The $15 million search for missing child Madeleine McCann has received a $108,000 boost thanks to income generated by her mother’s bestselling book.
The toddler’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, set up a foundation called Madeleine’s Fund: Leaving No Stone Unturned Limited in 2007 to manage donations to help find the missing girl. According to a report by The Mirror, the foundation’s bottom line has seen a lift thanks to the donation of $107,015 (84,096 British pounds) in book royalties from the sale of McCann’s book, titled “Madeleine.”
Sales of the book have been strong since its 2011 publication, with every hint of a new lead receiving broad media coverage since the little girl vanished from the family’s hotel room in Portugal in May 2007, while on vacation.
The long-running investigation, dubbed “Operation Grange,” has so far absorbed about $15 million in public money, according to The Daily Mail.
In November, the British Home Office agreed to give another $190,000 to detectives probing Madeleine’s disappearance, with Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick saying detectives would keep up the hunt until it “has reached its conclusion.”
Some oppose giving more taxpayer money to continue an investigation that appears to have long gone cold.
“Sometimes you just have to put sentiment to one side and say enough is enough,” said former Metropolitan Police senior detective Sue Hill, who has worked on dozens of missing child cases, according to ITV.
“The UK taxpayers’ money could be better spent on the nation, rather than the search of the three-year-old who was left by her neglectful parents so they were able to go for lunch,” said James Craig, the man behind a Change.org petition calling for an end to the long-running investigation.
The Back Story
British girl Madeleine McCann disappeared in May 2001 from her family’s apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, while they were on vacation.
The UK Metropolitan Police launched a probe into the matter after a Portuguese investigation turned up nothing.
The Met’s seven-year probe has been dubbed “Operation Grange” and was initiated at the request of then-Prime Minister David Cameron.
Criminologist Dr. Graham Hill, who worked on the original investigation after Maddie’s disappearance, told ITV he thinks the little girl’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, are right to carry on trying to find out what happened to their daughter. He added, however, that “this investigation has become a political football.”
Former Detective Says She Might Be Alive, Hidden
A former investigator who worked to try and solve Madeleine’s disappearance is convinced that the girl is still alive and that the case could see a breakthrough.
“There is every possibility that Madeleine is still alive and could be being hidden somewhere and having no idea that she is at the center of a worldwide hunt for her,” former detective David Edgar told The Sun in October; he was hired by the McCanns for three years before Metropolitan Police detectives took over. “She could literally be anywhere in the world but my hunch is that she is in Portugal.”
He said that someone who has a guilty conscience could eventually come forward.
“The best hope of a breakthrough, even after all this time, will be if and when someone’s conscience is pricked. 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,” Edgar added.
Madeleine’s parents have said that there is “absolutely nothing” to suggest that their daughter was harmed or killed.
Gerry McCann told a BBC Radio 4 interviewer last September that he’s convinced his daughter is still alive.
“I just want to hug her, to hold her, to cry—a lot. Never a day goes by when I don’t think of Madeleine,” he said, according to an Australian news service.
Madeleine disappeared on the night of May 3, 2007, after being left alone with her younger twin siblings, Sean and Amelie, while her parents went out with friends.