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Madeleine McCann Case: Portuguese Police 'Are Not Reopening' Investigation

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Madeleine's parents believe that their child could still be alive, five years after she disappeared
Madeleine's parents believe that their child could still be alive, five years after she disappeared

Portuguese police have said they are not reopening an investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in 2007.

McCann was nearly four years old when she disappeared from her parents' holiday apartment.

The decision came after Scotland Yard urged authorities to resume their investigation and released a new "age-progressed" image showing what she might look like as a nine-year-old.

While British detectives believe Madeleine could still be alive, officers in Portugal insist there is no evidence to warrant relaunching the search.

Despite the Metropolitan Police's announcement that detectives have identified 195 potential leads, Portuguese police sources said the status of their investigation had not changed.

Pedro do Carmo, who is deputy head of the police department, told the AFP news agency: "There are no new elements at the moment that would allow for the reopening of the inquiry."

Next week will mark five years since Madeleine went missing from her family's Algarve holiday flat as her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, dined nearby.

There have been hundreds of possible sightings of the little girl since she vanished, aged three, but each one has come to nothing.

The Portuguese refusal to re-examine her disappearance came shortly after family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said the McCanns were "hugely encouraged" by the recent momentum in the case.

McCann was said to be "particularly pleased" with the new image of Madeleine, believing it had a strong family resemblance.

Referring to the 195 potential new leads, Mitchell told BBC Breakfast: "Kate and Gerry welcome this and they are hugely encouraged by what the police have been doing all of this last year since the launch of the investigative review.

"They (Scotland Yard) believe that it is quite possible that Madeleine could still be alive and that is what Kate and Gerry have said throughout the five years and they are hugely encouraged by all of this momentum in the case."

Above: The computer-generated image of Madeleine McCann that has reignited calls for the investigation into her disappearance to be reopened

However, the police refused to say what evidence they had uncovered to suggest Madeleine was alive.

An investigative review was launched last year after a meeting between former Met commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson and the Home Office.

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