The 14-year cold case investigation of Madeleine McCann may soon be frozen, moved to the long-term storage deep freezer as the latest probe has come up empty, and now investigators are considering ending the effort.
On the evening of May 3, 2007, then-three-year-old British girl Madeleine Beth McCann disappeared from the bed of the family villa in the Algarve region of Portugal, The Week reports. Her parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, doctors from Leicestershire, were on holiday in Praia da Luz, Portugal, with their three children – Madeleine, nearly four, and twins Sean and Amelie, two.
The parents had left the sleeping children alone in the apartment while they met friends for dinner at a tapas bar in the Ocean Club resort where they were all staying, which was only 100 yards away.
The parents made rounds checking on the children. When mother Kate returned around 10 PM, Madeleine’s bed was empty, the window was open, and the child was gone.
In June 2007, the Portuguese police chief admitted that vital forensic clues might not have been appropriately protected and destroyed at the scene.
Last year, authorities announced a 42-year-old “prime suspect” named “Christian B.” That turned out to be convicted pedophile and rapist Christian Brueckner, who is currently in prison for raping a 72-year-old woman in Portugal in 2005.
“With the suspect, we are talking about a sexual predator who has already been convicted of crimes against little girls, and he’s already serving a long sentence,” said German authorities, the BBC reported in 2020.
A representative said that the suspect was known to have lived in the Algarve between 1995 and 2007. The suspect had a criminal record for burglaries committed in hotels and dealing drugs.
Brueckner became the prime suspect because he allegedly confessed to a friend that he had committed the crime.
Four years after Madeleine’s disappearance in 2007, British authorities launched a taxpayer-funded probe dubbed “Operation Grange” to continue the search for the toddler, the New York Post reported.
Last July, Scotland Yard was given an additional £350,000 ($462,152) to allocate a team of detectives to pursue new lines of inquiry, Metro UK reported.
Overall, Madeleine McCann’s 11-year Operation Grange investigation cost £12.5 million ($16.5 million).
Now, with no satisfying results, London’s Metropolitan Police have announced they plan to shut down the investigation when the funding runs out on March 31, the Sun reported.