Madeleine McCann search could be abandoned with no new leads or suspects, and money running out
The investigation into the disappearance of abducted girl Madeleine McCann could soon be shut down since there have been no new leads in the case. The shocking news came as Scotland Yard's £12 million Operation Grange is allegedly said to be running low on capital. The then three-year-old toddler disappeared from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal.
The Sun reported that the toddler disappeared 12 years ago when her parents were out with friends at a nearby tapas restaurant. The latest bit of funding from the Home Office of £150,000 in October will be due to run out in a few weeks. News on further funding is pending.
According to reports on March 31, the detectives on the case rarely visit the Portuguese resort the family stayed at and are believed to have no "earth-shattering leads".
At the peak of the investigation, 31 detectives were said to be working on the mysterious disappearance. The investigation, however, was scaled back in recent years and the detectives were reported to have made only two trips to Portugal in 2017-18. The ones still left in the investigation are spending their time eliminating known sex offenders and questioning potential witnesses.
A source told the newspaper: "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. I’m not aware of any earth-shattering lead or breakthrough imminently."
Clarence Mitchell, a spokesperson for the McCann's, told the paper earlier this month: "Kate and Gerry are extremely grateful to the Metropolitan Police for making a new funding application."
"And whilst they know it is not guaranteed they are hoping it will be approved. It shows that officers are still doing everything they can to get a resolution after all this time. And it gives them hope that one day they may finally find out what happened to their daughter. It gives them the belief there is still work left to be done."
Scotland Yard's bid for a Special Grant, however, is not automatically approved and will have to be "carefully considered" on possible orders from Home Secretary Sajid Javid.
MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) previously reported a documentary has claimed that a private investigator hired by the McCanns to find their missing daughter wasted over £300,000 ($391,000) from the search fund by hiring unqualified detectives and staying in lavish hotels.
After young Madeleine McCann went missing from a holiday resort in Portugal in 2007, her parents hired Kevin Halligen to locate her whereabouts. But while the private detective claimed to be a former MI6 agent, he was later accused by the McCanns of being a globe-trotting conman.