In Brief

What happened to Madeleine McCann? A timeline of the case

German prosecutors say ‘prime suspect’ in the disappearance will be charged in relation to other crimes

Madeleine McCann

Is the Madeleine McCann investigation about to end?

11 September 2017

The search for Madeleine McCann could end within three weeks, as funding is expected to run out, it has been claimed.

It has been more than 11 years since McCann went missing from her Praia da Luz holiday apartment in Portugal at the age of three. Despite a number of potential leads and millions of pounds spent on the investigation, her disappearance remains a mystery.

“A request for fresh cash from the Home Office is yet to be made, despite financial support for the search expected to run out by the end of the month,” reports The Sun

McCann’s parents, Kate and Gerry, “fear the police hunt could be shelved by the new home secretary, Sajid Javid”, says Yahoo News.

A source close to the family told the Daily Mail: “They have been here before. They simply have no idea if the search will abruptly come to an end or will carry on. It is a daunting prospect they face once more.”

They added: “Kate and Gerry are grateful to the Metropolitan Police for everything they have done over the years and hope of course that the inquiry into their daughter’s abduction will continue if more funds are requested and made available.”

The news comes after it was revealed detectives involved in the case have been quietly visiting Portugal in the past year.

The Operation Grange inquiry has been scaled down but “officers have continued to visit Portugal in a bid to find anything that will lead them to Madeleine”, says Yahoo News.

In March, the operation was granted £150,000 in extra funding by the Home Office.

Five return flights were booked to the country, where the toddler from Leicestershire disappeared in 2007, Met Police documents revealed.

Officers have looked through 40,000 documents filed by Portuguese officials involved in the investigation.

Some 600 “persons of interest have been examined and ‘sightings' of Madeleine - in Brazil, India, Morocco and Paraguay, on a German plane and in a New Zealand supermarket - assessed”, says the Daily Mail.

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