Madeleine McCann inquiry to end after 11 years, prosecution unlikely

After 11 years, the inquiry into Madeleine McCann’s disappearance is set to shut down. The prime suspect is unlikely to be charged.

Police in the United Kingdom are set to close down their 11-year investigation into Madeleine McCann’s disappearance.

Funding for the Operation Grange inquiry — launched four years after she vanished — will end later this year.

A source told The Sun: “There are currently no plans to take the inquiry any further.”

The decision means that prime suspect Christian B is highly unlikely to be charged over her disappearance.

It underlines how top cops feel there is insufficient evidence to bring a case against the convicted paedophile and rapist, who German cops were convinced was involved.

The Met’s Operation Grange probe — which has run for 11 years — is due to wind down later this year. The source added: “The end of the road for Operation Grange is now in sight.

“The team’s work is expected to be completed by autumn.”

The source said that the case file could be reopened if any significant new information comes to light.

The Grange investigation was launched in May 2011 — four years after Madeleine vanished — after her mother Kate wrote an open letter in The Sun to then PM David Cameron asking for British police to begin an inquiry.

Current funding of the probe runs out on March 31. A final request by the Met for another grant, taking it to the end of September, was recently submitted to the Home Office.

It takes the total cost of the investigation to approximately $23 million.

Outgoing Met commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said last year that the Grange probe would continue until there was nothing left for it to do.

Madeleine vanished from her family’s holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal on May 3, 2007, when aged three.

German cops at one stage said they had “concrete evidence” that Madeleine was dead and Christian B was involved.

Christian B, 45, was identified as a suspect 2020. He is serving a seven-year jail sentence in Germany for raping a woman aged 72 in Portugal.

The investigation into him is being led by German and Portuguese authorities, with the Met taking a background role.

In recent years the Grange team has been whittled down from 40 officers to just four detectives working under Det Chief Inspector Mark Cranwell, who also heads the Met’s cold case review unit.

They are also responsible for liaising with Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry, both 54, and keeping them informed of developments.

It is understood the McCanns are aware of the inquiry’s impending closure and have vowed to never stop their hunt to find Madeleine or establish her fate.

They are now likely to continue their quest with money from a fund set up by the pair with help from wealthy double-glazing businessman Brian Kennedy.

Latest accounts from January show “Madeline’s Fund: Leaving No Stone Unturned”’ has $1,653,419 after liabilities.

The 15th anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance falls this spring.

The case is still being treated by the Met as a missing person inquiry, despite German cops saying that Madeleine is presumed dead after being murdered.

She vanished while sleeping with her twin brother and sister in a bedroom as her parents dined with friends at a tapas bar nearby.

Madeleine would now be almost 19 and former Met Detective chief inspector Mick Neville said last night it remains a possibility that she is still alive.

This story was originally published by The Sun and has been reproduced with permission.

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