Madeleine McCann's parents 'not getting their hopes up' over 'new prime suspect' after breakthrough

MADELEINE McCann's parents are "not getting their hopes up" over cops closing in on a new prime suspect following a breakthrough.

Portuguese police are probing a “new clue and suspect” after talks with British officers, according to a bombshell local media report.

Her parents Kate and Gerry are said to be “very grateful” that British cops are remaining so “focused and committed” in their painstaking bid to find out Madeleine’s fate.

But a family pal said: "They have had their hopes raised then dashed many times in the past so they are not getting buoyed up by any fresh developments. It’s too devastating when nothing comes of it.

"The Met Police are keeping them informed every step of the way and when there’s something significant happening they’ll be the first to know.

"But they can’t discuss in public what may or may not be going on while the investigation is still underway. Officers have told them not to say anything."


Correio da Manha newspaper claimed local detectives are now "nearer to knowing what happened to Madeleine”.

The breakthrough comes after a tip-off over a mystery "foreign" man who was in the Algarve at the time of Madeleine's disappearance in 2007.

Detectives from Scotland Yard recently met Policia Judiciaria (PJ) officers in Porto to share key information on the investigation.

But the face-to-face meeting between British and Portuguese police is believed to be the first since the new suspect came to light.

It could be the biggest leap forward in the £12million investigation since the youngster vanished from her holiday flat at Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007.


The McCann source told The Sun Online: “Over the years there have been numerous reported sightings of Madeleine in different countries and alleged significant developments in the police inquiry. But Kate and Gerry can’t get their hopes up every time, they’ve been here before.

“They keep level headed while the police get on with the task in hand."

Madeleine, then aged 3, is believed to have been snatched from her bed while her parents Kate and Gerry had dinner with friends just yards away.

The local probe into her suspected kidnapping was axed in 2008 and Scotland Yard launched Operation Grange in 2011.


Scotland Yard said their investigation is "ongoing".

Earlier this month, the Home Office pledged £300,000 in extra funding for the Met Police investigation.

Despite a 12-year search for the missing girl, no trace of Madeleine – who would now be 16 – has been found.

In May, Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry laid gifts in her untouched bedroom to mark her 16th birthday.

They also hosted a party to honour the missing youngster at their home in Rothley, Leics.

The McCanns wrote on the Official Find Madeleine Campaign Facebook page: “Happy 16th Birthday, Madeleine!

“We love you and we’re waiting for you and we’re never going to give up.”

McCann spokesperson Clarence Mitchell declined to discuss the reported new lead.

He added: “Kate and Gerry have expressed their gratitude to the police for all the work they have done and continue to do in the search for their daughter.

"They are greatly encouraged that the Met still believe there is active work left to be done, that they are focused and committed, and they remain incredibly grateful to the Home Office for providing an extra budget for the investigation.

"It shows that officers are still doing everything they can to get a resolution after all this time. And it gives them hope that one day they may finally find out what happened to Madeleine."

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