Madeleine McCann Investigators Gain Major Show of Support in Primary Suspect Search

The U.K. police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann just received an influx of cash to keep Operation Grange going. The Home Office granted a Metropolitan Police request for more funding, a few months after Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said the search will continue until there is no more officials can do. McCann has been missing since May 2007, when her family was on vacation at Pria da Luz in Portugal.

"The Government has provided up to £350,000 (about $481,985) for Operation Grange in 2021-22," a spokesperson for the Home Office told The Sun earlier this week. "In line with our Special Grant processes, funding for Operation Grange is approved on an annual basis. Ministers have approved a request for £349,328 of funding for this financial year." Operation Grange has been ongoing since 2011 and has already cost taxpayers £12.5 million (about $17.5 million).

McCann's parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, have also raised funds for an investigation themselves. In April, documents obtained by The Daily Star showed that their Madeleine's Fund: Leaving No Stone Unturned Ltd raised £773,629 (about $1.06 million) to fund an investigation if Scotland Yard ever stops. McCann's parents have reportedly been told that U.K. police are still treating this as a missing person case though, and they do not believe the suspect Christian B. will be charged with McCann's disappearance because they haven't found a link between him and their daughter yet.

In May, Dick told the LBC radio show there was "not a funding issue" with the Metropolitan Police's investigation. "We are working closely with Portuguese authorities and the German authorities, and we will continue until there is nothing left to do," she said, reports The Sun. "There is not a funding issue. So far (we have) received support every time we have felt there was a line of inquiry to pursue."

The McCanns marked what would have been her 18th birthday on May 3 by thanking their supporters and noting how the coronavirus pandemic has hampered their efforts in the past year. "The Covid pandemic has made this year even more difficult for many reasons but thankfully the investigation to find Madeleine and her abductor has continued. We hang on to the hope, however small, that we will see Madeleine again," McCann's parents wrote. "As we have said repeatedly, we need to know what has happened to our lovely daughter, no matter what. We are very grateful to the police for their continued efforts."

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German authorities have been involved in the case since authorities there have linked the convicted pedophile known as Christian B. to McCann's disappearance. A German prosecutor said they believe McCann is dead. "With the suspect, we are talking about a sexual predator who has already been convicted of crimes against little girls and he's already serving a long sentence," Hans Christian Wolters of the Braunschweig Public Prosecutor's Office said in June 2020, reports the BBC. They said the suspect was living in Portugal at the time of McCann's disappearance.