Few cold cases have inspired more curiosity and speculation than the disappearance of British girl Madeleine McCann in 2007.
Madeleine was only 3 years old when she was abducted from her parents’ holiday apartment in Portugal as they dined at a restaurant down the block.
Now, a Netflix documentary series about her case is set to begin a new chapter in the search for the missing girl, as a police officer featured in the film insists Madeleine will be found alive.
In The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann, which premieres Friday, more than 40 experts and witnesses detail the McCann investigation and the events surrounding it. The series will also offer new theories about what might have happened to Madeleine since she went missing.
One of the most popular explanations the eight-part series delves into is that the toddler was abducted by human traffickers and smuggled out of Portugal.
But in the series, the head of the first British investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance, police officer Jim Gamble, says that he still has hope she will be reunited with her parents.
"I absolutely believe that in my lifetime we will find out what has happened to Madeleine McCann," he said.
There’s huge hope to be had with the advances in technology. Year on year DNA is getting better. Year on year other techniques, including facial recognition, are getting better. And as we use that technology to revisit and review that which we captured in the past, there’s every likelihood that something we already know will slip into position.
Another talking head featured in the documentary, Julian Peribanez, was hired as a private investigator by the McCanns. He agrees that Madeleine’s abductors would not have killed her.
"The value that Madeleine had was really high," he explained, "because if they took her it’s because they were going to get a lot of money."
Viewers who have seen previews of the documentary also say it paints Portuguese police as "slow and secretive," blaming them for wasting crucial time by investigating Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, as prime suspects.
The head of the original Portueguese investigation, detective Goncalo Amaral, is also interviewed in the series. Amaral accused the McCanns of covering up their involvement in Madeleine’s death, before making other outrageous claims that saw him kicked off the case.
While Netflix subscribers are sure to binge on the documentary this weekend, the McCanns themselves will not.
Kate and Gerry McCann refused to take part in the series, and sources claim it was produced without their approval.
As the family’s former spokesman Clarence Mitchell told The Guardian, "Kate and Gerry didn’t ask for it and don’t see how it will help the search for Maddie on a practical level, so they chose not to engage."
The investigation into McCann’s disappearance is ongoing, as up to $200,000 in new funds were added to Scotland Yard’s Operation Grange task force searching for her last year.
[H/T: The Sun]