The 11-year investigation into the disappearance of British toddler Madeleine McCann is reportedly due to end later this year.
Operation Grange, the UK taxpayer-funded investigation, launched four years later Madeleine’s disappearance from her family’s holiday home in Portugal in 2007 will be closed by London’s Metropolitan Police when funding runs out this autumn, The Sun reported on Saturday.
“There are currently no plans to continue the investigation,” a source close to the matter told the outlet. “The end of the road for Operation Grange is now in sight. The team’s work should be completed by autumn.”
The decision means there is insufficient evidence to charge the prime suspect in Madeleine’s disappearance – convicted pedophile and rapist Christian Brueckner.
Funding for Operation Grange expires on March 31, although another Metropolitan Police application for a grant will run through September. The cost of the ongoing taxpayer-funded investigation now exceeds $17 million, The Sun reported.
Aware of the imminent conclusion of the investigation, Madeleine’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, are likely to continue their hunt for their daughter with private funding, according to the report.
The case is still considered a missing persons investigation, although German police officers believe Madeleine was murdered. In May 2007, the then three-year-old toddler disappeared from her family’s holiday home in Praia da Luz, Portugal, sparking extensive media coverage in the UK and beyond.
A former Metropolitan Police inspector said he believed Madeleine – who would be almost 19 – may still be alive, The Sun reported.
Brueckner, who is serving a sentence for the 2005 rape of a 72-year-old woman in the same area of Portugal when Madeleine disappeared, has called the investigation an “incredible scandal” and criticized German prosecutors for eyeing him without charge .
Cell phone data suggest Brueckner, 44, was in the area at the time of Madeleine’s disappearance, The Telegraph reported.
A German television documentary also revealed that, according to the newspaper, Brueckner had been working regularly at the resort where the McCanns were staying when their daughter disappeared.
Brueckner was named as the prime suspect in 2020 after reportedly telling a friend he was involved in Madeleine’s disappearance, but no charges were ultimately filed.
https://nypost.com/2022/03/21/madeleine-mccann-case-to-be-closed-by-london-police-after-11-years/ The Madeleine McCann case is closed by London police after 11 years