£1 million reward offered in search for British girl

A Scottish businessman has offered a reward of £1 million ($2.2 million Cdn) for information leading to the return of a three-year-old girl believed to have been abducted from a vacation resort in Portugal.

A Scottish businessman has offered a reward of £1 million ($2.2 million Cdn) for information leading to the return of a three-year-old British girl who went missing eight days ago at a vacation resort in Portugal.

The parents of Madeleine McCann received news of the offer from Stephen Winyard, a 57-year-old father of three, through the Times newspaper.

Winyard, who lives in Monaco and owns a health spa, said he felt frustrated that more wasn't being done to find the little girl. He was also moved after seeing photographs of her distraught parents, he said.

It's unclear whether Portugal's laws will allow the offer to be formally put to the public.

In anothershow of support, soccer star David Beckhamfilmed a televised appealfor Madeleine's safe returnon Friday, a day before her fourth birthday.The former England soccer captain, now playing forReal Madrid, holds up a photograph of the girl and appeals forinformation from the public.

Karen and Gerry McCann of Rothley, Leicestershire, told police they had left their daughter alone with her younger twin brother and sister in their ground-floor room on the night she disappeared. They said they were 100 metres away having dinner and had been checking on the children every half-hour.

Search called off around resort

Portuguese police investigating the disappearance, meanwhile,announced on Thursday nightthey have called off their search around Praia da Luz, the Algarve resort where Madeleine disappeared.

Investigators told reportersthe trail had gone cold in the town and surrounding countryside, but police were still checking surveillance video taken from several locations. They summoned the girl's parents on Thursday to scan the footage for any sign of their daughter.

Local media say police are particularly interested in footage taken at a gas station near the resort. It was recorded the night of the girl's disappearance and shows two men and a woman driving a car with a British licence plate.