A top detective who worked with Madeleine McCann’s parents has suggested she could be alive, living with her captor and oblivious that she is even missing.
Dave Edgar, who worked with Kate and Gerry McCann for three years, believes the UK toddler could be living in plain sight on an isolated property just kilometres from the Portugal hotel where she went missing in 2007.
“There is every possibility that Madeleine is still alive and could be being hidden somewhere,” Mr Edgar told the Express.
“When you get up beyond the main strip of the Algarve there’s countless isolated properties where Madeleine could be being held.”
As the 10th anniversary of Maddie’s disappearance approaches, Mr Edgar said he believes the person responsible for Maddie's disappearance may have confided in someone at some point.
“In my experience they [perpetrators] always confide in someone else for whatever reason and that person needs to come forward and speak to the authorities," he added.
“I would suggest that 10 years, while it seems a long time, would not feel like that to that person with information. What happened on that night would still be fresh in their mind."
- Maddie McCann's parents heartbroken over failed appeal to secure damages over ex-cop's book
- Last ditch bid to chase new child trafficking lead in Maddie McCann case
- 'Maddy McCann lookalike' reunited with father, but refuses to go home
- 'The guide is obsessed': Twisted tour into the disappearance of Maddie McCann
“It is not too late to come forward and tell the truth. We have seen in a number of cases recently where people have come forward and given evidence of events which took place many years ago.”
Mr Edgar insisted British police were very experienced when dealing with witnesses and that he could "guarantee they be treated well and the information they give would be in complete confidence".
Despite police being given a further $120,000 for search efforts, Mr Edgar said it's likely the metropolitan investigation into Maddie's disappearance would soon come to a close, meaning her parents would be left to fund any private search efforts.
Maddie's parents are expected to give a TV interview in coming months to mark a decade passing since that fateful evening.