We were shocked when missing child Madeleine McCann's case was reopened a few weeks ago -- seemingly out of the blue. The then-3-year-old went missing six years ago. Amazingly, police believe Madeleine may still be alive. The case is picking up momentum. It's moved to an "investigative stage" and police are now questioning 38 people of interest. And the best sign yet -- police in the UK and Portugal (where Madeleine went missing) are said to have a "positive and focused" working relationship. The case stalled years ago partly because of conflicts between the two countries' police forces.
It's thanks to this cooperation between police and private investigators that the case can move forward at all. Two years of comparing evidence is what gave police that list of 38 people to question -- up from 20 people two years ago. A spokesman for the McCann family says, "Kate and Gerry warmly welcome the shift in the Met's emphasis from review to investigation. It is clearly a big step forward in establishing what happened and, hopefully, towards bringing whoever is responsible for Madeleine's abduction to justice." And it's also hopefully bringing the McCanns closer to finding their daughter alive, if she really is still alive.
I don't know how much the McCanns dare hope at this point. I can't imagine how painful the last six years must have been for them, how frustrating to see their daughter's case stall. But the next few months will hopefully be exciting for them. It gets harder to follow a trail the more time passes, but it sounds like investigators are finally putting all the pieces together.
Of the 38 persons of interest, 12 are British, and the rest are from various European countries. Meanwhile, the McCanns have set up a website, FindMadeleine.com, to raise awareness of their daughter's case. There's this image of what Madeleine may look like, now that she's 9 years old. With the case picking up speed, I want to believe investigators are going to figure out what happened. It all has to add up, don't you think? I just hope that finding Madeleine alive is part of that conclusion.
Do you think investigators will ever solve Madeleine McCann's case?
Image via Teri Blythe