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Missing Maddie’s parents ‘encouraged’ by new inquiry

The parents of missing British girl Madeleine McCann said on Sunday they were “greatly encouraged” by new information about the disappearance of their daughter on holiday in Portugal in 2007.

Kate and Gerry McCann said they were hopeful there would be developments from a major appeal based on “substantive” new information which is to be broadcast on a BBC television programme on October 14.

“We are greatly encouraged by new information coming to light with pieces of the jigsaw now fitting together,” the McCanns said in a statement.

“We are really hopeful that the forthcoming appeal on Crimewatch will bring further new evidence which will take us a step closer to finding Madeleine and to bringing those responsible for her abduction to justice.”

A three-year-old actress will play Madeleine in the reconstruction on the Crimewatch programme.

British police said Friday that analysis of mobile phone data from thousands of people who were in the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz when Madeleine McCann disappeared could provide a new lead.

They are also investigating 41 potential suspects, although no arrests have been made.

Madeleine’s parents have never abandoned their campaign to find their daughter, who was just about to turn four when she disappeared as she slept in the family’s holiday apartment on May 3, 2007.

Her parents were dining with friends in a nearby restaurant at the time.

Portuguese authorities closed their investigation in 2008. But London’s Metropolitan Police spent two years reviewing the evidence and announced in July that they were launching an investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance.

British police are working with senior detectives from Faro, in the Algarve.