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Posts Tagged ‘Praia da Luz’

Missing Maddie – May 2009, 2 Years On and New Image

Posted by cotojo on May 2, 2009

Two years ago, on May 3rd, 2007, Madeleine McCann was abducted from the families holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal.

There has been little progress since the McCann’s were released and the charges against them dropped, and the files handed over by the Portuguese authorities had no clues to assist with the continuing investigation.

Earlier this year, the private investigators working on behalf of the McCann’s arranged to film a reconstruction of events in Praia da Luz. Gerry and Kate McCann went to Praia da Luz along with friends Jane Tanner and Matthew Oldfield who were also there on the night Maddie vanished without trace.

On May 7th at 9pm GMT, the reconstruction will be shown on UK TV and will include information that has not been made public as it was buried deep within the police files and given no significance. But there may be a clue in there somewhere to jog people’s memories.

The  programme will also feature interviews with Gerry McCann, Jane Tanner and Matthew Oldfield and will also be available on the Find Madeleine website. Negotiations are also underway to have the film broadcast across Europe and Portugal.

Missing Maddie in 2007

Missing Maddie in 2007

Madeleine was 3 years old when she disappeared shortly before her fourth birthday and this image is known worldwide as the picture of ‘Missing Maddie’.

Two years on and this little girl will have changed much in appearance and with the expertise of a forensic imaging artist from the United States’ National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children below is the ‘age progression’ photo created with computer technology and pictures of both parents at around the same age, but one thing will not have changed and that is the iris in her right eye.

Missing Maddie age progression image

Missing Maddie 'age progression' image

There is also a short video clip showing the ‘age progression on

There is also a new Poster of Support which can be downloaded from the Bring Madeleine Home website. Click the link or the image below.

Dont Give Up On Me - New Poster

Don't Give Up On Me - New Poster

This young child, along with many others, is still missing, there is no evidence to suggest otherwise and the search continues with sightings around the world but all have been false alarms.

Someone, somewhere, knows the truth of what happened on the fateful evening when Maddie disappeared. There has been no evidence to substantiate claims that the parents murdered their own daughter and what they did by leaving young children alone may have been morally wrong, but that does not mean that they were guilty as the press and prosecuters claimed at the time.

The prosecutors dropped the charges and the press payed out large sums in compensation for their wild accusations.

A Europe-wide alert system for missing children has received a £900,000 European Commission handout on the eve of the second anniversary of Madeleine McCann’s disappearance.

The Mccann’s campaigned for closer co-operation between EU States and took their case tothe European Parliament twice last year which gained support from MEPs for increased action to set up a US-style ‘Amber Alert’ early warning system.

In the US it has led to the safe return of hundreds of children when the alarm has been raised across state lines and a similar network across 27 European countries could have helped raise awareness faster about Madeleine’s apparent abduction.

The European Commission funding will be used to support work on several EU-wide projects aimed at improving joint child abduction procedures and to put into place a system in place that will transmit the pictures and details of an abducted child similar to the ‘Amber Alert’ used in the US.

European countries fail to cooperate effectively when a child goes missing and the first 72 hours are crucial.

This is still a search for a little girl who has disappeared and  the witch hunt against the parents has finished, although there are still those who maintain their guilt. Until there is proof of guilt then they are innocent, this is the way the law works and it is sad that they, along with other parents have to be put through such trauma when a child disappears.

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Posted in Missing Maddie, Missing Maddie 2 Years On, New Image of Maddie | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments »

Missing Maddie – Latest News Case Shelved July 21,2008

Posted by cotojo on July 21, 2008

Portuguese authorities today have shelved the investigation into missing Madeleine McCann after almost 15 months since Maddie disappeared. They have said that they found no evidence that any of the suspects in the case had committed any crime or were involved in Maddies disappearance.

This now means that Gerry McCann, Kate McCann and Robert Murat are no longer arguidos – official suspects – in the case having now been formally cleared.

The McCann’s have been informed of the statement made by Portugal’s attorney-general, Fernando Jose Pinto Monteiro but have made no comment at this moment in time, but it will certainly be a relief for them to no longer be official suspects in their daughter disappearance.

Should any new evidence come to light the investigation could be re-opened.

The disgraced former head of the investigation, Goncalo Amaral, has written a book about the investigation, ‘True Lies’ which is due to be published this week and is promising “explosive revelations” about the inquiry. It is reported that it contains allegations that Madeleine died accidentally in her parents’ care and that they disposed of her body to cover up the death.

Mr Amaral, made the decision to name the McCanns as official suspects in their daughter’s disappearance, and he was also widely criticised for focusing on the parents and not potential leads in the investigation.

He maintained his belief that Madeleine died in their holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, on May 3 last year. It was also rumoured that many of the leaks and smears to the media came from Mr Amaral and they stopped when he was sacked from the investigation last October. Mr Amaral took early retirement last month, but is also facing a perjury trial over an unrelated case,

The McCanns’ legal team expect the book to amount to pure speculation, and have said that they are more interested in being given access to the police files

The decision to close the case could also lead to the strict secrecy laws being lifted and would also open the files to public scrutiny as well as allowing Mr Amaral to publish his book.

No matter what happens, there is still a young girl missing, and the speculation as to whether she was abducted or murdered will undoubtedly continue.

This has been a very sad case and very drawn out, but the McCanns’ legal teams and investigators will continue the search for missing Maddie.

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Posted in Life, Maddie, Madeleine McCann, Missing Maddie, Missing Maddie - Latest News Case Shelved July 21 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Missing Maddie – Latest News July 7, 2008

Posted by cotojo on July 7, 2008

Today the parents of missing girl Madeleine McCann were due to take their fight to the High Court in London in a bid to get British police to release documents about the investigation into their daughters disappearance.

It was also thought that the hearing may have been adjourned after it emerged last week that the Portuguese police had handed their file to prosecutors with a recommendation that the case against the McCann’s be dropped due to lack of evidence.

However, the McCann’s have dropped the case after Leicestershire police agreed this morning to hand over the documents that they have. Leicestershire police force has been involved in the search for Madeleine since shortly after her disappearance on May 3rd, 2007 from the holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal.

Kate and Gerry McCann were not at the High Court and the judge, Mrs Justice Hogg said that she had not requested them to attend as they have already suffered enough and wished to ease their burden.

The judge also urged anyone with information about missing Maddie to come forward, saying that “there is one person who knows what has happened to her.”

The judge added: “I entreat that person, whoever they may be, to show mercy and compassion and come forward now and tell us where Madeleine is to be found. I hope she will be found soon, alive and well.”

Related Post:
Missing Maddie – Case Shelved July 21, 2008

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Posted in Life, Maddie, Missing Maddie, Missing Maddie - Latest News July 7 2008 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

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 »