1. ITV Report

Madeleine McCann investigation could finish in next few months

Madeleine McCann disappeared in Portugal in 2007 Credit: PA

The British investigation into Madeleine McCann's disappearance will finish in the next few months unless new evidence emerges, police have said.

A small team of officers are following one remaining line of inquiry into the three-year-old's disappearance while on holiday with her parents in Portugal in 2007.

They have been granted £95,000 Home Office funding to keep the probe going for another few months.

Scotland Yard boss Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, speaking on LBC, said the remaining line of inquiry is one that "everybody agrees is worthwhile pursuing."

The McCanns were on holiday in Portugal nine years ago with their daughter when she went missing Credit: PA

The investigating team, which began in 2011, has been reduced from 30 to three in recent years.

During the probe, named Operation Grange, detectives highlighted a sex offender who had targeted British families with young children staying in villas in the same area where Madeleine was last seen.

The three-year-old disappeared in May 2007

Sir Bernard said "a missing child inquiry is never closed" but the current probe will conclude if the remaining line of inquiry does not prove fruitful.

There's been a lot of investigation time spent on this terrible case.

It's a child who went missing, everybody wants to know if she is alive and if she is where is she, and sadly if she's dead then we need to give some comfort to the family.

It's needed us to carry out an investigation together with the Portuguese and other countries have been involved.

There is a line of inquiry that remains to be concluded and it's expected that in the coming months that will happen.

...If somebody comes forward and gives us good evidence we will follow it. We always say that a missing child inquiry is never closed.

– Scotland Yard boss Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe

Last week Detective Chief Superintendent Mick Duthie, who is head of the force's murder squad, said there was a "possibility" Madeleine could be found alive.

"There is ongoing work," he said. "There is always a possibility that we will find Madeleine and we hope that we will find her alive."