Latest update on Madeleine McCann
04 July 2013
Praia da Luz , Portugal
Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Service
conducting the investigative review into the
disappearance of Madeleine McCann have now moved
to an investigative stage of the inquiry.
Over the past two years the review, whilst not complete,
has been in a unique position having drawn together
material from the UK, Portugal and private investigators
from seven different companies.
This process has been complex and issues such as
translation of material have presented particular
challenges. To date some 30,500 documents have
entered into the process which has generated in excess
of 3,800 actions. The actions that we have completed
have generated new findings and new witness evidence.
Our review has sought to prioritise the material,
ensuring we are doing everything possible to understand
what happened to Madeleine. In the absence of any clear
evidence to the contrary we maintain our belief that
Madeleine may still be alive.
The MPS has conducted sixteen visits to Portugal and
we have met and shared our findings with key members
of both the Policia Judiciaria and Judicial Authorities.
Our relationship is positive and we are grateful for the
co-operation we have received thus far.
We are satisfied that our review has now progressed to a
position where we have identified 38 persons of interest.
These individuals are from a number of European
countries and we are now at an advanced stage of
dialogue with each country.
Over the coming months we will be conducting assertive
enquiries, with the assistance of host countries to
establish more information about the individuals
concerned and any potential involvement.
Twelve of the persons of interest are UK Nationals who
we believe were in Portugal at the time Madeleine went
Officers, under Operation Grange, have formally
requested the Crown Prosecution Service submit an
International Letter of Request to the Portuguese
Authorities seeking assistance in obtaining evidence
relating to lines of enquiry they wish to pursue. This has
been done with the full support of the UK Government.
The MPS has requested, in accordance with accepted
Mutual Assistance practice, that a small number of UK
officers are present in Portugal whilst the enquiries are
The MPS will be as open as our operational priorities
allow but in the context of this complex operating
environment we appeal for media restraint. There is a
real risk that a lack of restraint could serve to seriously
undermine our ability to progress.
Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood,
heading Operation Grange said today:
"We, and the Portuguese authorities, remain completely
committed to finding out what happened to Madeleine,
and everything we do is utterly focused on her best
"We continue to believe that there is a possibility that
Madeleine is alive.
"It is a positive step in our hunt for Madeleine that our
understanding of the evidence has enabled us to shift
from review to investigation.
"We have identified 38 persons of interest from a
number of European countries. Twelve of those people
are UK Nationals who we believe were in Portugal at the
time Madeleine disappeared.
"Our working relationship with the Portuguese police is
positive and now that we have moved to investigation
we are requesting further specific assistance through
normal judicial routes.
"We remain in close contact with Kate and Gerry
McCann and they are updated on our current position.
"We continue to appeal for information. If you were at
the resort of Praia da Luz between 28 April and 3 May
2007, either on holiday or in residence in the resort
during this period, particularly in the vicinity of the
Ocean Club, and you have not been spoken to by police
either here or in Portugal then please call us on 0800
0961011 if you are within the UK.
"The number for non-UK residents is +44
2071580 126. Alternatively if you do not want to speak
to us directly you can contact Crimestoppers on 0800