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'Fresh Hope:' UK Police Unit Searching For Missing Madeleine McCann Slated To Receive Additional Gov't Funds

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Mar. 27 2023, Published 1:30 p.m. ET

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The sensational claim by the woman who says she is Madeleine McCann has re-invigorated the investigation by a specialized unit at London’s Metropolitan Police trying to find the missing British toddler, has learned.

Police brass overseeing “Operation Grange” -- established to help in the search for McCann -- have requested and are expected to receive thousands of additional funds to help investigators locate the 3-year-old who vanished in 2007 while on vacation with her parents in Portugal.

The request for additional cash is likely to be approved by the UK’s Home Office – the federal agency that oversees law and order in the country.

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“This is excellent news. Maddie’s parents Kate and Gerry (McCann) will be delighted. It gives fresh hope,” a source close to the investigation told the UK’s The Sun.

The bombshell news comes more than a month after Julia Wendell, 21, of Poland, sparked a worldwide firestorm by alleging on a now-deactivated Instagram account titled @IAmMadeleineMcCann that she is the toddler snatched from a hotel room in Praia da Luz, Portugal, as her parents dined nearby with friends.

Wendell claims she had freckles on her leg and cheek as well as a coloboma in her right eye in the same places as missing Madeline and says the sicko who allegedly molested her resembles the composite sketch of the suspect wanted in the McCann case.

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As reported, Wendell is anxiously waiting for DNA results from three genetic tests to determine her family ancestry. If the tests report shows she is British, her DNA sequence will be sent to investigators in Portugal to see if they match with Madeleine’s.

Right now, there is only a team of 4 detectives working on the Operation Grange unit -- compared to 40 police officers at the height of the search, The Sun reports.

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Since 2011, Operation Grange has spent about $15 million searching for Madeleine and its budget allocation for 2023 is about $370,000.

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Messages left with the Operation Grange unit and with a representative of the McCann family were not returned.



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