On May 3, 2007, 3-year-old Madeleine McCann of England went missing from her parents’ apartment while on holiday in Praia da Luz, Portugal. The sleepy resort town on the Algarve coast soon turned into the center of an international tragedy, and police are still looking for answers 10 years after her disappearance.
More than £11 million has been spent on the search for Madeleine, and in September 2017, British police were given an additional £154,000 to continue the investigation, which is known as Operation Grange.
A Home Office spokesperson told BBC, “Following an application from the Metropolitan police, the Home Office has confirmed funding for Operation Grange until the end of March 2018. As with all applications, the resources required are reviewed regularly and careful consideration is given before any funding is allocated.”
Again in late 2018, police received £150,000 in government funding. They have recently requested additional financial support to extend their investigation.
"We have received and are considering a request from the MPS to extend funding for Operation Grange until the end of March 2020," said a Home Office spokesperson, according to the UK's Metro.
There have been about 8,500 reported sightings of Madeleine McCann over the years, and though none have led to Madeleine being reunited with her family, her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, have vowed to continue the search for their daughter.
On the eve of her 14th birthday in 2017, they pledged, “[W]e’re waiting for you and we’re never going to give up.”
Over the last decade, investigators and forensic experts have used age progression technology to compose images of what Madeleine might look like today. Madeline’s most distinctive feature, a blemish in her right eye, is maintained throughout all artists’ impressions.
2009: Age 6
Two years after their daughter’s disappearance, Kate and Gerry McCann sat down for their first interview in the United States to discuss Madeleine's case with Oprah Winfrey. During the segment, the McCanns visited the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for an age progression photo to figure out what their daughter would look like at age 6.
In these two age progression photos created by the UK’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, Madeleine is also depicted at 6. The photo pair was released by the Home Office a few months after the McCanns’ interview with Oprah Winfrey, and they show what Madeleine might have looked like had she been taken to southern Europe, Africa, or the Middle East.
2012: Age 9
In 2012, The Scotland Yard released an updated age progression photo of what Madeline would look like at age 9. This photo has been used in countless flyers and posters that urge anyone with information about the missing child to come forward.
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