Police have been given the extra cash to probe new key suspect in tot’s disappearance a decade ago
THE dad of a missing man has spoken out after it was revealed cops probing the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have been given extra funding.
Paul Whinham’s son Michael went missing in November 2015 and a major search was launched to find him.
The Chronicle Live reports Paul has questioned the £85,000 cash boost from the Home Office to find Maddie – claiming he was told there was no more cash to continue the search for his son.
Northumbria Police has denied the allegation but Mr Whinham, 66, said: “I fully sympathise with Madeleine’s parents, they have lost their daughter.
“But my question is, how can the Government justify pouring money into looking for one person when there are 3,000 other people missing out there?”
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Detectives have identified an individual they want to question which will take the investigation past its tenth anniversary.
The person was near the area where Madeleine went missing from in the coastal resort of Praia da Luz, Portugal in May 2007.
The person could be a Portuguese suspect.
Funding had been due to end within weeks but the Home Office has given an extra £85,000 to extend the Operation Grange hunt to September this year.
Senior officers see the development as the “last throw of the dice” as total funding has now reached now £11.1 million, it emerged last night.
Mr Whinham, of North Tyneside, said: “There are thousands of people missing in the UK, why do they not have the same amount of cash for their search operations?”
Michael was 31 when he went missing and a Northumbria Police spokesperson told the Chronicle: “We can understand Mr Whinham’s frustration and know how distressing the disappearance of a loved can be. It has always been our hope to find Michael.
“Our enquiry to find him very much remains open and if we have any new lines of enquiry these will be fully investigated.
“A team of officers were dedicated to investigating Michael’s disappearance who carried out extensive lines of enquiry including viewing hours of CCTV, numerous appeals and speaking to people who knew him.
“Unfortunately, the investigation reached a point where all lines of enquiry were exhausted and at this point it was necessary for us disband the dedicated team.
“However, this does not mean we will not continue in our effort and like all missing person investigations, the case is continuously reviewed and if any new lines of enquiry do arise then we will investigate them fully and proportionately.
“We have not given up on finding Michael and if anyone has any evidence that could help us locate him then we would urge them to get in touch.”
Parents Gerry and Kate left their three children – including toddler twins – sleeping in their apartment while they dined at a nearby tapas bar.
When Kate returned to check on the kids at around 10pm that evening she discovered that Maddie was not in her bed and was missing.
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