Kate and Gerry McCann have said they have “no doubt” the Portuguese authorities will eventually reopen the investigation into their daughter Madeleine’s disappearance.
Police in Portugal said last week they had found “no new element” to justify relaunching their inquiry into how the little girl vanished on a family holiday to the Algarve in May 2007.
But the McCanns, speaking on the eve of the fifth anniversary of Madeleine going missing, added their voices to calls from Scotland Yard for the case to be reopened.
Gerry McCann, 43, said: “I think the most important thing is that a lot of the investigation opportunities are in Portugal.
“I think it’s fairly clear that the case will have to be reopened for those to be pursued adequately.
“We weren’t expecting a knee-jerk reaction by any means. This is an ongoing dialogue, and I am sure the investigation will get opened again in due course. I have no doubt about that. It will get reopened.”
His 44-year-old wife said: “It’s certainly the best way that we’re going to find Madeleine, and who took her.
“If people want to find Madeleine, and want to find the person who took her, then we need the case to be reopened.”
The officer leading Scotland Yard’s review of the original investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance spoke last week of his belief the case can still be solved and said there is evidence she could still be alive.
Detective chief inspector Andy Redwood said the Metropolitan Police would like the case to be reopened, but stressed the decision was one for Portugal.
Portuguese police responded by saying they had found “no new element” to justify relaunching their inquiry.
Gerry McCann said: “The only way everyone will be able to move on is for the case to be solved, and that is for Madeleine to be found and the perpetrators brought to justice. Then everyone can move on. Until then it’s not going to go away. It can’t go away.”
Madeleine was nearly four when she vanished from her family’s holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in the Algarve on May 3, 2007, as her parents dined at a tapas restaurant with friends nearby.
The official Portuguese investigation into the case was formally shelved in Jul 2008, although private detectives employed by the McCanns continued the search.
Scotland Yard’s review of the case, called Operation Grange, was launched last May after a request from home secretary Theresa May supported by David Cameron, the prime minister.
Police officers have already sifted through 40,000 pieces of information and identified 195 potential leads.
A team of detectives based in Oporto in northern Portugal has also been appointed to re-examine the original investigation into the disappearance.
The McCanns said the fifth anniversary of their daughter going missing has been easier for them than previous landmarks because of these positive recent developments.
Scotland Yard last week released an age-progression picture of what Madeleine might look like now, coming up to her ninth birthday on May 12.
“I think the most important thing is challenging the assumption that Madeleine is a three- or four-year-old,” Gerry McCann said.
“She’s nearly nine now. People around us certainly see Madeleine in it, and see elements of us in it, and I think that’s a good thing. It’s certainly a useful tool, and we’re pleased with the image.”
The McCanns said their twins Sean and Amelie, now aged seven, are “absolutely fine” despite the disappearance of their older sister when they were two.
Kate said: “They don’t sit there thinking, ‘gosh it’s the third of May’. They don’t have to go through what we do.
“But we talk about it, and they know that tomorrow will be five years since Madeleine was taken, and they understand what’s happening.”
Her husband added: “It’s very matter of fact for them, because I suppose they’ve grown up with Madeleine missing. It’s part of their life.”
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