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  1. ITV Report

Madeleine McCann could still be found alive, detective says

Madeleine McCann. Credit: Family handout

Police still believe Madeleine McCann can be found alive - nine years after the little girl went missing.

The detective in charge of the search for the missing girl said officers were pursuing “justifiable and reasonable” leads in the search for Madeleine.

"There is always a possibility that we will find Madeleine and we hope that we will find her alive," Detective Chief Superintendent Mick Duthie told the Evening Standard.

“That’s what we want and that’s what the family and the public want and that is why the Home Office continue to fund it - there is work that needs to be done still."

Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry McCann. Credit: PA Wire
The three-year-old disappeared in May 2007. Credit: Family handout
A near eight-year search has still not brought officers closer to finding her. Credit: PA Wire

Madeleine disappeared from a holiday apartment in Portugal in May 2007, just days before her fourth birthday.

She would have turned 13 next month.

DSI Duthie admitted detectives still did not have a "full understanding" of what happened to the youngster but that was "why the work continues".

“There is a missing girl and if she has been murdered and if we think we have got justifiable and reasonable lines of inquiry to pursue then they should be dealt with.”

His comments come weeks after Home Secretary Theresa May granted more money to the investigation to find Madeleine.