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Mother Of Missing Girl Slams Extra Funding Given To Madeleine McCann Case

The mum of another missing child has slammed the Home Office’s decision to award the Madeleine McCann investigation an extra £150,000 of funding – meaning the case will have cost nearly £12 million so far.

The mum of 14-year-old Charlene Downes, who went missing in 2003, has hit out at the news stating her daughter has been ‘forgotten’.

Karen Downes told The Sun: “I feel very angry that other children – Charlene and so many others – are being forgotten. A child goes missing in the UK every three minutes. What about all those others who never come home again?”

told The Sun: "I feel very angry that other children - Charlene and so many others - are being forgotten. A child goes missing in the UK every three minutes. What about all those others who never
Mum of missing girl slams extra funding of Maddie McCann case Credit: PA

Madeleine went missing while on holiday with her family in 2007 when she was 3 years old and her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, haven’t given up their search.

Mother Of Missing Girl Slams Extra Funding Given To Madeleine McCann Case
Mum of missing girl slams extra funding of Maddie McCann case Credit: PA

Karen said: “If they are going to plough money into the search for Madeleine, then they should do the same for all the children who are missing. She didn’t even go missing in this country – it’s really a matter for the Portuguese police, and yet the money just keeps on rolling in for the search.

“There were reports that Charlene had been groomed and drawn into the sex trade which broke my heart. It was suggested in court that her body had been cut up and mixed into kebabs. It was horrific.

“It was during the trial that Madeleine McCann went missing and it was plastered all over the newspapers and the TV. It was a global story. I was devastated for her parents. But I also wondered why Charlene’s disappearance hadn’t had the same attention.

“If we’d had that kind of coverage, maybe she would have been found, before it was too late. I will never know. It just doesn’t seem fair on my Charlene.”

Charlene went missing in 2003 in her hometown of Blackpool on 1 November and only last year police finally released the CCTV footage that last showed Charlene alive.

Mother Of Missing Girl Slams Extra Funding Given To Madeleine McCann Case
Mum of missing girl slams extra funding of Maddie McCann case Credit: PA

The footage is believed to have gone ‘unnoticed’ by police for 13 years and shows Charlene in Blackpool with her sister. The pair went home after this footage was captured, but it’s believed Charlene returned to the town that evening.

Since her disappearance police have revealed they believe Charlene was a victim of abuse after it was found that around 60 school girls were groomed by takeaway workers who would give the youngsters food, alcohol and cigarettes in order to gain sexual favours.

Karen has now written a book, ‘Sold in Secret’ which tells the story of her daughter’s disappearance.

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