Saturday

Kate and Gerry McCann still begging for money


The parents of Madeleine McCann have said they will never give up searching for their daughter, as they revealed money is fast running out.
More than £2 million has been donated by the public to help find Madeleine since she vanished from the family's holiday hotel room in Praia da Luz, Portugal.
Donations flooded in to a fund set up by her parents, Gerry and Kate, of Rothley, in the first 10 months after her disappearance on May 3, 2007.
Now, the fund is dwindling and the pot has fallen below £500,000.
Family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said the money had been spent on hiring private investigators to continue an international search, as well as legal fees to administer the fund and the costs of publicity to keep the cause in the public eye.
He said the fund would have run dry already without the £875,000 the McCanns won in libel settlements against newspapers.
Mr Mitchell said: "While I am not sure what the exact figure is, two or three months ago it was approximately £500,000 to £600,000.
"There will be a few hundred thousand pounds left.
"We'll have an exact figure when the anniversary (of Madeleine's disappearance) comes round.
"Some donations are still coming in, usually when there's a bit of renewed publicity, but the core money is going out quicker.
"At this rate, the money will probably be gone by the winter.
"If it were not for the newspaper settlement it would have probably run out some months ago."
Mr Mitchell, who said he was paid a small retainer from the fund, said they hoped Madeleine would be found before the cash runs out, but said the search would continue.
He said: "If the money runs out, the search will still continue, but the way it is done depends on the money available.
"That money is there to be spent and every penny is being spent properly. If it was sitting in the bank doing nothing, people would, rightly, ask questions about why we were not using it to find Madeleine. That the only aim of the fund."
Gerry McCann, a consultant at Glenfield Hospital, Leicester, has travelled to Portugal to make a Channel Four documentary.
Part of the programme shows him returning to the room Madeleine was staying in when she disappeared.
In an interview with The Portugal News, Mr McCann said: "We have spent and will continue to spend a lot of money with the aim of trying to enhance the chance of finding her.
"It won't dry up in the next few months, but probably by the end of the year at the rate we are running.
"It's a possibility we might never see her again, but until we have absolute definitive evidence of what happened to Madeleine, we can't stop searching."
Staff and regulars at the Red Lion pub, in Rothley, raised more than £300 for the fund with fun days and sponsored car washes in June 2007.
Amanda Platts, from the pub, said: "I hope they do continue to find money from somewhere, but these days, everyone has less cash in their pockets to donate. People in the village really do hope she is found."
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Leicester Mercury
Comments on the 3 arguidos: Leicester mercury: 11/04/09