Madeleine’s family say failed Portugal searches show she could still be alive

MADELEINE MCCANN’S parents have said that the fact police have found no evidence relating to their missing daughter has reinforced their belief that she could still be alive.

Kate and Gerry McCann said they were “very pleased” with the significant activity that had taken place in Praia da Luz and it was “gratifying” to know that a substantial amount of work will take place over the coming months.

Detectives found no evidence relating to the missing child during searches of three areas of land over the past 10 days, but have said more will be carried out “shortly”.

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In a statement, Mr and Mrs McCann said: “We are very pleased that significant activity has taken place in Praia da Luz over the last 10 days with police officers and support teams from the UK working closely with the Policia Judiciaria and the Guarda Nacional Republicana.

“We are further encouraged that despite the intensive searches, no trace of Madeleine has been found and this reinforces our belief that she could still be alive.”

The British officers were believed to be flying home and it is not clear when they will return.

Their departure comes as residents and business owners in the Algarve resort spoke of their frustration at learning the police activity is set to go on, with one telling British police to “go home”.

Locals in the town suggested they should sue the British police for the loss of earnings they have incurred, with another claiming the investigation was “killing” the small resort.

Waiter Fernando Pereira said the timing of the searches, at the start of the tourist season was a “bloody nuisance”.

He added: “Praia da Luz is not a very big place. There are very narrow roads. It’s a pain. If they are going to be doing even more digging up and closing roads it’s going to disturb everyone.”