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Missing Maddie – Latest News 20th January

Posted by cotojo on January 20, 2008

Police files on the disappearance of Madeleine McCann are likely to remain secret for another three months, according to the spokesman for the girl’s parents. Lawyers for official suspect Robert Murat are seeking to have the files opened up because it is now eight months since he was named as an “arguido”.

But on Friday, Portuguese detectives asked for the case’s secrecy limit to be extended beyond the usual eight-month limit that starts once police have identified a formal suspect.

A spokesman for Kate and Gerry McCann, said the couple expected authorities to agree to the extension. He went on to say that they are working on the basis that there will be another three months of official secrecy.

Portuguese law prevents the McCanns from speaking about police investigations into the disappearance of their daughter.

Madeleine vanished from the family’s holiday apartment in the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz on May 3.

Robert Murat, a British man who lives near the apartment from which Madeleine disappeared, has denied any involvement in the case. Asked whether his client would be cleared of his status as a formal suspect, his lawyer said that he didn’t know anything, but would like the arguido status to be lifted.

On Sunday 13th January, a five-year-old girl went missing from Huelva, on the Spanish border, 120 miles from where Maddie disappeared.

Mari Luz Cortes’s family believe she was kidnapped outside her home in Huelva, 25 miles from the border with Portugal. Mari was last seen at a sweet stall 100 yards from her home on Sunday afternoon after going to buy a packet of crisps from a local shop. Her family, who raised the alarm after searching for her themselves when she failed to return, are said to fear she has been abducted.

Officers have been scouring the area for the girl, and Portuguese police have also been carrying out searches on their side of the border.

The McCanns’ spokesman has said there were ‘comparisons’ that could be made, but also said that it was too early to say if the two cases were linked. He added that detective agency Metodo 3 are working very closely with the Spanish police in the first instance, and with the family to establish whether there are any links or similarities

Meanwhile, investigators in Portuguese are planning to re-interview friends of the McCanns. The friends were on holiday with the McCann family in Praia da Luz when Maddie vanished. They are key witnesses in the case and reports claim Portuguese detectives are prepared to fly to the UK to sit in on fresh questioning of them by British police.

Portuguese authorities are also seeking the assistance of a Europe-wide body in securing the help of the authorities in Britain. The Portuguese public prosecutor contacted Eurojust – the judicial co-operation agency – at the beginning of January. A spokesman for Eurojust has confirmed that they have been asked to be the go-between for the Portuguese and the UK authorities, but will not be releasing any details.

A new sketch of the man who could be behind the abduction of Madeleine McCann has been revealed. A police artist drew the likeness after a Sunday tabloid tracked down a holidaymaker, Gail Cooper, who reported seeing a ‘creepy man’ hanging around the apartments in Praia da Luz, Portugal, prior to the abduction on May 3 last year, and it has also been revealed that a 12-year-old girl, has come forward to back up her story.

The photofit shows a man with long hair, bushy eyebrows and a moustache.

Artists Impression of Suspect

A friend of the McCanns – Jane Tanner – who gave a description to police of someone she spotted carrying a child from the Algarve resort on the night Madeleine vanished – told the paper the new picture resembled the man she saw.

The McCanns’ spokesman has said that the image had been passed to police and the family believe the picture could be an important breakthrough in the hunt for Madeleine.

Portuguese police have known about Gail Cooper’s description since May, but it has only now been made public after the McCann’s own investigators began to re-interview witnesses.

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Posted in Madeleine McCann, Missing Maddie, News | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Missing Maddie – Latest News November 27th

Posted by cotojo on November 27, 2007

It is now 207 days since Madeleine McCann went missing.  
A tourist Isabel Gonzalez, claimed she saw Robert Murat’s girlfriend Michaela Walczuch and Madeleine in the remote town of Zaio, northern Morocco on June 15.
The claim was made made after recognising Michaela Walczuch, 34, on the TV news.  Metodo 3, the detective agency hired by Kate and Gerry McCann is investigating the claim and has said it picked up a ‘trail’ at the beginning of last month, and believe that Madeleine was snatched to order and is now in Morocco. 
Missing Maddie
The twist came as it emerged four-year-old Madeleine may have been handed by her kidnapper to a paedophile gang.
A Portuguese trucker also claims to have seen Maddie being passed over on May 5, two days after she vanished.   Detectives believe she was then smuggled to North Africa.
Private detectives had a call two weeks ago from the trucker who thought he saw Madeleine in Silves.  When he was shown photographs, he is reported to have told the detectives that the woman looked like Walczuch.
Ex-pat Murat, 34, remains an official suspect.  Detectives are investigating him, Walczuch and her estranged husband Luis Antonio –  who works as a pool cleaner with access to the complex in which Madeleine was staying.
Michaela Walczuch claims she was at a Jehovah’s Witness meeting four miles away when Maddie was abducted.  However,  church elder Brother Teofilo Castela said that she was thrown out of the church more than a year ago and no longer attends.
Another witness, who did not want to be named, also claimed she had not seen Walczuch all year. Portuguese detectives are probing claims that ex-pat Murat and Walczuch, both 34, were involved in Madeleine’s abduction.
Meanwhile,  Attorney General Fernando Jose Pinto Monteiro claimed that Madeleine was almost certainly killed by any kidnapper because of the intense publicity drive generated.
Portugal’s most senior police officer, Alipio Ribeiro, admitted last week that they do not have any solution at present, but lines of inquiry are being pursued.
A massive review of the case under the leadership of Paulo Rebelo.   He ordered a complete reconstuction of events on the night that Maddie disappeared and they are thought to be considering the possibility that she may have been killed by a mystery man seen running from the holiday flat with a child in a blanket.

Praia da Luz

If this is the case, this would be a complete u-turn on all previous claims and clear the parents of any complicity in the disappearance of their daughter and the disposal of her body. 
It has been reported that this theory is gaining strength and although there are still further DNA test results to come, they do not believe that they will yield any useful information.
McCann Family
It must be stressed that the McCann’s and Metodo 3 believe that Madeleine is still alive, and although the detective agency is not allowed to operate in Portugal, it is consistently returning to Morocco.






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Posted in Life, Madeleine McCann, Missing Maddie, News | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Missing Maddie – Latest News November 8th

Posted by cotojo on November 8, 2007

Kate and Gerry McCann have been given fresh hope that their daughter Madeleine is alive after learning of the discovery of a bag of clothes with a possible DNA link to their daughter.

Kate & Gerry McCann

The items are reported to have been found just over two weeks ago in a lay-by near Faro Airport in Portugal, an hour’s drive from Praia Da Luz where the four-year-old went missing on May 3.

It is understood the contents included a child’s T-shirt, a pencil case, a shower curtain, adult jeans and a blue fleece, and were handed to the Policia Judiciaria who passed it on to the Forensic Science Service in Birmingham.

After 10 days of analysis, experts there are said to have found traces of hair and skin with a partial DNA match to Madeleine on the adult clothes.

A spokesman for the McCann’s said that they could not comment on yet another speculative report, but trust that the police will follow up any potential lead that could indicate that Maddie was abducted.

A Spanish private detective hired by Gerry and Kate McCann has vowed to find missing Madeleine within five months. Francisco Marco has said that he believes the four-year-old is alive in Morocco and is already following up reported sightings of a blonde-haired girl with her distinctive right eye.

Maddie's distinctive right eye

The detective’s Spanish-based agency, Metodo 3, has been employed by the McCann’s on a six-month agreement to assist in the search for missing Maddie. The agency employs a team of 40 and have interviewed the McCann’s at length, coming to the conclusion that there is a case and they are convinced that Kate and Gerry McCann were not implicated in their daughters disappearance.

Mr.Marco is quoted as saying that that his team of specialists have assured him that the McCann’s are not hiding anything and he would not risk the prestige that his agency has gained over 23 years without being convinced there is a case.

Mr Marco, a father of two, also believes Madeleine was stolen to order from the family’s holiday villa in the Algarve.

The detective’s team has already investigated a sighting in Morocco of a blonde girl with the same distinctive mark in one eye as Madeleine but has so far failed to find Maddie.

Holiday complex

The McCann’s hopes were raised in September when a Spanish tourist took a photograph in the remote hillside village of Zinat, northern Morocco, of a blonde girl who looked like Madeleine.

Madeleine McCann suspect Robert Murat is said to be “absolutely not worried” despite a reported move by detectives to re-interview him.

Robert Murat

Paulo Rebelo, who heads the police inquiry, ordered a fresh interrogation of the Briton following his first inspection of the Portuguese holiday apartment from where Maddie went missing.

Paulo Rebelo

Murat, whose villa is just yards from the spot where Madeleine was abducted on May 3, has always denied any involvement in the four-year-old’s disappearance. He was made an official suspect in the case 10 days after Maddie went missing, but has not spoken to police for nearly three months.

The Portuguese press has reported that authorities are convinced that samples of hair and body fluid found in Murat’s house are those of Madeleine and that many clues pointed to the presence of Madeleine in that house.

Murat is one of three formal suspects in the Madeleine McCann investigation along with the child’s parents, Gerry and Kate.

Paulo Rebelo, recently appointed new head of the investigation, is said to have examined windows at the McCann’s former holiday apartment in Praia da Luz and paced out all possible escape routes during his inspection of the property. He is also reported to have walked the 100 yards to the villa Murat shares with his mother.

Gerry McCann has returned to work saying he had done everything he could to ensure the search for his daughter Madeleine goes on. Mr McCann, who has been on unpaid leave, will begin a phased return, starting on three half-days a week.

Missing Maddie

A Spanish newspaper has reported that two of the McCann’s friends who were on holiday with them, want to change their statements about the events of the evening of May 3rd. Four of the group are also concerned about being made official suspects in the case too, but these reports are uncorroborated.

The media appear to have backed off slightly with their campaign against the McCann’s but publish just enough to keep it going without sufficient evidence or proof of any kind to make some bold accusations.

Portuguese police are still waiting on results of some tests carried out by the Forensic Science Service in Birmingham. Results received so far have proved inconclusive but also means that investigators are entirely reliant on the FSS tests to provide any DNA breakthrough in the case.

Portuguese investigators have also said that it would take a miracle for them to build a case against the McCann’s and the Portuguese public prosecutor has said he would not ask for them to be re-interviewed as there was not enough evidence to implicate them in any wrong doing.

Two officers from Portugal’s Guarda Nacional Republicana have also blamed their bosses for not securing the apartment in the first hours of the investigation. They have said that vital evidence would have been lost with so many people going in and out of the apartment.

Related posts:
Timeline & Update June 2008
Update July 2008


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Posted in Life, Missing Maddie, News | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Missing Maddie – Latest News October 29th

Posted by cotojo on October 29, 2007

It has been reported that DNA tests on hair samples taken from missing Madeleine McCann’s twin siblings, Sean and Amelie, show no signs of any form of sedative having been used.  This gives added strength to the denial of sedatives having been given to the children by Kate and Gerry McCann.

Last week the McCann’s set up a new hotline staffed by private detectives in a new bid to help find missing Maddie.  The new appeal is concentrating on Portugal, Spain and north Africa as they believe that these are the most likely locations where Maddie may be.  In the first 3 days the hotline received 400 calls.

The new appeal has the full backing of the Portuguese and UK investigators.  The McCann’s have also welcomed the fresh approach taken by Paulo Rebelo, who is now heading the investigation in Portugal. 

However, the Portuguese press launched yet another scathing attack on the McCann’s stating that the whole appearance on Spanish TV was staged.  The newspaper involved employed a psychiatrist to analyse the recording who stated that the whole episode was staged and there was no sign of any emotion.

A new picture was released last week, drawn by a British forensic artist and based on evidence given by Jane Tanner, who has said that she saw a man carrying a child.  Although she told Portuguese police at the time, no e-fit was ever issued and it was never followed up properly.

The FBI trained expert spent several hours with Jane Tanner to ensure that the description was correct.  Jane is reported as having seen a man hurrying away from the holiday complex carrying a child.  The man is described as approx. 5ft 6in tall, aged about 35, of slim build and with dark hair curling around his collar.  He was wearing a maroon shirt, camel coloured trousers and black or brown shoes. 

There is no facial detail as Jane Tanner did not get a clear view of the man’s face as he hurried away.  Again, this is something that was done with the approval of the Portuguese investigators. 

It has also emerged that Kate and Gerry McCann’s interviews carried out by the Policia Judiciaria were not recorded.  In Portugal this is not something that is done as a matter of routine as it is in the UK, and it also adds to fears that written records could be manipulated. 

It appears that statements given were written down, then translated, typed and then re-translated, so it is also possible that because of differences in languages that interpretations could also vary.

A team of private detectives who are also investigating Maddie’s disappearance, believe that maddie was abducted ‘to order’ by pedophiles and then taken to Morocco.

The private detectives have a vast amount of information at their disposal and are working from Barcelona.   They are believed to be creating a list of Portuguese pedophiles and then sending agents to track their movements before and after Maddies disappearance.

This has been regarded as the first credible theory of what happened on the night of May 3rd, by one of Europe’s leading private investigation companies.

Portuguese investigators are still planning on re-interviewing all of the McCann’s friends who were at the holiday complex in Praia da Luz, and are still waiting on further DNA test results from UK scientists.


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Missing Maddie – Latest News October 23

Posted by cotojo on October 23, 2007

Portuguese detectives are to travel to the UK to re-interview the McCann’s friends who were present when Madeleine went missing.  It is believed that officers from the Leicestershire police will carry out the interviews using questions written by the Portuguese team. 

Those to be re-interviewed are Rachael and Matthew Oldfield, Jane Tanner, Russell O’Brien, David and Fiona Payne, and Mrs Payne’s mother, Dianne Webster. 

Portuguese sources are also saying that DNA found in the car hired by the family after Maddie’s disappearance indicates that a body had been in the vehicle.  Apparently, this was found on the underside of carpet in the boot of the car.  Further testing is still being carried out in the UK by the Forensic Science Services.

It has also been reported that investigators have seized the laptop used by Gerry McCann and that Judge Pedro Frias has given authorisation for them to access the contents, which is required under Portugal’s secrecy laws.  The Judge has also given permission to seize Kate McCann’s diary and other personal items used by the couple.

It is understood that the laptop was loaned to Gerry McCann by a local shop and not his own personal machine.  A spokesman for the family has said that there would only be a few notes and telephone numbers on it and that it had rarely been used.  It has also been reported that Gerry’s own personal laptop, which he took to Portugal, has not been seized.

Meanwhile, police divers and search teams have been searching the forest and isolated villas surrounding the Barragem da Bravura dam.  

A former Scotland Yard Chief has said that the Policia Judiciaria have mishandled the case from the outset.  The apartment was not sealed off and preserved for forensic analysis and many items were removed prior to any forensic tests being done.

Forensic experts have also found that some of the evidence collected had been contaminated by cigarette ash from detectives in the apartment.

Chief Inspector Antonio Teixeira, Portugal’s top murder investigator, has now joined the team in Praia da Luz.  The Policia Judiciaria believe that this shows that this is a murder investigation and that the McCann’s are still the main suspects.

A British DNA expert has stated that had the apartment been sealed at the outset of this investigation, and proper forensic evidence obtained, it may well have proved the McCann’s innocence.  It was also revealed that large rubbish bins around the holiday complex were also emptied as normal on the night of Maddie’s disappearance, and these may have also held some vital clues.


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