Scotland Yard has opened a new investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, the 3-year-old British girl who vanished while on vacation with her family in Portugal in 2007.
Portuguese authorities were widely criticized for closing their investigation in 2008. U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron intervened in 2011 and asked his own police force to reexamine the evidence. Now, the Home Office has agreed to fund a full-scale investigation.
"The Home Office remains committed to supporting the search for Madeleine McCann and we have always said we would provide the Metropolitan Police with the resources they need to investigate her disappearance," the agency, which is responsible for handling the police force, said in a statement.
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McCann was just days away from her fourth birthday when she disappeared from her family's rented vacation apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in May 2007. Her parents had been out to dinner with friends, leaving McCann and her twin siblings asleep in the residence.
The Portuguese police's handling of the case — which saw parents Kate and Gerry named as suspects before eventually being cleared — has been widely condemned by the British newspapers and tabloid media.
Last year, British police released a computer-generated image of what McCann would look like at 9 years old.
Now, the U.K. police claim they have a number of leads and even a list of potential persons of interest. Authorities are hoping they have accrued enough evidence to convince Portuguese officials to reopen their case as well.
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Scotland Yard detectives will seek the assistance of the Portuguese to carry out some inquiries on their behalf. British police do not have jurisdiction in Portugal
but they have the right to investigate and prosecute any British suspects who might be linked to McCann's disappearance, according to the Daily Mail.
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