Madeleine McCann Case: Police Searching for Eastern European Woman, Report Says

October 11, 2017 Updated: October 14, 2017

Police are now searching for an Eastern European woman, described by them as a “critical witness,” in the investigation for missing UK girl Madeleine McCann.

Scotland Yard gave some £154,000 ($203,000) to Operation Grange’s £12 million ($15 million) budget to find a woman who investigators think could provide information into the girl’s disappearance in 2007.

“She may have see [sic] or heard something which to her may seem insignificant but to us could prove vital. If she recognizes herself she should contact police. She has nothing to fear. This is just to eliminate her from inquiries,” a police source told The Sun.

The woman is said to have lived in Praia da Luz, Portugal, where the girl vanished 10 years ago. She left the country after her husband died.

Another source added to the newspaper that the unnamed woman is a “critical witness.” There is a theory, according to the source, that the girl was abducted in a burglary-gone-wrong.

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley in April posited that theory, saying she “wasn’t old enough to make a decision to set off and start her own life,” the Closer website reported.

“However she left that apartment—she’s been abducted,” he said.

Meanwhile, after it was recently announced that more funding would go toward the search for the girl, people apparently lashed out at Kate and Gerry McCann, Madeleine’s parents.

“We’ve been barraged with hate via Facebook,” they wrote on their website, The Metro reported.

“Kate and Gerry are angry and upset that people continue to write false and malicious things against them,” a friend told the Metro. “Every time a positive story appears the trolls kick in with even more abuse. It’s been going on for 10 years. They are extremely grateful for the continued support by the Home Office and the Met Police, and they receive many positive messages from wellwishers.”