Colin Sutton has claimed the young girl could be buried in one of 600 wells near Praia da Luz in Portugal
KATE AND GERRY MCCANN ADMIT THEY STILL BUY MADDIE BIRTHDAY PRESENTS
A top cop has blasted the extra £100,000 funding for the Madeleine McCann search operation – he thinks finding her is “almost impossible”.
Colin Sutton, who turned down the chance to lead the inquiry into Maddie’s disappearance, told a documentary her corpse could be buried in one of 600 ancient wells in Praia da Luz, Portugal.
Madeleine went missing from an apartment there aged three in 2007, and Mr Sutton says police stand little chance of finding her now.
Forensic scientist Professor David Barclay also claimed the area is “the easiest place to hide a body” he had ever visited.
Mr Sutton said investigators searching for the young girl face a “thankless task”.
“It’s almost impossible without specific intelligence that would allow you to focus on a specific area,” he claimed, adding the only hope of finding her is if someone who knew what happened told police.
“It would be very easy to secrete something there and be very confident it wouldn’t be found,” he added.
The new information emerged in an Australian documentary on Channel 7 this weekend.
Madeleine vanished from the holiday apartment on May 3 2007 while her parents Kate and Gerry McCann were out for a meal at a nearby tapas restaurant.
They’ve never given up hope that she could be found alive – she’d now be aged nearly 15.
In February the Daily Mirror revealed the Kate and Gerry McCann have raised £728,508 through a ‘Find Maddie Fund’ which could be used to fund private investigators.
The cash in the Find Maddie Fund – made up mainly of public donations and profits from Kate’s bestseller book – has grown over the past financial year, according to the latest accounts.
If Operation Grange, launched in May 2011, is shelved the McCanns have vowed to continue the search themselves.
Family spokesperson Clarence Mitchell said: “The Met Police will put in a further request for funds if they feel work still needs to be done.
“Money in the Madeleine Fund gives Kate and Gerry the option to pick up their own inquiries again, if they choose, with private investigators.”
Just days ago, the Home Office approved a further £100,000 could be added to the £11million already spent on the investigation.
Government funding for Operation Grange has been agreed every six months, with £154,000 being granted from October last year until the end of March.
It is believed that the latest round of funding will be as much as £150,000 and a Home Office spokesman said: “The Government remains committed to the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.
Family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry McCann were “incredibly grateful” to the Home Office for granting the money request.
He said: “They are very encouraged that the Met Police still believe there is work left to be done and they are incredibly grateful to the Home Office for providing an extra budget for the investigation.”
Last year, detectives said a “critical line of inquiry” was being pursued.
Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry McCann, of Rothley, Leicestershire, have vowed never to give up hope of finding their daughter.