TODAY   |  June 17, 2013

UK begins new Madeleine McCann investigation

Six years have passed since three-year-old Madeleine McCann disappeared in Portugal, but the case has not been forgotten. The British government is now funding its own investigation to follow up on a number of leads as her parents hold out hope for answers. NBC’s Michelle Kosinski reports.

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>>> now a new investigation being launched this morning into the disappearance of madeline mccann . michelle is in london with this story. michelle, good morning.

>> reporter: hey savannah. it's been since years since madeline disappeared from her bed in an apartment her family was renting in portugal. there the case went nowhere but today the british government is taking the step of funding it's own administration acknowledging the possibility too that madeline could still be alive. madeline 's face is recognizable practically worldwide but no one has been able to say what happened to her. portugal closed the case. but the british government now is willing to reopen it funding it's own investigation with police here in the hopes of finally solving it.

>> they have come up with some leads, some suspects they don't think were investigated properly.

>> reporter: two years ago a small group of british investigators were tasked with looking over the portuguese files of the case when madeline 's parents said they were thinking on their three sleeping children every half hour while they were at dinner a few hundred yards away. she realized she was gone from her bed.

>> my heart lurched as i saw now that behiebd them the window was wide open and the shutters on the outside raised all the way up. nausea, terror, disbelief, fear, icy fear. there's still leads and people to talk to that were never followed up. scotland yard said we are encouraged by the progress we are making and continue to identify potential lines of inquiry. and the mccanns just before the 6th anniversary of her disappearance in may appeared on british television .

>> the search is on going. nothing is slowing down. if anything i feel like it's escalating and again, it's just be vigilant. please still take your posters on holiday and don't forget about that she is still missing. we haven't lost hope.

>> reporter: this morning scotland yard tells me that there's still some diplomatic red tape to go through before this can be a full open investigation. they have been working with portuguese authorities and scotland yard said look at other cases. look at the case of cleveland, the three women that were missing for such a long time. madeline today would be ten years old. savannah.