Cops 'believe Madeleine McCann may still be ALIVE' – as top unit 'treats toddler's disappearance as missing person case'
SCOTLAND Yard's Madeleine McCann team reportedly believe she may still be alive as they are treating the toddler's disappearance as a missing person case.
The top police unit, codenamed Operation Grange, are still operating in an "active" phase of their investigation.
A source told the Mail Online: "The Met Police's Operation Grange is still running this as a missing person's investigation.
"Clearly the Met have more open thinking than the German authorities have at the present.
"Madeleine's parents have always said if they are presented with hard proof she has died they will accept it.
"But the fact Operation Grange still exists and still gets funding shows the Met still thinks there is still work and investigation to be done."
Operation Grange survives on the £350,000 special grant awarded by the Home Office to use until 2022.
It is a stark contrast from German authorities who believe convicted paedophile Christian B kidnapped and killed Maddie.
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The convicted sex offender was first named as Maddie’s alleged abductor in a potentially significant breakthrough by British and German police in June last year.
A McCann family source told The Sun Online: “Police don’t tell us what’s going on, we’re in the dark because it's an ongoing investigation.
“But if it is him, and there’s no direct and conclusive evidence he may never say a word. He’s not saying a word now.
“He’s locked up for other crimes, so at least he’s in the best place – in jail.
“Portuguese police had looked at him before and last year they looked at him again. We don't know what this means but without a confession we may never know.
“We don't know what evidence police have.
“It may be, sadly, that we may never know what happened to Madeleine. But we hope to find out. We keep hoping after all these years.”
In November, Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry revealed that they “have hope” they will find their daughter after missing Australian toddler Cleo Smith was found alive and well.
The tot, dubbed “Australia’s Maddie”, vanished from a campsite but was found unharmed 18 days later.
'WORK AND PROGRESS'
Kate and Gerry had been following the case of the missing four-year-old which had some striking similarities to their own daughter’s disappearance.
Her discovery has given the McCanns newfound hope that their daughter could still be alive after vanishing over 14 years ago.
Maddie, 3, vanished from her bed on May 3, 2007, while on holiday with her parents and family friends at a resort in Praia da Luz, Portugal.
It comes as Kate and Gerry likened the painstaking search for their daughter as being “like groundhog day” as they face their 15th Christmas without her.
In a heartbreaking message to their supporters, Kate and Gerry revealed that “work and progress” continues in the global hunt for Maddie but with “no significant” developments.
The couple said that they had hoped for an outcome in their daughter’s fate by now.
Renowned heart doctor Gerry and GP-turned-medical worker Kate, both 53, referred to the coronavirus pandemic and the sadness of “more suffering for many”.
Kate, who has returned to work with the NHS front line to help fight Covid, and Gerry posted: "It feels a little bit like groundhog day with Covid and its requirement for social distancing and face-masks and sadly more suffering for many.”
In a message on the official Find Maddie Campaign Facebook page, the McCanns from Rothley, Leicestershire, wrote: "We’d all hoped and probably expected things to be quite different by now.
"It’s a little similar in some ways with the investigation to find Madeleine…work and progress continue but with no significant news to share at this stage.”
A spokeswoman for the Met told the Mail Online: "The investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann remains ongoing."
A spokesperson from the Home Office added: "The Government has provided up to £350,000 for Operation Grange in 2021-22."
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