A former top cop who spent years looking into the disappearance of missing British child Madeleine McCann says he believes she is still alive and being held captive by a gang of pedophiles.
David Edgar, who was personally hired by Maddie’s parents Kate and Gerry to work on the case, worked on finding the youngster for three years.
Now, 11 years since Maddie vanished from an apartment complex in the Praia da Luz, Portugal, Mr Edgar has stated that the little girl may still be alive – and believes there are people who know where she is.
“She is most likely being held captive, possibly in an underground cellar or dungeon and could emerge at any time,” he told The Sun.
Earlier this year, Mr Edgar said the best hope of a breakthrough would come in the form of a guilt-trip.
“There are people out there who know what happened,” he said.
“It may be that the person responsible for Madeleine’s kidnap is dying and makes a deathbed confession, or someone close to that person comes forward after he or she has passed away.
“Or it could be that the abductor falls out with others who know and they finally decide to contact police.”
Last week, the Home Office announced it would give an extra A$263,000 to Operation Grange, which will keep the investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance going until spring 2019.
It has allocated a total of $20 million to the search so far. Madeleine disappeared when she was three from a holiday apartment in Portugal.
“Metropolitan Police officers had a sit-down meeting with Madeleine’s parents to tell them exactly where they were with their inquiries,” a spokesperson from the Home Office said in a statement.
“They informed them they had two specific and active leads that still needed to be chased and that although the investigation was taking longer than they initially thought, officers said they were confident and hopeful they could get a result.”
“Police seeking special grant funding have needed to justify exactly what the money would be spent on, who they are chasing and why.
“They have had to outline their intended work in full detail and careful consideration has been given but we cannot divulge any aspects of that while there is an ongoing operation.”
Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for the McCanns, said: “They are greatly encouraged that the Met Police still believe there is work left to be done in the search for their daughter and they remain incredibly grateful to the Home Office for providing an extra budget for the investigation.
“Kate and Gerry appreciate everything the authorities have done and are doing to get a resolution after all this time.”