A detective who spent three years searching for Madeleine McCann has claimed her abductor told someone else about the crime — and that she may still be alive.
Dave Edgar, 60, who began working on the case in 2009, believes the kidnapper is being protected, 10 years after her disappearance.
In a new interview, he urged anyone with information to come forward, adding that he was sure parents Kate and Gerry McCann were not involved.
Speaking to the Mirror, he said: “If anyone confided in you, now is the time to come forward.
“They [abductors] can’t keep it to themselves and research has shown they always confide in someone else.”
Edgar added: “Until such time that a body is found it is a live investigation and there is always hope [she is alive].”
Edgar, who runs Alpha Investigations Group, was hired by the McCanns to look into Madeleine’s disappearance, and worked on the case until the Metropolitan Police took over in 2012.
Madeleine disappeared on the evening of 3 May, 2007, from her bed in a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, a resort in the Algarve region of Portugal.
If she is still alive, she will turn 14 in May this year.
The inquiry, which has cost more than £12 million, has been granted further funds of £85,000, which will allow detective to continue the search.
Earlier this year, the McCanns lost a libel case against a Portuguese detective who claimed in a book they faked Madeleine’s abduction.
Detectives are currently said to be working on a theory that she was kidnapped by a European trafficking gang.