British police are pursuing a ‘critical’ lead that could solve the mystery of what happened to Madeleine McCann, who vanished aged three in 2007.
As the 10th anniversary of the child’s disappearance approaches, it’s been revealed that detectives in London are working on a ‘significant line of inquiry’ which could crack the case.
Madeleine (pictured) went missing while on a family holiday in Praia da Luz on Portugal’s Algarve. She was left to sleep in an apartment on the evening of May 3, 2007 by her parents, Gerry and Kate. They were eating dinner with friends in a restaurant 180 yards away. Madeleine’s younger twin siblings were also asleep in the apartment at the time.
Officers have refused to discuss specific details about the new lead but it is understood they have returned to thinking that burglars were involved. They are working with Portuguese police as they try to stand up the theory.
Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner Mark Rowley said the new lead is of ‘great interest’ and ‘worth pursuing’.
He added: ‘It could provide an answer, but until we’ve gone through it I won’t know whether we are going to get there or not. We’ve got some critical lines of inquiry – those link to particular hypotheses – but I’m not going to discuss them because it is very much a live investigation. We’ve got some thoughts on what we think the most likely explanations might be and we are pursuing those. Ourselves and the Portuguese are doing a critical piece of work and we don’t want to spoil it by putting titbits of information out publicly.’
About £12 million ($15 million) has so far been spent on the inquiry into Madeleine’s disappearance.
Rowley admitted: ‘We don’t have evidence telling us if Madeleine is alive or dead. It is a missing person’s inquiry but as a team we are realistic about what we might be dealing with – especially as months turn to years.’