After reopening the case in 2011, English police said on Friday they have “more than a handful” of suspects connected to Madeleine McCann’s disappearance.
The three-year-old girl vanished from her hotel room in Portugal in 2007 as her parents dined with friends a short distance away.
“The purpose of the review was to look at the case with fresh eyes, and there is always real benefit in doing so,” Detective Chief Superintendent Hamish Campbell told CNN.
“The review has further identified both investigative and forensic opportunities to support the Portuguese.”
Madeleine’s parents, Kate and Gerry, have long campaigned to keep their daughter’s story in the news and an active police case.
They welcomed news of “more than a handful of people of interest,” Sky News reported.
“Kate and Gerry continue to be encouraged by Operation Grange and are very pleased by the work the police are doing,” family representative Clarence Mitchell said. “Beyond that they won’t be commenting on any operational matters.”
Police said they reexamined the case – closed in 2008 – to support Portuguese authorities, who were resoundingly criticized for their handling of the apparent kidnapping, BBC said.
However, reports London police asked their counterparts to make an arrest are premature.
“Our investigative review is ongoing and we are encouraged by the progress we are making,” a police statement said.
“We can confirm that as part of this process we have identified a number of persons of interest, but any suggestion that the Met Police Service is asking the Portuguese police to make arrests in connection with this inquiry is entirely inaccurate.”
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