McCann probe to end for lack of evidence

July 1, 2008 at 8:33 AM

ALGARVE, Portugal, July 1 (UPI) -- Portuguese officials said Tuesday the investigation into Madeleine McCann's disappearance will be shelved because of lack of evidence.

While effectively ending the 14-month probe, police said their investigation could be reopened if new evidence surfaces, The Times of London reported. The British girl disappeared in May 2007 shortly before her fourth birthday while she and her parents were vacationing in Algarve, Portugal.

Police said they didn't find any evidence against Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, or a third suspect, Robert Murat, during their investigation, two Portuguese newspapers reported.

"If the reports are true, ... it is entirely right because Kate and Gerry are innocent of any involvement in their daughter's disappearance and always have been," said Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns' spokesman.

The parents will keep searching for their daughter and urged the police to do so as well, Mitchell said.

"The police themselves must continue looking for Madeleine. We are concerned that if they are to simply shelve the case then what will happen to all of the information in their files?" he said. "Kate and Gerry will never give up searching for their daughter."

Police said the undisclosed evidence should be available to the McCanns in September.

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