UK

Madeleine McCann: Met police 'to take on' investigation

Madeleine McCann
Image caption Madeleine was almost four years old when she disappeared from her parent's holiday apartment

The investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann is to be taken on by the Metropolitan Police, according to reports.

An announcement is expected in the next few weeks following a two-year Scotland Yard review of the stalled Portuguese inquiry, says the Daily Mail.

Madeleine was almost four when she went missing on holiday in Praia da Luz in 2007.

The Met says her parents are being kept fully updated on its work.

Home Secretary Theresa May has agreed to provide funding for a full investigation by UK detectives, according to the Mail.

The Home Office has not confirmed the report, but said in a statement: "The Home Office remains committed to supporting the search for Madeleine McCann and we have always said we would provide the Metropolitan Police with the resources they need to investigate her disappearance."

In an earlier statement a spokesman had said: "We have agreed to provide the Metropolitan Police with the resources they need to investigate her disappearance."

Documents reviewed

A review into the case by police in the UK discovered new potential leads but the police in Portugal have not reopened the case.

The BBC understands any investigation by Scotland Yard would need the co-operation of the Portuguese authorities.

Scotland Yard would not comment on the latest development but released a statement saying they are encouraged by the progress they are making.

It said: "Detectives remain in regular contact with Kate and Gerry McCann and are working closely with the Portuguese police in an attempt to make further progress."

Image caption The Metropolitan Police issued a computer-generated image (r) of how Madeleine might have looked aged nine

The UK review into Madeleine's case began in May 2011, after Prime Minister David Cameron responded to a plea from her parents.

Its objective was for a team of officers to work with the Portuguese authorities with a view to reopening the case, which has been closed since 2008.

As part of the review, a computer-generated image of how Madeleine might look at the age of nine was created with the help of her family. They marked her 10th birthday on May 12th.

The team has been compiling and reviewing material from three separate strands - the Portuguese investigation, inquiries by the UK law enforcement agencies and the work of private investigators or agencies.

There are believed to be around 40,000 pieces of information equating to about 100,000 pages.

In May, detectives from Scotland Yard said they had identified "a number of persons of interest" but they denied asking Portuguese police to make any arrests in connection with the inquiry.

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