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Madeleine: police to scour wasteland

Posted by cotojo on June 14, 2007

Portuguese police are investigating an area a few miles from where missing British girl Madeleine McCann was abducted after a tip-off from a Dutch source.

Madeleine McCann
Missing since 3 May 2007

Leading Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf received an anonymous letter containing clues regarding the whereabouts of four-year-old Madeleine. Police are taking the letter very seriously, because it was apparently written by the same person who last year sent a letter providing the exact location of the two murdered Belgian girls Stacey and Nathalie.

The recent letter says Madeleine can be found in Portugal, not far from the hotel room she was abducted from on 3 May this year. It says that she lies buried “north of the road under branches and rocks, around six to seven metres off the road” in a barren and deserted hilly landscape.

Crosses on a map that came with the letter show the location of her body. De Telegraaf has handed the letter over to Dutch police who handed it over to detectives in Portugal. 

The McCann family has enjoyed broad public support following the abduction of their daughter. A British businessman has offered a reward of 1.5 million euros for the golden tip on Madeleine. The famous football players David Beckham and Cristianao Ronaldo have appeared on television to appeal for her release. 

Police in Portugal are now preparing to scour wasteland after a tip-off that Madeleine McCann’s body could be buried there.

Officers have not yet started a search because they are concerned the co-ordinates are not specific enough.

It is understood that the Portuguese Policia Judiciaria made a formal request to the GNR – a separate section of the police – to work together on the investigation.

Chief Inspector Olegario Sousa said the claims were being taken seriously and “everything necessary” was being done to validate the allegation.

“There have been exchanges between Dutch police and us,” said Mr Sousa.

“The information indicated an area nine miles from the place of the disappearance of the little child.

“It is not far from Praia da Luz. We are checking the information like we check everything in this case for importance.”

Asked if any search would involve digging, he said: “If the information gives us a precise location where we can look, we will do it.”

A map from Dutch website routenet.nl came with the letter, with crosses marked on it.

The letter claimed her body could be found up a dirt track north of Odiaxere.

A source close to the family said they were with Portuguese police when news of the letter came through.

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