Madeleine McCann may be a British citizen, but her story reverberates around the world. Little Madeleine disappeared in 2007, at the age of four, while she and her parents were in Portugal. According to Scotland Yard, a team has started to sift through material from the case. According to the British police, there were 195 leads that were not followed up. It is unclear, but it seems that Scotland Yard has decided to follow up this time round. Madeleine disappeared from the apartment that her family was staying in Praia da Luz.
Scotland Yard is asking the government in Portugal to open the case again with a new picture rendered of what Madeleine should look like on her ninth birthday. The British investigator in charge stated that he would not ask for this if there was nothing new, but there is definitely new information that deserves to be looked at. It is the least that any police force should do when it involves a missing child. A missing child that could still be alive needs to have every opportunity to be found and returned.
British police announced that they started looking at the case from a different approach. They kept an open mind with regard to the possibilities. There is a chance that she is not alive, but that is only one outcome. The other outcome is that she is alive and hoping for her parents to find her.
An investigation into the documents and paperwork began last year. A review team of 37 individuals joined in to look at the 40,000 pieces of evidence and 100,000 document pages. Quite a few needed to be translated. This has delayed the process somewhat, but it has also shown some forensic gaps whereby Madeleine could have been taken. Her parents, Gerry and Kate, have never stopped hoping and looking for their daughter, believing that she can be found.
At this juncture the British investigation has cost £2 million. This amount is likely to grow as new leads are provided for the parents and investigators in Portugal. If there is a chance that the young girl is alive, the police want to do everything possible.
There are very few cases where a missing child is found after years, but it does not mean that they are dead; rather, it just means the child is unable to be identified so there is every potential that the child is still living, but has no way to break free of the kidnapped life. A young child can usually forget about the trauma they experienced and even grow up thinking that the person that took them is their parent. In too many cases a child has been found dead many years later after child abuse and a bit of luck in uncovering the body.
The British police are hoping as much as the parents that the scenario will end with a good result for little Madeleine, and hope that the Portuguese police will reopen their investigation.