UPDATE: 20 ‘persons of interest’ identified in disappearance of British toddler Madeleine McCann

UPDATE: More than 20 ‘persons of interest’ have been identified by Scotland Yard in the mysterious 2007 disappearance of Madeleine McCann. The list includes freelancer cleaners who were seen in the area at the time of her disappearance and a middle-aged couple who reportedly admitted they had entered the apartment the night before to comfort Madeleine after hearing her cries. Investigators insist the people on the list could have vital information about the missing girl, according to the Daily Beast.

Metro’s original story is below.

On the heels of the Cleveland captivity case, authorities on the other side of the globe may be one step closer to solving another well-known missing person mystery: the disappearance of 3-year-old Madeleine McCann. The British toddler vanished without a trace from her family’s rented apartment while they were on holiday in Praia da Luz, Portugal on May 3, 2007.

Officials said today they have identified several suspects who may be responsible for McCann’s abduction, according to London newspaper Evening Standard.

“There are a lot of people of interest. There are people who could be properly explored further, if only to be eliminated,” Detective Chief Superintendent Hamish Campbell, the head of Scotland Yard’s Homicide and Serious Crime Command, said. He added that Scotland Yard is urging Portuguese officials to assist further in the investigation.

On the evening of her disappearance, Madeleine’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, were dining with friends at a restaurant at the resort where they were staying. Madeleine, along with her twin siblings, were put to bed by their parents and left alone in the apartment. When Kate McCann returned an hour later, Madeleine McCann was gone and the room’s doors and shutters were open.

The investigation that followed received worldwide media attention, putting the McCann family under the microscope. At one point, Kate McCann was named a suspect in her daughter’s disappearance by Portuguese officials.  Several possible sightings of Madeleine ended up producing no real leads. Sketches of other possible suspects were released to the public, but no arrests were made. The investigation was formally closed by Portuguese officials in July of 2008. However, after reviewing the case, Scotland Yard announced in 2012 that Madeleine McCann could still be alive.

Campbell echoed that sentiment Friday: “You only have to look at the case in Cleveland, Ohio, and the European cases. Of course, there is a possibility she is alive, you cannot exclude it. But the key is to investigate the case and, alive or dead, we should be able to try and discern what happened.”

The McCanns went on to launch a website, FindMadeleine, which is frequently updated with blog posts from the family and age progression photos. The most recent post by Kate McCann was added just days ago on May 3, marking six years since Madeleine’s disappearance.

“It’s difficult to know what to write as each year passes, still without news of Madeleine. In many ways, nothing’s changed,” she wrote. “We still worry about her, we miss her as much as we ever did, we remain as determined as ever to find her and to know what has happened.”



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