Dave Edgar believes Madeleine could be being held captive, hidden in plain sight and unaware of the massive international hunt underway to find her.
Mr Edgar, who was hired by Kate and Gerry McCann for three years to try and find their missing daughter, has disclosed he handed over seven lines of inquiry to Scotland Yard when they launched Operation Grange in May 2011.
Mr Edgar said: “There is every possibility that Madeleine is still alive and could be being hidden somewhere.
Maddie could be living in an isolated property just miles inland from seaside towns on the Algarve
There is every possibility that Madeleine is still alive and could be being hidden somewhere
“When you get up beyond the main strip of the Algarve there’s countless isolated properties where Madeleine could be being held.
“Obviously we had a number of lines of inquiry and some of those lines did lead us to properties which we followed up and handed over to the authorities.”
As the 10th anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance approaches next month, Mr Edgar, 60, is certain that somebody, possibly living in Portugal or Britain, knows what happened to Madeleine after she was abducted from apartment 3a of the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz on May 3 2007.
He said. “In my experience they (perpetrators) always confide in someone else for whatever reason and that person needs to come forward and speak to the authorities.
Mr Edgar is certain that somebody knows what happened to Madeleine
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Maddie was abducted from apartment 3a of the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz
“I would suggest that 10 years, while it seems a long time, would not feel like that to that person with information. What happened on that night would still be fresh in their mind.
“It is not too late to come forward and tell the truth. We have seen in a number of cases recently where people have come forward and given evidence of events which took place many years ago.”
The Sunday Express revealed last month that Scotland Yard’s four strong Operation Grange team have been given a further £85,000 to continue making inquiries until the autumn.
There has been speculation officers are interested in an individual who has proved difficult to trace internationally but it is not believed the detectives are on the brink of a breakthrough.
Madeleine McCann: The search continues Fri, February 24, 2017
These are the various computer generated images of how Maddie might look now
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Madeline McCann went missing from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, in Portugal’s Algarve 9 years ago.
Mr Edgar said: “It does appear that the Metropolitan Police investigation is coming towards an end.
“So now really is the time to come forward, whether it is here in Britain, in Portugal. or anywhere in the world.”
“I think someone has the information that will break this case.” Mr Edgar, had a 30 year career with the Royal Ulster Constabulary and Cheshire Constabulary, before retiring as a Detective Inspector.
Anyone considering breaking a 10 year silence should be reassured they will be dealt with professionally and courteously.
Gerry and Kate are expected to give a TV interview to mark the anniversary of her disappearance
“British police are very experienced in dealing with witnesses,” he said.
I can guarantee they will be well treated well and the information they give would be in complete confidence.
“There is absolutely nothing to fear from coming forward. I would suggest it would ease their conscience to do socome forward, please.”
If Scotland Yard shelve the investigation later this year, Kate and Gerry McCann, of Rothley, Leicestershire, will face the dilemma of whether to launch a new private investigation.
If they do, speculation is mounting that they would ask Mr Edgar to support their efforts to discover what happened to their daughter.
Kate and Gerry are expected to give a TV interview to mark the anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance later this month.