Danielle McCarthy

Sad new twist in search for Madeleine McCann

Sad new twist in search for Madeleine McCann

Kate McCann has been forced to close down an online shop aimed at raising funds to help find her missing daughter Madeleine McCann.

The website sold T-shirts, posters and car stickers with Maddie’s face on it, along with slogans saying, “Please don’t give up on me” and “Still missing, still missed.”

Kate said she shut it down because of her “many commitments and pressures”, making it too difficult to attend to orders, the Metro UK reported.

The family, who has already faced so much tragedy, has faced another low blow as it has been revealed that donations from the public to the Maddie Fund have dwindled to “virtually zero” over the past 11 years – when the little girl went missing in Portugal.

A friend claiming to be close to Kate and Gerry McCann told the Daily Mail that the idea that money is still flooding in was just wrong.

“Donations dried up a long time ago. At times the story comes into the news a few kind people send a quid or two but there is nothing of any real value,” the friend said.

According to Metro UK, in the first month of investigations regarding the disappearance of Madeleine, £1.8 million ($NZ3.6 million) was donated to the fund, out of which £64,000 ($NZ126,000) was from merchandise sales.

The fund, which is officially called Leaving No Stone Unturned, has a total of £750,000 ($NZ1.5 million) left in the pot, but this could soon be wiped out.

If police and investigators decide to close the case, the McCanns will be forced to dip into the fund and pay for their own investigators.

A majority of it ($NZ844,000) may also be needed to cover the costs on an ongoing legal battle against former Portugal police chief Goncalo Amaral.

Amaral accused the McCanns of being involved in their daughter’s disappearance, saying they killed her and are now covering it up – claims which the couple has denied and has sued him for.

Up until now, police have spent over $NZ39 million searching for Maddie, who would have turned 15 in May this year. The last handout from the government of $NZ294,000 was given at the start of April.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, a family member said: “We have to wait to see what the Home Office decide about the Grange operation.”

However, a Home Office spokesperson said that to date, no request has ever been received from the Metropolitan Police Service to extend funding for operation Grange beyond the end of September 2018.

In 2011, Scotland Yard launched its own review, named Operation Grange, into the case.

“Before we would even consider an application from the Met Police to continue its Operation Grange inquiry, we need to know what work is left to be done and how much it would cost,” a spokesperson said.

Despite the global search and high level of funding, there has been no significant clues as to what could have happened to Maddie.