Entries in Missing Girl (3)


Madeleine McCann: Police Believe Missing British Girl Is Alive

Metropolitan Police Service(LONDON) -- Investigators still searching for Madeleine McCann, the British toddler who went missing from a Portuguese holiday rental home five years ago this week, say they believe the girl is still alive and they now have the "best opportunity" yet to solve the case.

McCann was 3-years-old when she vanished on vacation with her parents Kate and Gerry McCann and twin siblings in the Algarve region of Portugal.  The girl's parents say they found Madeleine missing after having left the children in the home unsupervised while having dinner less than 500 feet away.

"[We are] seeking to bring closure to the case," Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood told the BBC.

Detectives for the first time since the investigation into McCann's disappearance, dubbed Operation Grange by U.K. police, say that as a result of evidence uncovered during their latest review they now believe there is a possibility Madeleine is still alive and are appealing for direct information concerning her whereabouts.

Police didn't specify what clues led them to believe the girl may still be still alive.

"I am satisfied that the systems and processes that we are bringing to this set of circumstances will give us the best opportunity to find those investigative opportunities that we can then present to our colleagues in Portugal," Redwood said.

Investigators released an age progression image of McCann on Wednesday as her ninth birthday approaches on May 12.  The image was created in close collaboration with the family, according to a statement from the U.K.'s Metropolitan police.

British police on Wednesday called on Portugal to reopen the case, saying they have close to 200 leads that could help find the missing girl alive.  But in Portugal there is much less support for reopening the investigation, and the McCann's own Portuguese lawyer says it is hard to find people who sympathize with the couple.

"Everyone believes I am defending a father and mother that killed the daughter and got rid of the corpse," the McCann's Portuguese lawyer Isabel Duarte said.

With 28 detectives and seven civilian support staff, the Operation Grange team is handling the massive trove of reports and documents on the case.  Hundreds of reported sightings of Madeleine have come in since she disappeared, but they have all led nowhere.

After her reported disappearance on May 3, 2007, the Polícia Judiciária, the Portuguese investigative police, initially decided that the girl had been abducted, but soon stated that they hypothesized that she died in the rented house. 

An Algarve resident named Robert Murat was named a suspect on May 17, 2007.  In September of 2007, Kate and Gerry McCann were also named as suspects in the mystery surrounding what happened to their daughter, but they were cleared, along with Murat, in July of 2008.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Parents of Missing British Girl Call for Independent Review of Case

Denis Doyle/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The parents of Madeleine McCann, the British toddler missing since 2007, are celebrating her eighth birthday Thursday by releasing a book about their daughter, hoping it will reinvigorate the search and fund an independent review of the case.

"There will still be a little tea party at home, balloons and cake...I comfort myself by knowing that what we're doing today could be very positive in the search for our daughter," said Kate McCann on ABC’s Good Morning America.

Kate and Gerry McCann hope the book, Madeleine, will jump-start the search for their daughter. Maddie, as she was known, disappeared from the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz where the family was staying in 2007. The couple had left their three children and gone to dinner. When they returned, Maddie was missing.

During the international search for the girls, Kate and Gerry McCann were considered suspects by Portuguese authorities, but eventually cleared. The search for the girl ended officially in 2008.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Natalee Holloway Bone Found? Dutch Forensic Team Running Tests

Photo Courtesy - ABC News/Handout Photo(LONDON) -- A Dutch forensics teams is awaiting the okay from an Aruban prosecutor to test a bone fragment that some people believe could belong to missing U.S. teenager Natalee Holloway.

Officials at the Netherlands Forensic Institute confirmed that they have received the bone and are prepared to conduct DNA testing.

The Dutch-language newspaper de Telegraaf reported that the bone -- thought to be the lower half of a human jaw -- was found by tourists Friday on a beach in Aruba. According to the paper, pictures of the mandible show an intact molar.

The Forensic Institute said the announcement of the findings would be left to Aruban authorities, but it was unclear how long it would take to produce results. The chief Aruban prosecutor on the Holloway case is in the Netherlands.

Holloway, 18, disappeared in Aruba in May 2005 while on a school trip. Dutch playboy Joran van der Sloot is widely believed to be involved in her disappearance and, in all likelihood, her family believes, Holloway's murder.

Van der Sloot is jailed in a Peruvian prison after confessing to the murder of Stephany Flores, 21, earlier this year.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio