Madeleine McCann Investigators Focus on Portugal Resort Suspect

Image: Madeleine McCann Investigators Focus on Portugal Resort Suspect Holiday apartment where Madeleine McCann was last seen in Praia da Luz, Portugal.

Wednesday, 07 May 2014 07:36 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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British police searching for Madeleine McCann will soon kick off a new investigation at the Portugal resort where the toddler was last seen before disappearing in 2007. They have expressed interest in a suspect seen there.

"Activity will occur in forthcoming weeks," Mark Rowley, assistant commissioner with London's Metropolitan Police, said in a statement to the media Tuesday. "The most important task for me is to build momentum and protect our investigation given the many lines of inquiry that we see are necessary in order that we can do everything possible to solve the case."

McCann was just a few days shy of her fourth birthday when she disappeared from her family's rented vacation apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal. Her parents had been out to dinner with friends, leaving McCann and her twin siblings asleep in the residence unsupervised.

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The Portuguese police's handling of the case — which saw parents Kate and Gerry named as suspects before eventually being cleared — and their decision to shelve the investigation in 2008 has been widely condemned by the British newspapers and tabloid media.

In June, Britain's Home Office decided to fund a new, full-scale investigation into McCann's disappearance. Scotland Yard has always maintained that the girl might still be alive, having found no evidence to the contrary.

In October, Scotland Yard released two e-fit images of a suspect who witnesses say was around the Praia da Luz area at the time of McCann's disappearance.

On Thursday, the McCanns appeared on the U.K. ITV show "Lorraine" to comment on the seven-year anniversary of their daughter's disappearance.

"I don't think any parent would [give up]," Kate McCann said, according to NBC News. "If we haven’t found Madeleine or we haven’t found what happened then we haven’t done enough. There is still work to be done.”

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