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Madeleine McCann was abducted from a room at a holiday resort in Portugal on May 3, 2007.
Below is more information regarding Madeleine's abduction. If you have any
information regarding this case, please contact
A photo of Madeleine McCann
Taken hours before she was abducted.
Police search new area for Madeleine McCann
British police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann are focusing
their attention on a new patch of scrubland close to where she went missing in Portugal seven years ago.
Officers in Metropolitan Police uniform were seen on Friday studying a
flat area of ground at the opposite end of the area which has seen activity over the past week.
The area of scrubland in Praia da Luz on the Algarve has been marked in various
places with tape to highlight areas of interest to police.
Officers could be seen examining the uneven ground inside
one marked-out area, which was covered with long grass.
The search entered its fifth day, with officers previously
focusing on a hole which had been covered in undergrowth.
Forensics officers sifted through soil in large sieves inside
a white tent set up to cover the void, which was thought to have been used as a children’s den.
An item of clothing, believed to be a man’s sock, was removed
from the scene but was thought to have been ruled out of the investigation.
Yesterday, Madeleine’s parents said they were “encouraged” by
the progress made by police as they search for clues as to what
happened to her after she disappeared from the resort in May 2007, aged three.
Writing on the Official Find Madeleine Campaign Facebook page, Kate
and Gerry McCann thanked their followers for the support they have received.
“We are being kept updated on the ongoing work in Portugal and are
encouraged by the progress,” the message said.
“Thank you for continuing to stand by us and supporting our efforts to get Madeleine home.”
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Paedophile suspected of abducting Madeleine McCann linked with attacks on five other British girls
A paedophile suspected of abducting Madeleine McCann has been linked with attacks on another five British girls.
They include a ten year old who was sexually assaulted in Praia da Luz two years before three-year-old Madeleine
vanished from the resort in the Algarve, British police revealed yesterday.
The attack took place in the ‘heart of the resort’ in 2005 but the victim, now thought to be 19, did not tell her
parents at the time.
She only came forward following an appeal by Scotland Yard last month about a lone sex offender already thought to
have targeted 12 British families holidaying in the region between 2004 and 2010.
Their apartments were broken into and five young girls were assaulted in their beds by a predator who police believe
may be a local binman described as ‘smelly and pot-bellied’.
Since the appeal, six other British families have come forward to report that their children aged six
to 12 fell victim to the offender over the same period.
Five of those children — including the ten year old molested in Praia da Luz — were sexually assaulted and
there was one ‘near miss’ when the intruder was disturbed in a neighbouring resort.
Police have received 500 calls about the mystery man said to have ‘a vile interest in young, white, female children’.
The latest development comes as police announced that they are about to begin operational activity on the ground in
Portugal, raising hopes that arrests could be imminent. Detectives are preparing to fly out to Portugal in the next
fortnight in a move which will coincide with the anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance.
They hope to be able to arrest and quiz suspects but any formal interviews will be conducted by
Portuguese police with Met officers sitting in.
After months of stalling, the Portuguese authorities are set to give the go-ahead by the end of
the week on three letters of request from Scotland Yard which are thought to include the questioning and arrest of suspects.
Detectives hope the breakthrough will mean British and Portuguese officers can act within days. But they have still to
agree to a timescale with the Portuguese authorities which have refused to mount a joint investigation with their
British counterparts, preventing Scotland Yard detectives from carrying out their own activities in Portugal.
It emerged yesterday that the Portuguese have already snubbed a number of requests from Scotland Yard’s Operation
Grange, set up in 2011 to investigate the toddler’s disappearance.
One key thing detectives want to establish is if there are any local police files on the break-ins, now
totalling 18, of British tourists’ apartments around the Algarve.
Astonishingly, local police knew about 14 of them at the time of Madeleine’s disappearance,
but dismissed any link as they were spread over a wide area and there were no attempts to abduct the children targeted.
Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood said the attack on the ten-year-old girl was particularly
significant because it “now takes us into” Praia da Luz. Madeleine disappeared from her
family’s holiday apartment on May 3, 2007, as her parents Kate and Gerry dined at a nearby restaurant.
DNA Twist In Hunt For Madeleine
DNA from a mystery sixth person has been found in the bedroom in Portugal
where Madeleine McCann was abducted, it was claimed yesterday.
Portuguese police have handed the sample to the national forensic laboratories,
the Instituto Nacional de Medicina Legal, according to local newspaper 24 Horas.
It does not match the DNA of Madeleine's parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, or her
Neither does the DNA match that of the only named suspect in the case, property
developer Robert Murat, the paper reported.
It quoted a source from the laboratory, who said: "There is a new suspect, there
is DNA which does not correspond to the family.
"It is an important step in the investigation, but the truth is that the DNA
collected does not have a name.
"In other words, we cannot make any connection between the material collected
and the suspects which we already have."
Meanwhile, the McCanns took their search to Spain yesterday and spoke in detail
for the first time about how they have privately thought the unthinkable.
Asked about the possibility that the four-year-old may be the prisoner of a
pedophile, Kate McCann struggled to control her emotions before replying: "It
is a more upsetting scenario than any other."
In Madrid, the McCanns were handed a letter from the family of Yeremi Vargas,
a 10-year-old boy who disappeared on Gran Canaria in March.
The gesture reduced Kate McCann almost to tears as it became poignantly clear
that the two mothers had been sharing their agony.
The letter said: "There is no one better than us to know what you are living
"Count on us for anything you may need. Be strong and keep the family together.
It is the best thing that we have."
The McCanns, holding hands throughout, spoke to the Spanish TV program Most
Wanted, a daily show about missing people.
The couple, both 38-year-old doctors from Leicestershire, this week will go
to Berlin, Amsterdam and Morocco to continue their desperate search.
Sunday Herald Sun (3-6-2007)
Madeleine McCann Suspect Details Released
Portuguese police hunting for missing British child Madeleine McCann last
night issued their first detailed description of a possible suspect.
He was seen walking in the area of Praia da Luz at around 9.30pm on the night
that the four-year-old was snatched from her bed in a holiday complex in the
resort three weeks ago.
Police described him as white, approximately 35 to 40 years old, of medium
build and 176 centimetres tall.
They said he was wearing a dark jacket, light beige trousers and dark shoes.
The Policia Judiciaria said the man was seen "carrying a child or an object
that could have been taken as a child".
Chief Inspector Olegario Sousa urged anyone who had seen the man to come
He said witnesses were interviewed yesterday and the day before.
The information came to light as Madeleine's parents said they were convinced
she was still alive and vowed never to abandon the search for her.
In formal interviews with British TV channels for the first time since their
daughter disappeared on May 3, Kate and Gerry McCann defended their decision
to leave her unguarded while they had dinner.
But they said the guilt would always be with them.
“If anything really bad had happened we would have found her by now,” Gerry
McCann told BBC television.
“I'm confident and believe strongly that we will find her. It's not hard to
continue believing that. She's our daughter and we love her more than anyone
can possibly imagine.
“The alternative would be giving up and we will not give up our search.”
Britain has been gripped by the McCann's tragedy and the photograph of the
blonde-haired, wide-eyed child has rarely been off the front pages of British
newspapers since her abduction.
She was snatched in the evening from a holiday resort apartment as her parents
ate at a tapas bar about 100m away, in sight of the apartment.
They said they were checking on her every half hour.
The parents, both medics, said they would remain in Portugal until Madeleine
was found and said they believed the public held the key to finding her.
Supporters of the family, who have flown out to Portugal to help them in the
search, have printed and distributed thousands of posters of the child and urged
anyone who might have any information to come forward.
“We believe it's the public that holds the key to this,” said Gerry McCann.
“Someone knows something. We would urge anyone who knows
anything to come forward ... if they haven't already done so.”
Following the disappearance, British newspapers were full of
debate about whether the parents had done the right thing by
leaving the children alone.
“I think at worse we were naive,” Kate McCann told Sky television.
“We are very responsible parents.”
Her husband added: “For us it really wouldn't be any much
different to having dinner in your garden in the proximity
of the location.”
He told the BBC: “If you thought for a minute that someone
could abduct your child, of course you wouldn't have left them.”
The Last Photo Of Missing Maddie
Sitting beside a pool in her pink sunhat and with a huge smile on her
face - this is the last photograph of little Madeleine McCann before
The photograph, in which she poses with her father Gerry and sister
Amelie, was taken by her mother Kate just seven hours before she was
snatched from a holiday villa in Portugal.
The family released the image today in a new push to keep the case
in the spotlight and hopefully spark fresh leads, three weeks after
a family holiday turned into every parent's nightmare.
Madeleine was taken from her bed as her British parents, both 38,
were dining with friends close to their holiday apartment.
The McCanns remain convinced their daughter is alive and have gone
to extraordinary lengths to keep their daughter's case in public minds.
They have set up a website www.findmadeleine.com on which Mr McCann
posts a blog and are planning a media blitz around Europe to raise awareness.
"We need to start finalising our plans for interviews in areas of
Europe where the coverage of Madeleine's disappearance has been
limited,'' Mr McCann said today.
JK Rowling Lifts Reward To $9m
AUTHOR JK Rowling has pledged a massive reward for information leading to
the return of abducted British girl Madeleine McCann, topping the $2.5 million
offered by a British businessman.
The missing girl had her fourth birthday on Saturday, an emotional flashpoint
that caused her mother Kate to break down and left her unable to deliver a public
message asking for help.
Billionaire author Rowling's offer was made to the News of the World under the
condition the amount was not revealed, however the newspaper said it topped
the $2.5 million offered by businessman Stephen Winyard.
The offer brings the total pledged by British celebrities to help find the
missing girl to $9 million.
Madeleine's parents were having dinner in a restaurant only a stone's throw
from the apartment where they had been staying when they returned to find
their daughter was missing 10 days ago.
Her two-year-old twin siblings Sean and Amelie were also sleeping in the
apartment but were unharmed.
Police in Portugal have tried to discourage the rewards, believing it could
prejudice the investigation under Portuguese law, but that has not stopped a
variety of British celebrities coming forward to offer huge sums for
the child's safe return.
Rowling has an affinity with the area where Madeleine went missing,
marrying a Portuguese TV journalist who hails not far from Praia da Luz,
where she went missing.
The author also gave birth to her first child, Jessica, in Portugal.
With mum Kate unable to read a statement she had planned on Madeleine's
fourth birthday, it was left to dad Gerry to call for help and thank
those who had put up the rewards.
"We are very happy and pleased with what you are doing," he said.
"Anything that can be done to publicise that Madeleine is missing and
help with the search is very welcome."
Joining Rowling and Madeleine's parents, who have already offered their
own $250,000 reward, are celebrities such as Sir Richard Branson ($250,000),
television star Simon Cowell ($125,000), soccer player Wayne Rooney ($62,500),
the England cricket team ($50,000), club soccer bosses Bill Kenwright (Everton)
and Eggert Magnusson (West Ham United) and businessmen Sir Philip Green ($625,000),
Sir Tom Hunter ($250,000), Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou and John Hargreaves. News of the
World has offered $625,000.
Despite the massive rewards, there remains no evidence of firm leads.
Portuguese police are operating under a news blackout but have been actively
continuing the investigation.
Nine people - all thought to be British - have been questioned, including
the McCanns, who were re-interviewed late into Thursday night and the early
hours of Friday morning.
Courier Mail (14-5-2007)
Madeleine 'Abducted To Order'
TWO British sex crime experts have arrived in Portugal to help find the
kidnapper of missing Madeleine McCann, as police sought dozens of
pedophiles in the area.
British detectives compiled a list of every person on the Sex Offenders
Register who told police they were travelling to the country after
Portuguese police provided a description of a British man wanted for
questioning over Madeleine's disappearance.
A computer-generated impression of the suspect shows a white man, 170cm tall,
aged 35 to 40, with short, dark hair.
A Leicestershire Constabulary spokeswoman said detectives were collating the
information and forwarding it to officers in Portugal.
Portuguese officers have examined records at every hotel in Praia
da Luz and the nearby town of Lagos to gather information on every
visitor from the Midlands.
The latest move came as a British tourist claimed that two weeks
ago she saw a man trying to steal a pram at the resort where Madeleine went missing.
Amanda Mills, 34, of Basildon, Essex, said she reported the incident
to police last week after reading about the missing girl.
"It was late at night," Ms Mills said yesterday.
"This guy came along and put his hands on a pushchair
outside somebody's apartment.
"He didn't even look to see if there was a child in it."
Portuguese police told British officers they believe the man
who abducted Madeleine from the bed of her holiday apartment was
a tourist from Britain or an expatriate linked to a
network of pedophiles in the country.
Portugal is known to be a favoured destination for British pedophiles.
Reports in Portugal suggest that Madeleine, four on Saturday,
had been "abducted to order".
The Correio da Manha newspaper says: "One of the most substantial possibilities
that the Policia Judicial is investigating is that this was paid for and
commissioned by an international pedophile, probably of British origin."
Detectives from the sex abuse and homicide unit in Lisbon went to the
holiday region yesterday to take charge of the investigation after
growing criticism that police had been slow to react to Madeleine's
disappearance and had failed to make progress in tracking her abductor.
Two British behavioural analysts from the Child Exploitation and Online
Protection Centre, which combats pedophiles, were sent in response to
a request from the Lisbon Government.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said that their arrival would ensure
a full range of experts was available to explore "every possible avenue"
that may have led to Madeleine's disappearance.
One of the two British experts is the esteemed forensic psychologist Joe
Sullivan who has helped police in Britain and Europe to investigate child
sex murder, abduction, organised pedophile rings and under-age internet pornography.
At another chaotic press conference at Portimao Town Hall yesterday, the
new Portuguese head of the investigation, Chief Inspector Oligeario Sousa,
said about 500 apartments at and near the holiday resort complex where Madeleine
was abducted had been inspected.
The search area now extends to about 15km.
Mr Sousa said: "Hundreds of people have been contacted - both Portuguese and
foreign nationals and more than 100 have been formally interviewed."
The officer appealed for understanding from the British public for the fact
that Portuguese secrecy laws prevent police from providing more information
on the investigation.
Detectives have ruled out a kidnap for ransom. And there is nothing in the
family history to suspect a revenge motive.
Madeleine, from Rothley, near Leicester, disappeared when she was left with
her brother and sister, two-year-old twins Sean and Amelie, in a holiday apartment.
Her parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, both 38, had been dining in a nearby
restaurant and checking on them regularly.
Yesterday, Mr McCann and his wife visited the Nossa Senhora da Luz
(Our Lady of Light) Roman Catholic church, where they had taken Mass on Sunday,
to pray privately for their daughter's return.
Ms McCann, a GP, was again clutching the Cuddle Cat toy that Madeleine had
taken to bed with her.
At the same time, about 300 colleagues of the couple offered prayers at
Glenfield Hospital, in Leicester, where Mr McCann is a consultant cardiologist.
Villagers in Rothley held a silent vigil yesterday in a show of
solidarity with the family.
People were encouraged to light a candle or to tie a red ribbon
around railings at the war memorial on the village green.
The Australian (10-5-2007)
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