Portuguese authorities reopen investigation into Madeleine McCann

24 October 2013

Madeleine McCann

The Portuguese Judicial Authorities have today, 24 October, announced that they have reopened their investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. This development follows the discovery of new lines of enquiry as a result of an internal review of their original investigation by the Portuguese Policia Judiciaria.

The Portuguese investigation will run in parallel with the Operation Grange investigation, and a team of Portuguese colleagues continue to follow up enquiries on behalf of the MPS under the terms of the International Letter of Request (ILOR).

"Colleagues in Portugal fully shared with us the developments in their review."

At the request of The Policia Judiciara, AC Mark Rowley and DCI Andy Redwood attended a meeting with senior officers on 17 October, in Lisbon, to discuss this significant development, and for a comprehensive briefing on the new lines of enquiry which, at this point, are separate to the lines of enquiry being followed by the MPS. At the conclusion of that meeting, the group were joined by Kate and Gerry McCann who were briefed on the plans to apply to reopen the investigation.

Assistance Commander Mark Rowley, Specialist Crime and Operations, said: "The meeting was very positive, and we and the Policia Judiciara have a shared determination to do everything possible to discover what happened to Madeleine.

"Colleagues in Portugal fully shared with us the developments in their review, and the fact that they were taking the significant step of applying for the investigation to be formally reopened.

"From the near future, MPS detectives from Operation Grange will travel regularly to Portugal under the terms of the ILOR in relation to the UK investigation.

"This is a welcome development, but both sides of the investigation are at relatively early stages, with much work remaining to be done. This new momentum is encouraging, but we still have a way to go, and as with all major investigations, not all lines of enquiry that look promising will yield results.

"Last week was a significant point in the investigation into Madeleine's disappearance, and I would like to thank the public across Europe for the overwhelming response to the appeals that we made here at home on Crimewatch, as well as in Germany and Holland. Today's development is good news. Combined with the formal re-opening of the Portuguese investigation today, and our ever closer working relationship, I believe that we have the best opportunity yet to finally understand what happened to Madeleine."