Effectively, the investigation is being
allowed to wither on the vine because
British and Portuguese police officers
have been unable to find the vital
missing pieces of the jigsaw.
Although the Yard say they have a “much
clearer picture” of the events leading
up to Madeleine’s abduction, they still
do not know whether she is dead or alive
and, if she is alive, where she is now.
Following on from the collapse of
Operation Midland, the failed
investigation of child abuse allegedly
by establishment figures, the impending
winding up of Operation Grange – the
Maddie case – exposes worrying
fallibility in what was once seen as the
world’s best police force.
When the Home Office announced the
review way back in 2011, there was a
real sense that at last, after so many
false dawns, the true facts about what
happened to Madeleine would emerge
The funding by Home Secretary Theresa
May was rightly generous, more than
£2million a year, fuelling expectation
of a breakthrough.
Seasoned murder detective DCI Andy
Redwood pulled in all the known
information from the McCanns’s failed
private investigations, persuaded
distrustful Portuguese counterparts to
get on board and had some of the best
murder detectives in the country on his
In October 2013 the mood of the team was
positive when it was announced the Yard
was receiving “increasing cooperation”
from Portuguese judicial authorities
and, more crucially, the highly
sensitive Policia Judiciaria (PJ), the
country’s equivalent of our CID.
The Portuguese even appointed six
officers based in Faro to carry out
inquiries on DCI Redwood’s behalf on the
Algarve. Then there were 41 persons of
interest, including 15 Britons, plenty
to go at and plenty of people keen and
able to do the digging.