Disappearance of Madeleine McCann: Portuguese police refuse to reopen case
Thursday, 26 April 2012
*Portuguese police have reportedly refused to reopen the inquiry into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann - despite Scotland Yard saying it had uncovered 195 possible new leads in the case.*
Madeleine McCann aged three when she disappeared in 2007 (left) and the age progression image as she would look today (Picture: PA)
Detectives from a Metropolitan Police review team yesterday said they believed they had uncovered evidence suggesting Madeleine was alive.
But police sources in Portugal indicated the case would remain closed as it has done since 2008.
Next week will mark five years since Madeleine disappeared from her parents Kate and Gerry's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in the Algarve shortly before her fourth birthday.
Earlier, Clarence Mitchell, a spokesman for the family from Rothley in Leicestershire, said the McCanns were 'hugely encouraged' by the intervention from Scotland Yard, which included an age progression image of Madeleine as she would look today approaching her ninth birthday.
'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,' he told BBC Breakfast.
'[Scotland Yard detectives] 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.'
Mr Mitchell said Mrs McCann had identified a 'very strong family resemblance' in the new image of Madeleine.
'She sees Madeleine, Sean and Amelie, her brother and sister, and herself in the image,' she said.
Yesterday, review team leader Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood said he believed Madeleine's disappearance was a case of stranger abduction.
Thirty detectives sifted through 40,000 pieces of evidence and visited Portugal seven times after a review was launched last year.
Only the Portuguese authorities are able to reopen the case, however.
VIDEO: UK police issue age progression image of Madeleine McCann
British police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, the three-year-old who went missing in Portugal five years ago, still hope to find her alive, the officer leading the inquiry said on Wednesday (April 25).