Investigations by British Police into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have revealed that they are looking into 195 different leads in the case and have stated that they believe Madeleine could be alive.
The news comes as a new image of how Madeleine McCann may look like at the age of nine has also been released to the public.
According to the Daily Mail newspaper, the detective leading the case, Chief Inspector Andy Redwood said: “We genuinely believe there is a possibility she is alive.”
The possible leads have come after a team of Scotland Yard investigators re-examined the thousands of document already collected by Portuguese police and private investigators. The new investigation is known as Operation Grange and anyone with information about the case is urged to contact them directly.
The case was officially shelved by the Portuguese police in 2008, however British officers began looking into the case again after parents of missing Madeleine, Kate and Gerry McCann made an appeal to the British Prime Minister David Cameron last year.
New interest in the case was sparked last week when a possible sighting of a girl resembling Madeleine McCann was reported in Spain and the confirmation from police that Madeleine may still be alive has added momentum to the search which has been going on since 2007 when Madeleine McCann first went missing from her holiday apartment in Praia da Luz.
Speaking about the new possible leads in the case DCI Redwood added: “To date we have identified from the material – we estimate about a quarter of the way through – 195 investigative opportunities.
“We are currently developing material that we believe represents genuinely new information. Our objective is to work with a view to getting this case reopened.
“We believe it’s the only way to establish what happened to Madeleine McCann and ultimately to bring closure.”
The new leads have led to optimism that Madeleine McCann may still be alive, however DCI Redwood added that they were also looking at the possibility that Madeleine McCann may no longer be alive and said that they were treating both scenarios with “equal measure”.
The new image of Madeleine McCann as she may look at the age of nine was commissioned by police and has now been posted on the Find Madeleine website run by Kate and Gerry McCann with a plea for people to contact the investigators if they have any new possible information.
The new image of Madeleine was put together by Teri Blythe from the Human Identification and Forensic Art Consultancy. It was created by using pictures of Madeleine before she went missing combined with images of her brother and sister and images of other nine year olds to create an approximation of how she may look now.
Speaking on behalf of Kate and Gerry McCann, Clarence Mitchell told press: “To hear British police saying that the evidence that they are looking at suggests there is a possibility that Madeleine is still alive, for them is fantastic.”
Considering the wealth of new information being uncovered by British police as part of Operation Grange the calls for the Madeleine McCann case to be reopened in Portugal are now growing stronger.