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Missing girl Madeleine McCann may be 'still alive', UK police say

British police have issued a new appeal for information on Madeleine McCann, the little girl who disappeared while vacationing with her family in Portugal five years ago. NBC's Tazeen Ahmad reports.

LONDON -- Missing British girl Madeleine McCann, who vanished during a 2007 family vacation in Portugal, may still be alive, police said Wednesday.

Days ahead of the fifth anniversary of her disappearance, the Metropolitan Police Service said it was possible the girl was abducted from the family’s rented apartment while her parents dined at a nearby restaurant.


Madeleine was almost four years old when she went missing, prompting an international hunt that has so far provided little except false leads.

Police released a new computer-generated image of the girl, showing how she might look on her ninth birthday, which would be on May 12.

"As a result of evidence uncovered during the review, they now believe there is a possibility Madeleine is still alive and are appealing for anyone who is able to provide direct information as to her whereabouts to contact the team," police said in a statement, according to the BBC.

TODAY's Matt Lauer talks with Kate and Gerry McCann about the ongoing search for their daughter Madeleine, the clue they may have missed and the strain this investigation has had on their relationship.

Investigators are combing through about 100,000 pages of information for more details, authorities said, without getting into specifics.

"The intention is to identify from that material investigative opportunities which we will then present to the Portuguese authorities who retain primacy for the investigation," police said. "Officers have so far identified around 195 such opportunities within the historic material, and are also developing what they believe to be genuinely new material." 

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