London - British police said on Thursday they were
opening their own investigation into the 2007 disappearance of toddler
Madeleine McCann in Portugal and had identified 38 "persons of
interest" across Europe.
"We have identified 38 persons of interest from a
number of European countries. Twelve of those people are UK nationals who we
believe were in Portugal at the time Madeleine disappeared," said
Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood of Scotland Yard.
BBC reported that Scotland Yard said it had "new
thinking" about the case after reviewing evidence and was investigating 38
"persons of interest".
Madeleine's parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, said the
shift from review to investigation was "a big step forward".
Madeleine was almost four when she disappeared in
Portugal in 2007.
Portuguese authorities dropped their investigation in
Scotland Yard's review started in May 2011, after Prime
Minister David Cameron responded to a plea from the McCanns.
Redwood said: "The review has given us new thinking,
new theories, new evidence and new witnesses."