Could it be that Madeleine McCann is still alive? The British tot was just three years old when she went missing in Portugal in 2007, but now an investigator believes she may not be living very far from where she was kidnapped.

“There’s one reason I’m sure Madeleine is alive — a body hasn’t been found,” ex-cop Dave Edgar, 62, told Radar Online.

Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry McCann hired the Northern Irishman, known for combating Irish Republican Army terrorists, in 2009. “It’s nonsense to think the McCanns would have murdered their daughter. They had no motive,” Dave said, before adding, “In my experience as a detective, when strangers kill children, or if strangers kill anyone for that matter, they do one thing very quickly and almost automatically — they dump the victim’s body so they’re not caught with it. That’s just the way it works.”

Madeleine McCann's parents
Ferdaus Shamim/WireImage

LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 13: Kate McCann (L) and Gerry McCann, wearing t-shirts printed with a photo of their missing daughter Madeleine, attend the Miles For Missing People 10km fundraising event at Hyde Park on March 13, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Ferdaus Shamim/WireImage)

Back in September, Gerry echoed the same sentiment when he told BBC 4, that he feels “confident” that his baby girl isn’t gone yet.

“I thought about it a lot early on and what I was absolutely confident about is whatever had happened, Madeleine was still alive and is still alive,” the 52-year-old surgeon said at the time. “That we could cope and she would be in the right place, that’s how I felt about it. And I have thought about it recently and I just want to hug her, and hold her, and cry a lot. How I would deal with that situation as it arose, I have thought at various points what it would mean.”

On May 3, 2007, Madeleine disappeared from her bed at the vacation apartment that her parents were renting during a trip to Portugal. Madeleine and her two sisters slept in the apartment while Kate and Gerry had dinner at a restaurant about 180 feet away. They realized Madeleine was missing when they went back to check on the girls.

“I think I remember just being in the bedroom distraught, the two of us,” Gerry recalled. “Just completely distraught. I was almost feral, the reaction and the pain, feeling helpless, alone, alone together but it [was] just the most painful realization and I couldn’t get the darkest thoughts out of our minds that somebody had taken her and abused her.”

Both Gerry and Kate are still holding out hope that they will someday be reunited with their baby girl, and Dave believes that will happen. “All my experience tells me a stranger or strangers took Madeleine, and that she is still alive,” he said.

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