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Madeleine McCann Investigation Downsized 8 Years After Disappearance

Image: Madeleine McCann Investigation Downsized 8 Years After Disappearance
Parents of missing girl Madeleine McCann, Kate and Gerry McCann, pose with an artist's impression of how their daughter might look now at the age of nine ahead of a press conference in central London on May 2, 2012, five years after Madeleine's disappearance while on a family holiday in Portugal. (Leon Neal/AFP/GettyImages)

By    |   Thursday, 29 Oct 2015 09:13 AM

The Madeleine McCann search has been downsized by London's Metropolitan Police from 29 officers to just four as British authorities feel they have completed a majority of the work related to the girl's 2007 disappearance. 

McCann was 3 years old when she disappeared from her family's vacation residence in Praia da Luz, Portugal, according to the BBC News. Metropolitan Police have not reached any conclusion in the case.

"The Met was asked to take on this exceptional case as one of national interest," Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner Mark Rowley told the BBC. "We were happy to bring our expertise to bear only on the basis that it would not detract from the policing of London, and the Home Office have additionally funded the investigation above normal grants to the Met. That will continue at the reduced level."

The Guardian reported that there have been no arrests in the case after authorities investigated 60 people of interest, collected 1,338 statements, and logged 1,027 exhibits. Metropolitan Police have chased down more than 8,600 tips on possible sightings of the girl throughout the globe and examined 650 known sex offenders.

"The scale and difficulty of their task has never been in doubt," the McCann family said in a statement. "Given that the review phase of the investigation is essentially completed, we fully understand the reasons why the team is being reduced. Whilst we do not know what happened to Madeleine, we remain hopeful she may still be found given the ongoing lines of enquiry."

Rowley told The Guardian that he had informed Kate and Gerry McCann, the missing girl's parents, of his decision to trim the search.

"We still have very definite lines to pursue, which is why we are keeping a dedicated team of officers working on the case," Rowley said. "We have given this assurance to Madeleine’s parents."

Metropolitan police initially assisted Portuguese police in investigating McCann's disappearance and it turned into a full-time effort in July 2012, according to the BBC News.

"Kate and Gerry are far from disillusioned," said Clarence Mitchell, a spokesman for the family. "If anything it will now continue on a newly-focused, smaller yes, but focused basis that will hopefully lead to Madeleine being found somewhere in the near future."

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The Madeleine McCann search has been downsized by London's Metropolitan Police from 29 officers to just four as British authorities feel they have completed a majority of the work related to the girl's 2007 disappearance.
madeleine mccann, investigation, downsize, london
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2015-13-29
Thursday, 29 Oct 2015 09:13 AM
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