Police who are investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann are now looking into a new suspect, according to Portuguese media reports.
12 years after the mysterious vanishing of the three-year-old, which has become arguably the most extensive and public missing persons case of the 21st century, more resources are allegedly being deployed.
The daily newspaper Correio da Manha claimed today, "A new clue and a new suspect, which the Policia Judiciara are trying to keep an absolute secret, has led to new resources being put in place to investigate the little girl’s whereabouts."
The little girl was just a toddler when she went missing during a family holiday in the Algarve on May 3, 2000. A massive investigation and manhunt followed to track the youngster, to no avail.
The case was re-opened in Portugal in October 2013 when a convicted burglar Euclides Monteiro became linked to the enquiry. Kate and Gerry McCann have recently marked the 12-year-anniversary of their daughter's disappearance.
Police in Porto are said to be looking into any new information, and the line of enquiry allegedly doesn't focus on the McCanns, but there has been no immediate response to the report in the UK or Portugal.
Despite officials claiming that they may be nearer to finding out what happened to Madeleine, there are 'many doubts' surrounding her survival. The parents vowed to continue searching for their little girl "for as long as it takes."
Before attending a church near their Leicestershire home today to mark the sad anniversary, Gerry and Kate released a statement saying;
"As much as we’d like to fast forward the first couple of weeks of May, there’s no getting around it. The months and years roll by too quickly. Madeleine will be sixteen this month. It’s impossible to put into words just how that makes us feel."
They continued; "There is comfort and reassurance though in knowing that the investigation continues and many people around the world remain vigilant."
Cressida Dick, chief of the Metropolitan Police, confirmed yesterday that the force had requested more funds from the Home Office to carry on with its Operation Grange to search for Madeleine;
"‘We have active lines of enquiries and I think the public would expect us to see those through. A very small team continues to work on this case with Portuguese colleagues and we have put in an application to the Home Office for further funding."
Clarence Mitchell, who is the spokesman for the McCann family, declined to discuss the latest claim, saying: "We will not be commenting whatsoever on operational details in either Britain or Portugal. We are not in a position to talk about it."
Cressida Dick explained that the Home Office is currently considering whether to fund its search operations for another year. Time will tell whether this new information is substantial or not.
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