Maddie search fund drying up

2010-11-03 14:39

London – The parents of missing British girl Madeleine McCann said on Wednesday they may have to end the hunt for their daughter as a fund set up to probe her disappearance in Portugal in 2007 has almost run dry.

Madeleine went missing from a holiday apartment in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007, a few days before her fourth birthday, as her father Gerry, mother Kate and their friends dined at a nearby restaurant.

"If Madeleine's Fund remains as it is; with the current rate of expenditure, it will run out in spring 2011. This would essentially mean that any kind of proactive search for Madeleine would cease," Gerry McCann wrote in a letter.

He appealed for fresh donations to the fund, which stood at $3.2m at its height but now only has around $320 000 left, according to British media.

The McCanns also launched a petition to lobby the British and Portuguese governments for a joint or independent review of the case, saying that for the last three-and-a-half years authorities had been doing virtually nothing.

"We need action, I don't need fluffy worthless words. We need somebody to do something," Kate McCann said.

"Madeleine is still missing, she's a little girl, her abductor is still out there, so by not carrying on, we are putting other children at risk. I think more needs to be done."

Madeleine's parents say they believe their daughter was snatched and that she is still alive, although police investigations have come to end.

The McCanns were named as official suspects in her disappearance in September 2007 but this was lifted in July 2008.