'Madeleine McCann can still be found alive,' say police
Published 19/04/2016 | 02:30
Detectives still hope that Madeleine McCann could be found alive, despite the drastic scaling back of the police investigation into her disappearance.
The little girl went missing from a holiday apartment in Portugal in 2007 when she was three, and despite efforts by police there and a British investigation launched in 2011, no progress has been made in finding her.
But Detective Chief Superintendent Mick Duthie told the 'Evening Standard' that Scotland Yard's probe was "ongoing" and officers hoped to find her alive.
In April, the UK Home Office granted the investigation, called Operation Grange, £95,000 to cover another six months of the inquiry.
This came after the number of officers working on the operation was scaled down from 29 to four in October 2015.
Mr Duthie, who is head of Scotland Yard's Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: "There is ongoing work. There is always a possibility that we will find Madeleine and we hope that we will find her alive.
"That's what we want and that's what the family and the public want and that is why the Home Office continue to fund it. There is work that needs to be done still."
He told the newspaper that the team will go to the Home Office and ask for more money if they have not finished their inquiries within six months.
Mr Duthie said: "There is a missing girl and if she has been murdered and if we think we have got justifiable and reasonable lines of inquiry to pursue then they should be dealt with."
On May 3 it will be nine years since Madeleine went missing.
A spokesman for her parents said: "Kate and Gerry remain incredibly grateful to the officers working on Operation Grange and to the Met in general.
"They have always said that in the absence of any evidence to suggest that Madeleine has come to serious harm, it is perfectly logical to still have hope that she could be found alive. They are very pleased that both the Home Office and the Metropolitan Police are showing continued commitment in the search for their daughter."