Authorities began searching immediately when called. They continued their search and had their leaves cancelled to continue the search on nights and weekends. They initially thought she had wandered away and based their search on available information. The changed strategy as the investigation continued and they pursued all credible leads.
There was lots done to try and find Madeleine McCann, if not too much. The expense of trying to find her is rediculous, just because she has been in the news. Many other people are kidnapped and are simply ignored by the media, and therefore not concentrated that much on by law enforcement.
While family members may feel that law enforcement officials were lax in their jobs when it came to locating Madeleine McCann, there are a limited number of law officials that can be spared to continue the search for the missing child. While her disappearance is a tragic loss for the family, they must also realize that after a specific number of days with no leads, the officials must continue on with their responsibilities to help protect the people of Portugal from crimes that run rampant if they focus only one one specific case. The reality is that after so many hours have passed and there is no leads the case becomes cold and the hopes of finding the missing child decrease with each passing hour.
An area about 1 mile from the last known sighting of Madeleine McCann has yet to be searched. This wooded and grassy area may have been her final resting place after seven years of being considered "missing." It is outright ridiculous, in my opinion, that police have yet to search this area. In fact, it should have been one of the primary sites for investigation.