McCanns to scale down search for Maddie to concentrate on police files

The Parents of Madeleine McCann have scaled down the Portuguese search for their daughter to concentrate on sifting through the official police files into the disappearance.

The couple are continuing to work with a small investigative team - including members with policing experience - to work through the pages of files handed over to them earlier this year.


The search of data accumulated by Portuguese Police during their investigation has been under way since August and is expected to last until at least the New Year, their official spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, said.

It had been thought they would have finished scouring the records by Christmas.

Mr. Mitchell said Kate and Gerry - who live with their twin children Sean and Amelie in Rothley - were still in touch with two detective agencies they had worked with in the past.

Metodo 3, in Barcelona, and Oakley International in he USA, are no longer contracted to the family but he said the McCanns were ready to call them in if and when any new leads appeared.

Last month, the McCanns said they were personally overseeing the job of combing through the 17 volumes of official documents.

Today Mr Mitchell said, "They are still going through the files.

"I imagine that will take at least until January or February.

"They are going through them as best they can, although the files are not revealing a great dea, which is depressing in a way.

"But they are still ploughing on and hope they weill have something positive by the end, to take the search on.

"Metodo 3's contract finished months ago, but it is still available if we need work done on the ground in Spain.

"We took out a contract with Oakley International which lasted six months.

"It did a lot of good work ruling stuff out, but is not under contract at present.

"Now, the operation has effectively been taken in-house and there is a small team of people supporting Kate and Gerry - some of them with previous policing experience."

Mr Mitchell said Christmas would be a private affair for the McCanns this year.

There are, however, plans to issue a worldwide television appeal to jog people's minds over the festive season.

An as yet unnamed sports person or celebrity is understood to be lined up for the appeal.

Mr Mitchell said, "We don't know what the appeal is going to look like yet and we're not going to release it until close to Christmas.

"Christmas for the family will be private."

Source: Leicester Mercury

15/12 leicester mercury: Search for Maddie being scaled back

Maddie: The DVD Files (analysed on the 3 arguidos ages ago)

Christmas Appeal