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Original Source: PEOPLE: 29 APRIL 2012

with thanks to Jon  paper edition



29 APRIL 2012






I HOPE, with all my heart, that Madeleine McCann is alive

And I can see that last weeks claims that she might be by officers reviewing the evidence must be a huge comfort to Kate and Gerry McCann who have never give uo hope of finding her.


However, despite being told there really IS fresh hope I’m still at a loss to understand why the cops heading up review body, Operation Grange believe that to be the case.


I don’t expect them to give us specific details of what they’ve found. But every time he’s asked why he thinks Madeleine might still be alive, the man in charge, DCI Andy Redwood, dodges the question and comes out with stuff like: “We are currently developing material we believe represents genuinely new information.”


That isn’t just vague, it means absolutely nothing. As does his revelation that cops are looking at 195 new “investigative opportunities” .


If police do have 195 leads that surely means they’re a million miles away from knowing where Maddie is or even if she’s alive. In fact, that number of leads suggests there’s as much muddle and confusion around this case as there ever was and it could take years and many more millions of pounds to work through them.


And still, the result might be that Madeleine is never found.


There are 25 coppers working on Operation Grange, as many as there are chasing paedophiles in London and they’ve been reviewing evidence for 12 months and have travelled to Portugal seven times. But still, there’s nothing concrete. All we have is a photo-fit of how Madeleine might look now and quotes like: “The timeline of events suggests she was snatched by a criminal gang or a stranger.”


As opposed to what? Aliens?


I’m sorry but after 12 months, £2million and 28 officers working flat out we surely should know more than that?


We’re told there is “significant information” Madeleine is still alive and if that really is true the police must at least THINK they have something.


Because you can’t say you believe someone is alive without good reason or evidence to back it up. And if you have neither - you’re just guessing.


I just hope the officers on Operation Grange haven’t sanctioned this latest raft of “Madeleine” stories in order to justify their existence and the vast amount of taxpayers’ money that’s been spent. Or because, not having come up with any answers, they know questions will inevitably be asked.


Not least by Portugal’s Attorney General Fernando Jose Pinto Monteiro who last week refused to re open the case: “unless there are credible new facts and not just hypotheses or speculation”. Yes five years ago Portuguese police spectacularly cocked up the hunt for Madeleine in the vital hours after her disappearance.


But even DCI Redwood admits there is now a “committed and dedicated” review team in Portugal working with them.


Yes I can see this review offers great solace to Kate and Gerry McCann, but I’m wondering how all the other parents of abducted children must feel knowing that their missing children aren’t important enough to warrant intervention from the PM or a 28-strong team of crack detectives working around the clock five years after their child’s disappearance. How devastated, how disappointed must they feel.


And just how long will this review go on? Of course Kate and Gerry want it to be indefinitely. But that’s not realistic nor is it fair to all those other parents of abducted children whose lives are every bit as tortured as the McCanns, yet who have no one looking for their lost babies.


There’s not a living soul who wouldn’t want to see Madeleine brought home safely but surely, there must come a time when we have to be realistic about the chances of finding her


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