A former detective has revealed he remains ‘hopeful’ that Madeleine McCann will be found alive in Portugal.
Former Detective Inspector Dave Edgar was hired by Kate and Gerry McCann to look into their daughter’s disappearance and worked on the case for three years before it was taken over by the Met Police in 2011.
Speaking out today, Mr Edgar believes the case is ‘solvable’ and maintains there are ‘people out there who know what happened’.
Last year Mr Edgar claimed the kidnapper was being protected and said the disappearance was ‘intricately planned by a gang of paedophiles’.
He once said he believed Madeleine was being held in an underground cell or dungeon, like the victims of Josef Fritzl.
Mr Edgar told The Sun today there is still the chance of a breakthrough, adding: ‘[Madeleine] could literally be anywhere in the world but my hunch is that she is in Portugal.
‘The chance that she may have been smuggled out of the country without being detected is highly unlikely. There is someone in Portugal with an open knowledge of where she is and what happened.’
Last week, the Home Office confirmed it was considering an application from Scotland Yard for more funding to continue the hunt for the youngster.
In a blog published on September 26, it said: ‘We have received and are considering a request from the Metropolitan Police Service to extend funding for Operation Grange until the end of March 2019.
‘The Home Office maintains an ongoing dialogue with the MPS regarding funding for Operation Grange.’
Scotland Yard launched Operation Grange in 2013 after a Portuguese inquiry failed to make any headway.
UK detectives were granted an extra £150,000 in March to continue the probe, to cover until the end of September.
Operation Grange has cost £11.6 million so far.