Detectives searching for missing Madeleine McCann may soon have to abandon the investigation because they need more money and have no new leads, it has been reported.
The long-running probe – Operation Grange – has so far cost £12,000,000 but Scotland Yard revealed earlier this month that it would need more money to continue the search.
Maddie disappeared from her holiday home in Praia da Luz, in Portugal’s Algarve region, in May 2007, days before her fourth birthday.
Her story has been thrown back into the limelight with the release of a new Netflix documentary but Met Police, who launched their own investigation in 2011, have asked for funding to continue the search for another year.
The Home Office issued a new payment of £150,000 to go towards finding Maddie in October but that is reported to have run out.
A Home Office spokesperson it had ‘received and are considering’ a request for more funding to extend Operation Grange until the end of March 2020.
But according to the Mail on Sunday, the operation’s detectives now rarely visit the Portuguese resort and are said to have no ‘earth-shattering leads’ in the investigation.
At its peak, 31 detectives worked on Maddie’s disappearance, but the probe has been scaled back in recent years and detectives reportedly made just two trips to Portugal in 2017-18.
Those still involved with the investigation are now said to spend a lot of their time eliminating known sex offenders and chasing down potential witnesses.
‘Most of what Operation Grange is doing is having things set up to knock down and rule out, rather than pursuing a particular fantastic lead that could unlock it all,’ a source told the paper.
‘I’m not aware of any earth-shattering lead or breakthrough imminently.’
Funding through Special Grants to help find Maddie has already cost £11.75 million.
Scotland Yard’s latest bid for a Special Grant will need to be ‘carefully considered’ on possible orders of Home Secretary Sajid Javid.