It’s one of the most famous missing person cases in the world, but the investigation into the disappearance of Madeline McCann is in grave danger of running out of funds.
The Sun reports that funding for the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Grange — the search effort dedicated to the decade-old missing child case — is facing a funding crisis and may have to be shut down.
According to the Sun, the UK-based search effort could run out of resources as early as this Saturday, leaving Maddie’s parents Kate and Gerry McCann to come up with the funds themselves.
Maddie was just three years old when she vanished from a hotel room at a Portuguese vacation resort in May 2007. Her parents had joined friends for dinner at a tapas restaurant on the same property, a short distance away from where the children were sleeping. The adults checked in on the children periodically throughout the evening, until Kate discovered during one visit to the room that Maddie had disappeared from her bed.
Portuguese authorities briefly named Kate and Gerry McCann suspects in Maddie’s disappearance, but the parents were never charged with any wrongdoing. They have vehemently maintained their innocence for over ten years and have vocally advocated for support in the search for their daughter.
This past spring, the British government gave the law enforcement operation a grant continue the missing persons investigation for six months. During the time, it does not appear that investigators have discovered any significant new leads.
Now, Operation Grange is awaiting a request for a funding extension from the Home Office.
“The application for funding will be considered, ” a spokesperson for the Home Office told the Sun. “They have needed to justify what the money would be spent on.”
According to the Daily Mail, Kate and Gerry McCann have spent over half a million dollars of their own money in the search for their daughter.
“Naturally, Kate and Gerry hope the Met request is granted,” a spokesperson for the couple said in a statement.
“They are encouraged that there remains work to be done that requires extra funding and they remain very grateful to all Operation Grange officers who are continuing to look for their daughter.”
Feature photo: Police handout