Page last updated at 12:38 GMT, Thursday, 29 January 2009

Madeleine search fund raised 2m

Madeleine McCann
An investigation by Portuguese police failed to find Madeleine McCann

The fund set up to help the search for Madeleine McCann received almost 2m from well-wishers in the first 10 months after she went missing.

Official accounts, made public for the first time, show just over 815,000 was spent on the search.

Madeleine's Fund was launched a fortnight after the child vanished from a holiday flat in Praia da Luz, southern Portugal, on 3 May 2007.

One of the fund's directors said donations have since dropped off.

Money flooded in from around the world when the story dominated the headlines in the summer of 2007.

But despite a massive police operation and a huge publicity campaign led by her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, their daughter has not been found.

The couple insist they will continue to believe Madeleine, who was nearly four when she disappeared, is still alive until presented with firm evidence to the contrary.

'Entirely appropriate'

Accounts filed to Companies House show donations in the period to 31 March last year totalled 1,846,178, including 64,078 from sales of T-shirts and wrist bands.

The 815,113 spent on the hunt for the three-year-old, from Rothley, Leicestershire, included 250,000 search fees for the likes of Spanish private detectives Metodo 3, 111,522 for legal costs and 123,573 for campaign management.

Everyone who has so generously donated money can be assured that every penny has been accounted for and has been, entirely appropriately, spent one way or another on the search for Madeleine
Family spokesman Clarence Mitchell

Mr McCann's brother John, who is one of the fund's directors, wrote in the foreword to the accounts: "As expected, the level of donations has fallen over time, although we have a number of loyal donors continuing their support.

"Income in the new financial year is currently significantly lower than at the same time last year. However, our expenses are ongoing and likely to increase."

For legal reasons Madeleine's Fund was set up as a not-for-profit limited company rather than a charity.

Its objectives are to secure Madeleine's safe return, to ensure that anyone involved in her disappearance is brought to justice, and to provide support to her family.

There was controversy in October 2007 when it emerged the McCanns had used money from the fund to pay two mortgage payments on their Rothley home.

Speaking about the publication of the accounts, McCann family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "Everyone who has so generously donated money to help find Madeleine can be assured that every penny has been accounted for and has been, entirely appropriately, spent one way or another on the search for Madeleine.

"The accounts have been independently audited and are entirely transparent."

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