previously explored whether Madeleine was searching for her parents, who were at a nearby tapas bar. They had speculated then that the three-year-old may have been knocked down by a drink driver who then put her body in the car and later buried it.
This rumor has been treated with derision by the parents, who say the theory is "ridiculous" and "insulting to our intelligence."
A source in Portugal told the tabloid, "A meeting took place recently at the HQ of the General Attorney’s Office, which was attended by the prosecutor from Portimao who is in charge of the Portuguese inquiry. One of the lines of investigation that continues to be pursued is that Maddie could have walked out of the holiday flat herself."
Speaking about the rumors, a family source said, "Kate and Gerry have always maintained that their daughter was abducted and simply didn’t get up and wander off to her fate. To suggest this is almost ridiculous. There were heavy shutters which would have been impossible for a small child to open."
This is not the first time that the theory has been brought up either, with Kate, a former GP, writing about it in detail in her 2011 bestselling book, 'Madeleine.' She argued, "Obviously, the police are obliged to consider all possible scenarios but there was no doubt in our minds that Madeleine had not left the apartment on her own accord. There was no way a three-year-old would have been able to raise the shutters and open the window in the children’s room."
She continued, "To give any credence whatsoever to that idea that Madeleine could have walked out on her own you would have to accept that she had gone out the back way, pulling aside the sitting room curtains and drawing them again, then opening the patio doors, the child safety gate at the top of the stairs on the veranda and the little gate to the road - and carefully closing all three behind her."
"What three-year-old do you know who would do that?" she added. "And we knew our Madeleine. She simply would not wander off like this. The theory was not only insulting it was, much more importantly, frighteningly damaging to the chances of finding Madeleine quickly."
To this day, Madeleine's fate remains unclear. Private investigator David Edgar, who worked on behalf of the McCann family for three years, came out to claim recently that Madeleine, who would be 15-year-old now, could be still be alive and trapped in an underground dungeon after getting abducted by a child sex trafficking ring.
He also insisted that Madeleine was still alive, pointing out her body had not yet been found.
Another theory from Gonçalo Amaral, the former coordinator of the inquiry in Portugal and with whom the McCann's are still locked in a libel battle, stated Madeleine could have walked off down the hill and fallen into a big roadworks pit where she died.
The investigation into Madeleine's disappearance has so far cost £11.75 million in taxpayer money, with the recent injection by the Home Office set to keep the search active at least until next Spring.
Family spokesperson Clarence Mitchell commented on the continued funding and said, "Kate and Gerry are very encouraged that the Met police still believe there is work left to be done in the search for their daughter and they remain incredibly grateful to the Home Office for providing an extra budget for the investigation."