Police still hope to find missing Madeleine as new e-fit released

Madeleine McCann went missing in Portugal five years ago next week Credit: Teri Blythe/Metropolitan Police/PA Wire

Police today released an artificially aged image of Madeleine McCann as she might look now, saying they still hope to find the missing girl alive.

The e-fit shows Madeleine, who went missing in Portugal almost five years ago, as she would look two weeks ahead of her ninth birthday.

The detective leading a police review into the case appealed for people to come forward with fresh information.

"We are working on the basis of two possibilities here. One is that Madeleine is still alive; and the second that she is sadly dead. "Based on the former we are releasing the age progression image today with a specific appeal. "If you know where Madeleine McCann is now or you have new direct information/evidence about what has happened to her then please contact us."

Scotland Yard urged Portuguese authorities to reopen the search for Madeleine, after UK detectives said they currently have their "best chance" of solving the case.

  • The police's investigative review began in May 2011 and is led by DCI Andy Redwood.

  • It reviews material from three strands - the Portuguese investigation, inquiries by UK law enforcement agencies and the work of private investigators/agencies.

  • Officers are going through an estimated 40,000 pieces of information, equating to about 100,000 pages.

  • Aim is to find 'investigative opportunities' to present to the Portuguese authorities with a view to re-opening the case.

  • Officers have so far identified around 195 such opportunities and are also developing what they believe to be new material.

  • To date the review has cost taxpayers £2 million.

The age progression image was created in collaboration with the McCann family, ahead of their daughter's ninth birthday on 12 May.

Kate and Gerry McCann see a "strong family resemblance" the e-fit and are encouraged by the progress of the police investigation, said McCann family spokesman Clarence Mitchell.

Madeleine disappeared from her family's holiday apartment in the resort of Praia da Luz on 3 May 2007, prompting a massive police probe and a search that gripped media across the world.

As ITV News' Sejal Karia reports, detectives have not given up hope of finding Madeleine.