The purpose of
this site is for information and a record of Gerry McCann's Blog
Archives. As most people will appreciate GM deleted all past blogs
from the official website. Hopefully this Archive will be helpful to
anyone who is interested in Justice for Madeleine Beth McCann. Many
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Portuguese police dossier, containing over 50 alleged
sightings of Madeleine, is released to the UK media in
late February - early March 2010 by the Portuguese
prosecutor in charge of the Maddie case process,
MADELEINE McCann could be 12,000 miles
away in New Zealand, it was revealed last night.
Police files kept secret for nearly two years
were obtained yesterday by the Daily Star.
They include grainy footage from a supermarket's
CCTV cameras that could show the missing
youngster Down Under.
A security guard at the store in Dunedin on New
Zealand’s South Island was convinced the child
She asked the girl her name and she replied in a
British accent: "Hailey." Then she was led away
by a portly man in shorts who grabbed her hand.
The security guard was so suspicious she
contacted Interpol who sent the images to
Portuguese police in July 2008.
But, because detectives archived the case nearly
two years ago, the photos were never released
and have been gathering dust in a 2,000-page
case file locked away inside a police HQ in the
Algarve resort of Portimao.
The evidence includes hundreds of sightings,
photographs and leads from the US to Hong Kong
collected since the investigation was shelved.
Shock revelations include an eyewitness account
by a French trucker threatened at gunpoint when
he tried to approach a girl he thought was
There is also a police report about a white
Mercedes van that travelled from Portugal to
Morocco by ferry and claims Madeleine was
snatched by a US-based Portuguese child
trafficker. Some informants suggested names for
those responsible for snatching the child who
vanished from her parents' holiday apartment in
the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz on May 3
The Daily Star has obtained the file by applying
to the state prosecutor.
Madeleine's doctor parents Kate and Gerry, both
41, have asked Home Secretary Alan Johnson, 59,
to order the case to be re-opened by a joint
team of Portuguese and British detectives.
Last night the McCanns were "extremely angry"
that the file had remained hidden.
Their spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "They
were shocked when they became aware of the scale
of the information that had come in and the lack
of action taken.
"There are potential leads in the file that are
now being followed up by our investigators.
"It's more than a pity that the file has just
sat there for so long and simply been marked
'not relevant' by the Portuguese."
Last month the McCanns won a legal action
banning future publication of a controversial
book about the case by the former head of the
investigation Goncalo Amaral, 49.
They plan to sue him for £1million for
But they insist the real damage his claims
caused was to stop people looking for Madeleine
in the belief she might be dead.
03 March 2010
A 2,000 page file has emerged providing evidence that
suggests shocking Portuguese police failings in the hunt
for Madeleine McCann. Child Protection Expert,
Mark Williams-Thomas picks through the document
that contains CCTV photos of Maddie and more than 50
Jon Gaunt: Next question I've got for
you is this; it's the, errr... Maddie McCann case. I
don't know if you've seen this: 'Unchecked'; 'Unsolved';
'Portugal cops ignored clues'. Several sightings of a
young girl, especially this one in Mu... errr... this
one in New Zealand, looks very much like her; they
ignored it! They ignored it! We'll be
talking to a top paedophile expert about this later in
the show, as well. The Portuguese police don't come
very... come out very well in this latest report about
the Maddie investigation and no matter what you think
about the McCanns, and whether or not they should have
left Maddie and the kids alone in that house that night,
you've got to feel for them, haven't you? Two years on,
when evidence like this is coming out. It looks like it
was never investigated. I want your views on
that, as well. 020 3364 7000.
Jon Gaunt: ...you may want to talk
about our next story, as well, which is about the
Madeleine McCann files. If you've seen the paper this
morning and, of course, it's all over the news, as
well... the TV news; there's been secret sightings of
the lost girl. A 2,000-page file has been buried away,
at a police headquarters, and it's providing real stark
evidence of shocking Portuguese failings in the
hunt for Madeleine McCann. It includes CCTV photos of
little girls who look like Maddie and hundreds of leads
including more than 50 possible sightings. It would
appear the Portuguese didn't actually
investigate any of these. Errr... Are we, errr... having
a go at a Portuguese police unnecessary or, you know, is
this something they should have done? Let's have a chat
with an expert about this, errr... Mark Williams-Thomas,
a ex-paedophile detective, of course, and now a expert
in child protection; he joins us now on the line. Hiya
Mark Williams-Thomas: Good morning,
JG: Now, to me, somebody who's not a
policeman with no police experience, I look at this
story this morning and I go crazy. I think: 'Hang on,
they didn't follow up these leads?'. What do you do as
an ex-copper, an ex-investigator, when you read a story
MWT: Well, Gerry and Kate haven't
spoken today but they must be pulling their hair out,
you know, now finding out about this information and we
were aware of a certain amount of information hasn't
been followed up but the stark reality of what was being
printed in... obviously, in the paper today, just goes
to show the incompetence and, you know, I've used that
word before when I've talked about, errr... the
Portuguese and I was obviously out there from the very,
very early days and I showed, you know, the fact that
they failed to preserve the crime scene. But the reality
is that each and every one of these lines of inquiry is
potentially a lead that may enable you to find what
happened to Madeleine, and where she is now. It is...
and I refer to this as being the jigsaw puzzle;
different people have different parts of this jigsaw
puzzle and what we need to do is pull it together and
I'm absolutely shocked, errm... that the Portuguese
police, and the criminal justice system, have discarded
some of this information, which might be quite crucial
to the investigation but, if nothing else, certainly
should have been followed up on.
JG: Should have been followed up on?
Even if they thought she was dead?
MWT: Absolutely. And what what we've
got here is; we've got a centred approach by the
investigator and we know that, errr... Goncalo Amaral
has got his focus and line of the inquiry and, errr...
the criminal justice system... lets not just focus on
him because, in fact, he's got senior officers, and
through the criminal justice system, to say: 'What are
the lines of inquiries we should have been following?'.
They've had their line of inquiry and any other
information which has come in, outside of that, they
have ignored. Now if... should this... if this inquiry
was to take place in the UK, through the senior
investigators, you know, policy book, there would have
been a clear policy as to the line of inquiry they were
going to be following and why they were ignoring other
lines of inquiry. It is a long time ago...
JG: But that would be written down,
would it, Mark?
MWT: It would be in a policy book in
the UK; the senior investigating officers make a very
clear decision process as to the lines of inquiry
they're following and why they're following those lines
of inquiries, and the other lines of inquiries that
they've chosen not to follow, because at any stage they
could revisit that and certainly, if it comes to a
criminal case, when you're in court, the defence might
turn round and say: 'Why didn't you follow this line of
inquiry?' and very often the policy book is used to show
why they didn't.
JG: So, explain to me then, so you've
got a policy book, and they might have had a policy
book, and then if something new comes up, you say: 'Ahh,
we'd better have a look at it anyway, even though it
goes against where we're going with the investigation at
MWT: Well, I think you... one would put
them into different categories, obviously sightings is a
slightly different element; what's the likelihood of her
being found in New Zealand, in the open, errm... that
period of time afterwards. And I, certainly... walking
through the High Street, errr... you know, in Guildford
in the period of time afterwards and I've seen...
certainly saw one girl, who I thought looked like
Madeleine, you know; she's fairly common in sight.
JG: Yeah, probably lots of us felt like
that, didn't we? Because we were all looking at one
MWT: Absolutely. So you put them into
one category. But the other category, and the
significant ones for me, is certainly in and around that
area in the days or certainly on the... of the day
itself, those are significant lines of inquiry. You
know, the person with the gun and as far as the
JG: Yeah, on the road, yeah...
MWT: ...you know, because, if nothing
else... and what ends up happening in major
investigations - and it's always the case - is you end
up detecting other criminal offences that occurred along
the way because there are other offences that occurred
that you start to investigate, simply because it might
connect with the investigation you've got and you end up
then dealing with those matters or passing them on to
somebody else to deal with. But let's get back to the
crux of this...
MWT: ...for many, many months now we've
been talking about Gerry and Kate and the focus and line
of inquiry has been drifted away. I want to see the line
of inquiry focus back on Madeleine. Madeleine is what is
important here. We've got to strike a relationship with
the Portuguese. Now sadly, some of the investigators,
errr... that Gerry and Kate have hired haven't formed
that relationship and I know that, certainly at one
stage, when I spoke them and said: 'Why are you not
dialoguing with the Portuguese police?' and they said:
'Well, they won't talk to us, you know, we're not
bothered to do that'. I think that's very sad and I
think what we need to go back to is through the criminal
justice system, through the Ministry in Portugal, and
say to them, you know: 'Let's work together to try and
find out where Madeleine is' because somebody out there
- even though it's years on - somebody out there has a
piece of that jigsaw and we need to pull it together
because Madeleine is... Madeleine was abducted by
somebody and somebody out there has that clue. We've got
to find it and the inquiries, such as The Sun, you know,
good on them to... to, errm... uncover this and find
this information out. Let's keep the pressure on and
say: 'Come on, somebody take responsibility'.
JG: So, do we assume from this then,
the Portuguese had just made their minds up very early
on that they weren't going to find her?
MWT: Yeah, I mean... I think... I don't
think it was quite that early on because I think in the
early stages I do think they thought she ran off. Then I
think they got a point where they thought there could
possibly be an abduction and then obviously the line of
inquiry focused towards Gerry and Kate and that was
after, you know, a couple of weeks. But... but, as soon
as they focused that line of inquiry, it's very clear -
and we know that from the court case recently - is that
that is where they focused their line of
inquiry. Any other investigation, any other element,
which distract... detracts away from that has been
ignored, and that is not keeping an open mind to an
JG: Okay, good talking to you, thank
you very much indeed...
MWT: Thanks, Jon.
JG: ...Mark Williams-Thomas, child
protection expert and ex-Scotland Yard detective. What
do you make of this? Just how incompetent have the
Portuguese police been? Pick up the phone and give us a
call. And you've got to feel, haven't you, this morning,
for Kate and Gerry.
Wellington - New Zealand police confirmed on Wednesday
that they had investigated a report that the missing
British child Madeleine McCann was seen in the South
Island city of Dunedin in December 2007.
They said the file on a young girl seen with a man
leaving a retail store, seven months after McCann
vanished from her family's holiday apartment in
Portugal, remained open.
The file was sent to Interpol, but Portuguese police in
charge of the investigation had not asked their New
Zealand counterparts to follow it up, Inspector David
Closed-circuit television images showed a child who was
said to have "had the appearance" of Madeleine McCann.
But police had been "unable to obtain any further
information or ongoing lines of inquiry", Campbell said.
According to the British newspaper the Daily Mail, the
man's behaviour aroused the suspicions of a female
security guard in the Dunedin shop and she approached
the girl to inquire about her identity.
The girl said her name was Hailey, but the security
guard believed she was actually Madeleine and reported
the incident to police.
The report was deemed "not relevant" in a file of a
series of sightings from around the world made public by
Portugese police, according to the Daily Mail.
It said the leads were all received and archived after
police in Algarve, Portugal, closed the case in July
2008. - Sapa-dpa
Dunedin Police say that they did receive
information from a member of the public who
believed she saw Madeleine McCann in a Dunedin
retail outlet in December 2007.
Acting Southern District Commander, Inspector
David Campbell, said police spoke with the
informant to establish what had been seen and
sought pictures from the retailer involved.
A report was filed by an attending officer and
police worked closely with the retailer to start
an inquiry and obtained security footage of the
child, who had the appearance of Madeleine
McCann, and the family with her.
Hard copies of the security pictures were given
to police. Police then requested electronic
copies but these were not available.
Police were unable to obtain any further
information or ongoing lines of inquiry.
The file was forwarded to Interpol and this is
correct procedure under international
agreements. The lead jurisdiction, in this case,
Portugal, directs how the case progresses and
has not asked NZ Police for any follow-up to
The file has remained open ever since, Inspector
Published: 10:35PM Wednesday March 03, 2010 Source: ONE News
The woman who made a sighting in New Zealand of
what she believes was missing British girl
Madeleine McCann, has spoken exclusively to ONE
Taryn Dryfhout was working as a checkout
operator at Warehouse store in south Dunedin in
late 2007 when a family of a man, a woman and a
boy and girl came to the checkout.
"I was stricken by the wee girl who looked just
like Madeleine McCann," she says.
Dryfhout spoke with the woman who had an English
accent, and then spoke to the girl.
"She had an English accent as well and she told
me that her name was Hayley and was quite
apprehensive...and sort've stammered over her
words when she was trying to think of her name,"
"She was just very shy and afraid."
Madeleine vanished from her room at the
Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz on May 3,
2007, just days before her fourth birthday.
Despite a global search effort, she has not been
Dryfhout described the man and woman with the
child as "a little bit suspicious".
"I spoke to the woman only, not the man, and she
seemed like she would rather I that I wasn't
speaking to her. She sort've tried to keep
ending the conversation...she was just in a
little bit of a hurry to get out I think."
Dryfhout describes the woman as being "bigger"
with short blond hair. She cannot remember the
details of the man very well, and says the boy
was older than the girl, perhaps 12 years old.
A short time after approaching the girl and her
parents, Dryfhout contacted her manager and the
She says after the store handed over security
camera footage she never heard anything more,
Information just released by a Portuguese court
shows Dryfhout's possible sighting and dozens of
others were filed away by Portuguese police and
London's Daily Mail reports the McCann family is
shocked and angry to hear for the first time of
the now possible sighting dating back two years,
and has labelled the footage of the child as
Dunedin police say they followed correct
procedure and said in a statement it was "unable
to obtain any further information or ongoing
lines of inquiry", and that the file remains
Now, two years after the footage was handed
over, police have once again spoken to Dryfhout,
asking her to remember details about the
sighting of the girl she believes was Madeleine.
"They started asking me questions I should have
been asked at the time. They asked me things
like 'how had the family paid for their
purchase?'...and they wanted quite detailed
descriptions of the people."
Dryfhout says she often thinks about the
sighting, especially when it resurfaces in the
news, and wonders if things would have been
different if it had been handled differently.
She says it did not occur to her at the time to
go to the media with what she had seen.
"I guess I thought that the police would take a
long time with the inquiry because it's an
overseas issue, and it was quite a few weeks
before I realised that I wasn't going to hear
anything at all."
Dryfhourt says her own attempts to find
Madeleine McCann's parents were unsuccessful,
though she did leave a message through a website
that appeared to be connected to the family.
She says it is disappointing that her possible
sighting was not followed through.
"I absolutely believe it was her. I have no
doubt in my mind."-----
ONE NEWS Exclusive... the woman who
believes she sighted missing girl Madeleine
McCann in a Dunedin supermarket speaks out
New Zealand police have
defended their lack of action over a possible sighting
of missing British girl Madeleine McCann, saying they
were never asked to do anything.
Inspector David Campbell said all details of the
December 2007 sighting were passed to Interpol and no
instructions came back for a follow-up investigation.
A girl matching the description of the then
four-year-old Madeleine was seen entering a supermarket
in the southern New Zealand city of Dunedin five months
after Madeleine disappeared from her family's holiday
apartment in Portugal.
Details of the incident emerged Wednesday when British
newspapers reported that a dossier from Portuguese
police, containing a series of sightings from around the
world that were never investigated, had been released to
the media following an application to a Portuguese
The files included security camera footage of a girl
"very like" Madeleine being led into the supermarket by
a "portly man in shorts".
The man's behaviour aroused the suspicions of a security
guard who approached the girl to establish whether she
Although the girl said her name was Hailey, the security
guard was convinced she was Madeleine and informed the
Inspector Campbell, the regional police commander, said
police took the footage of the child - who had the
appearance of Madeleine - and the family with her and
forwarded it to Interpol.
"The lead jurisdiction, in this case Portugal, directs
how the case progresses and it has not asked NZ police
for any follow-up to date," Inspector Campbell said,
adding that the NZ file remained open.
The dossier released to British newspapers showed
information which police in the United States, Europe
and North Africa considered important was also
Madeleine's parents Gerry and Kate were reported to be
"gutted" and "incensed" that their private investigators
were not given access to the information, The Daily Mail
"There are instances where information which we think is
very credible and worthy of information has not been
actioned," Kate McCann said
A newly released file on the disappearance of
Madeleine McCann is "gold dust" and could lead
to a breakthrough, her parents' spokesman has
Clarence Mitchell told Sky News
it was disgraceful that information about
possible sightings of Madeleine has only emerged
now after sitting in a box since 2008, when the
case was closed by Portuguese police.
"The McCanns have been tearing their hair out
for a long time, they're very frustrated this
information has been sitting in a file since
July 2008," he said.
"This information is gold dust to them. Kate and
Gerry need all of it and they want a full review
of all the information it contains.
"Our investigators are working at times with one
hand tied behind their back.
"Any leads must come through Portugal but they
must come to Kate and Gerry.
Our investigators will now work very hard
and three years on it will hopefully lead to the
breakthrough Kate and Gerry have been waiting for."
Sky's crime correspondent Martin Brunt said the McCanns
first became aware of the file after they won a court
battle to ban publication of a book that claimed their
daughter was dead.
It was during this case that the detective in charge of
the case admitted that new information had come in since
the investigation had been closed but was sitting in a
box marked "not relevant".
The new evidence is available because four newspapers
applied to the state prosecutor in the Algarve.
Although the McCanns were aware of the file's existence
since the court hearing, they were shocked to learn of
the extent of it.
One report mentions a British man called George who saw
a small, distressed blonde girl being dragged along a
road to Faro airport in Portugal on the night Madeleine
The file also contains details of
a sighting in New Zealand of a girl who looks
like Madeleine, seven months after her
TV3 reporter Dave Gooselink told Sky News the
girl had a British accent but that New Zealand
police no longer have the original footage.
Shop assistant Taryn Dryfhout, who reported the
possible sighting, said she "absolutely
believes" it was Madeleine.
"It was her, she was just so much like her. It
was quite a recent event at the time, we'd seen
her face all over the news and I was just taken
aback," she said.
"She had an English accent and told me her name
"She was quite apprehensive to talk to me and
stammered over her words when she was trying to
think of her name."
Mr Mitchell refused to comment on the New
Zealand incident and stressed the McCanns do not
want a "media frenzy" surrounding one sighting.
"Any other sightings that have credible
information that can be checked, our
investigators are working on it," he said.
Clarence Mitchell: They are very
frustrated, errr... that this information, errr... has
been sitting in a file apparently unregarded, untouched,
errr... since July of 2008, errm... many potential
sightings in there; many of them, of course, may not be
relevant to the search for Madeleine but the only people
looking for her at present are the private investigators
- the former British detectives - errr... working for
Kate and Gerry. This information is gold dust to them;
they need it; they need all of it, and Kate and Gerry
want to see a full review of all the evidence
that's held by the Portuguese and it... it is... it is,
well, frankly, disgraceful that it's taken this long for
this amount of information to come out, errm... even at
the behest of British journalists seeking it, as well.
Errm... That should have come to the investigators very
Taryn Dryfhout: It was her, she
just was so much like her, errm... yeah, I mean
it was... it was quite a recent, current event
at the time, so we'd seen her face all over the
news and things and I was just taken aback. It
was... it was her, yeah.
TD: She had an English accent,
as well, and, errm... she told me that her name
was Hayley and was quite apprehensive to talk to
me and, sort of, stammered over, errr... her
words when she was trying to think of her name,
Portuguese detectives failed to ask for any
follow-up investigation after a young girl
resembling Madeleine McCann was caught on CCTV
in New Zealand, it emerged today.
New Zealand Police said their file remained open
following the possible sighting of the missing
child in Dunedin in December 2007.
Details of the incident are included among 2,000
pages of previously secret case documents held
by Portuguese police which were released to
British newspapers today.
They detail dozens of possible
sightings of Madeleine after she disappeared
from her family’s holiday flat in Praia da Luz,
southern Portugal, in May 2007, just before her
New Zealand Police confirmed today they
investigated a report that a woman saw a little
girl who looked just like her in a Dunedin shop.
Officers obtained CCTV footage of the child
hand-in-hand with a stout man wearing a white
t-shirt and black shorts.
Inspector David Campbell, Acting Southern
District Commander, said in a statement: "Police
were unable to obtain any further information or
ongoing lines of inquiry.
"The file was forwarded to Interpol and this is
correct procedure under international
agreements. The lead jurisdiction, in this case
Portugal, directs how the case progresses and
has not asked NZ Police for any follow-up to
"The file has remained open ever since."
Other leads in the newly-released Portuguese
police dossier include a report of a small
blonde girl being dragged along the road to Faro
airport in the Algarve - an hour's drive from
Praia da Luz - on the night Madeleine vanished.
Another details how a young girl who looked like
the missing child was seen being held at
gunpoint on a French motorway by a half-naked
man in August 2008.
All the information should be released to the
private detectives hired by Madeleine's parents,
Kate and Gerry McCann, their spokesman Clarence
Mr Mitchell said: "Kate and Gerry have made it
clear that they were shocked to see the lack of
follow-up work done by the Portuguese police
since the investigation was shelved.
"All the information in these files must go to
the private investigators as they are the only
people still looking for Madeleine."
The McCanns, both 41 and from Rothley,
Leicestershire, spoke last month of their
frustration that police had failed to
investigate new leads in their daughter's
Mr McCann said: "There are certainly instances
where information which we think is very
credible and worthy of further investigation has
not been actioned.
"We're gutted, it's absolutely shocking and
difficult. We're trying our absolute best,
Madeleine's still missing, and as we say the
perpetrator's still there.
"We're not saying they are the leads that will
result in finding her. But if you don't
investigate information when it comes in, you
will never solve it."
His wife added: "It's heartbreaking, to be
The woman who reported the possible sighting in
New Zealand said she "absolutely believes" it
Taryn Dryfhout was working on the tills at the
Warehouse discount store in Dunedin when she saw
the girl with a man, a woman and a boy.
She said the girl "looked just like" Madeleine
and spoke with an English accent.
Ms Dryfhout told broadcaster TVNZ’s ONE News:
"She told me that her name was Hayley and was
quite apprehensive... and sort of stammered over
her words when she was trying to think of her
name. She was just very shy and afraid."
The shop worker said the adults with the
children were "a little bit suspicious" and
added that the woman seemed to be in a hurry to
leave when she spoke to her.
Ms Dryfhout said it was disappointing that her
possible sighting was not fully followed up.
She told the broadcaster: "I absolutely believe
it was her. I have no doubt in my mind."
Clarence Mitchell: Well, this
was a file of information; it runs to some 2,000
pages, which apparently the Portuguese were
maintaining for any lead that came in after the
case was formally shelved by them, in July of
2008. Errm... What appears to be the case is
that they've accepted all these bits and pieces
of information; sightings, images but they
don't... they haven't done anything about it.
Most of it appears to be dismissed as not
relevant to the investigation. Now, Kate and
Gerry don't expect the police to follow
absolutely everything up because clearly some
things can be dismissed very quickly; they're...
they're either plain wrong, or malicious,
whatever but where there is a credible lead,
surely it can't be dismissed as irrelevant until
it's investigated and it would appear, in some
cases, other police forces from around the world
were sufficiently concerned about a sighting to
send it through Interpol to the Portuguese and
yet nothing was done. It... that... that surely
is... is scandalous.
Reporter: And the one image in
particular that... that all the papers seem to
be carrying is of the... the girl in the
supermarket in New Zealand. That...
CM: This... this was a sighting
of a child, with a man, in Dunedin, in New
Zealand, in December 2007; round about six
months after Madeleine was taken. We don't know
if that's Madeleine or not. Clearly it was
sufficently concerning for the New Zealand
authorities to pass it on to Interpol, to pass
it to the police in Portugal; which was how it
ended up in the file. Has anything been done
about that? We don't think so. So that's another
one that, of course, the private investigators
will be focussing on but I'm not... I'm
stressing, we're not saying that def... is more
significant than any of the others. There's a
lot of information there; this will take time
and, bear in mind, that was two and a half years
Shop girl who 'saw Madeleine McCann' is quizzed
By Jerry Lawton
4th March 2010
A SHOP girl who claims she saw Madeleine McCann
in New Zealand was yesterday finally interviewed by
Taryn Dryfhout, 24, said she had "no doubt" the
youngster she spotted in her Warehouse store in Dunedin
in late 2007 was Madeleine.
Detectives quizzed her after the Daily star revealed the
sighting, details of which had been tucked contacted her
manager and the police, but heard nothing more until the
Daily star published the sighting – prompting officers
to contact her.
"They started asking me questions I should have been
asked at the time," she said.
Insp David Campbell, acting southern district commander,
said they had forwarded security footage from the store
was held captive at a rundown hut in an isolated orange
grove just a few miles from where she disappeared,
The new theory followed sightings by British tourists of
a blonde girl in an "unnatural looking" black wig which
prompted a major surveillance operation by private
detectives working for the missing youngster's parents,
Kate and Gerry McCann.
The child – described as "100 per cent Madeleine" – was
seen with two "gypsy" women in the town of Carvoeiro 30
miles from the Algarve holiday resort from where she
disappeared aged almost four in 2007.
One of the women was seen by another British tourist
acting suspiciously outside the McCanns' apartment on
the day she vanished.
Despite frantic efforts by the UK investigators and
Portuguese police, the little girl has never been
And incredibly, no public appeal has ever been made to
track down the girl or the second mystery woman she was
The sightings only became known after Portuguese
prosecutors released a 2,000-page dossier this week
containing hundreds of new leads, most of which have
never been followed up. One of the tourists was Jean
Godwin, 56, from Widnes, Cheshire. She said she spotted
Madeleine with the women in September 2008.
"This child was a young girl, she was in the middle of
the two women and was holding the hand of each woman on
either side," she added.
"One of the things that drew my attention to her was her
eyes. They were wide open and my attention was drawn to
the large irises in her eyes.
"The child was wearing what was clearly a black wig. It
was a short wig, cut in a bob style and was very thick.
The wig was shiny and unnatural looking and out of
keeping with her very pale complexion and fair eyebrows.
"As they were virtually level with me the younger woman
suddenly put her right arm across her body and used her
upper arm to conceal the right hand side of the child's
"I could not sleep that night. I am convinced that the
little girl I saw that morning was Madeleine."
Private investigators working for Kate and Gerry McCann,
both 41, from Rothley, Leics, launched a major operation
into the sightings and discovered the identity of one of
the two women.
The Daily Express knows the name of the woman but cannot
reveal it for legal reasons.
Published: 6:17PM Thursday March
04, 2010 [05:17AM GMT] Source: ONE News
Dunedin police say a child seen in New Zealand and
thought to be Madeleine McCann is not the missing
Acting Southern Police District Commander Inspector Dave
Campbell says police will not name the family or provide
any details of their identity.
"New Zealand Police are mindful of the stress on the
McCann family from possible sightings of their daughter
worldwide," Campbell says.
Following TVNZ's exclusive interview with the woman who
claimed to have seen the missing British girl, questions
were being asked about the way New Zealand police
handled the possible sighting.
Taryn Dryfhout was working as a checkout operator at
Warehouse store in south Dunedin in late 2007 when a
family of a man, woman and a boy and girl came to the
"As soon as they entered the checkout I felt like it was
her (Madeleine McCann) - she was blonde, quite petite
and had very big eyes. It was a striking resemblance to
the pictures of Madeleine," says Dryfhout.
She remembers a lot about that meeting just over two
years ago but not as clearly as she would have if she
had been asked about it the day after.
"I'm not really much help to them after two years. I've
had quite a few operations in the last couple of years
and I've had a baby. My memories are fuzzy, I can't tell
them the things I would have been able to tell them at
the time," Dryfhout says.
She says the police seemed sceptical and dismissive.
A female officer came into the Warehouse, took the
security footage and told her the image was
inconclusive. No statement was taken and that was the
last Dryfhout heard of the matter.
It has been revealed that once the information got to
Portuguese authorities, it was put into a box marked
Meanwhile, Madeleine's family are still just wanting
answers about their missing girl.
"If anybody in New Zealand, particularly in the Dunedin
area feels that they may have seen a child answering
Madeleine's description as well, please tell the local
police - it's absolutely the right thing to do," says
Clarence Mitchell, McCann family spokesman.
A young girl resembling Madeleine McCann captured on
CCTV film in a New Zealand shop is not the missing girl,
police has said.
Officers in the country said they had identified the
girl in the image, which was published in a series of
British newspapers yesterday as a potential sighting of
A statement from New Zealand's National Police
headquarters said: "Police have identified the child and
family thought by a retail assistant to be missing
British girl Madeleine McCann. She is not the missing
The CCTV footage was taken in a Dunedin shop in December
2007, and showed a child hand-in-hand with a stout man
wearing a white T-shirt and black shorts.
Details of the incident were included among 2,000 pages
of previously secret case documents held by Portuguese
police which were released to British newspapers this
week. They contain dozens of possible sightings of
Madeleine after she disappeared from her family's
holiday flat in Praia da Luz, southern Portugal, in May
2007, just before her fourth birthday.
New Zealand police said previously they had investigated
the Dunedin image, but were unable to get any further
Acting Southern Police District Commander Inspector Dave
Campbell said he was not going to identify the girl in
He added: "New Zealand Police are mindful of the stress
on the McCann family from possible sightings of their
Other leads in the newly-released Portuguese police
dossier include a report of a small blonde girl being
dragged along the road to Faro airport in the Algarve -
an hour's drive from Praia da Luz - on the night
Another details how a young girl who looked like the
missing child was seen being held at gunpoint on a
French motorway by a half-naked man in August 2008.
What is happening "is propaganda", given that
"nobody is looking for the little girl, neither
here nor there (in England)". These words are
from former PJ inspector Gonçalo Amaral, who
sees the criticism from the McCann couple and
from the English press against the Portuguese
investigation as pure "folklore".
"These sightings, that are being talked about,
almost always came from the English police, if
they are so important, as some people are saying
now, why weren't they investigated by Scotland
Yard? After all, the little girl is a British
citizen," the author of the book "The Truth of
the Lie", based on the case of the disappearance
of Madeleine McCann in the Algarve, in 2007,
"The important things is not going around
talking about sightings, saying that the little
girl was seen here and there, the important
thing is to reopen the process. The truth is
that after I left Portimão, nothing more was
done, the process was archived by the Public
Ministry half way through, many diligences
remained to be carried out, and that is what not
allows for all sort of speculation," the former
inspector told 24horas.
"The process was possibly archived half way
through because the State was afraid of (the
McCanns') demands for compensation. That fear
was also transmitted to us by our colleagues,
the English policemen, who used to say that it
was a very common thing in England," Gonçalo
The McCanns' lawyer, Isabel Duarte, has a very
different opinion about the evolution of the
Maddie case. For her, "it is shocking and sad"
that the leads that are now being publicly
revealed "were not handed over to the parents".
The revelation of that information is also
criticised by Isabel Duarte, because "it puts
the little girl's safety at risk".
4:00 AM Friday Mar 5, 2010 [15:00 PM Thursday Mar 4,
Image that focused international attention on
Dunedin was not of missing British girl
Dunedin police have moved to protect the privacy of a
family group mistakenly identified with missing British
girl Madeleine McCann.
Acting Southern District Commander Inspector Dave
Campbell said last night a child identified by a former
Warehouse checkout operator in South Dunedin was not
Madeleine, and asked that media stop running an image of
the family group she was seen with.
"We ask that media outlets remove the image portraying
the child and family from their coverage including
websites to protect the privacy of the family," Mr
The girl in the image had been positively identified as
The identification claim resulted in the international
media spotlight focusing on Dunedin as interest was
revived in the disappearance of 4-year-old Madeleine in
Portugal in May 2007.
Meanwhile, further possible sightings of the girl in
Dunedin and Otago have surfaced, with a couple "80 per
cent confident" they saw her last August.
Balclutha couple Michael Griffiths and Mary Habib said
yesterday they believe they twice saw a girl resembling
Madeleine on the morning of August 6 in Dunedin and
nearby Milton in the afternoon. The girl was with a man
aged between 35 and 40.
They reported the sightings to Balclutha police later
Mr Griffiths and the police also notified the official
Madeleine McCann website, www.findmadeleine.com.
Mr Griffiths said yesterday no reply had been received
from police or the website.
A Balclutha police spokesman confirmed yesterday police
had investigated the sightings, with the information
forwarded to Dunedin police.
"I am 80 per cent confident it was her," Mr Griffiths
"I am 80 per cent-plus," Ms Habib said.
Police confirmed there have been several other sightings
of Madeleine in Otago, but declined to release that
The Otago Daily Times understands sightings of Madeleine
in Alexandra and Queenstown have been reported to
Portuguese police ignored warnings from UK cops about a
suspicious British worker at the resort where Madeleine
They urged them to investigate him after a tourist, who
stayed at a sister complex with her girl, nine, in 2006,
accused him of inappropriate sexual innuendoes.
The holiday worker, who cannot be named, also met Kate
and Gerry McCann on their stay at the Praia da Luz
resort. The woman from Leicestershire came forward in
2008 and said he entered her villa uninvited while she
slept with her girl, claiming the air conditioning
Police sent a report to Portuguese cops but they had
already shelved the case. A 2,000-page dossier obtained
by the Mirror also revealed a Norwegian man reported
seeing Madeleine with a man in a restaurant in St
Valentin, Austria, in 2007. He said the girl, about
four, pleaded "help me!" walking by their table.
this week have yet again been incomprehensible
and particularly upsetting.
On Tuesday, the Public Prosecutor in Portugal
released a large number of documents (relating
to the investigation to find our daughter
Madeleine) to the British Media, following their
request for access. Disclosing such information
publicly greatly jeopardises the search for
Madeleine and puts witnesses and innocent
members of the general public at risk (as well
as causing them great anxiety). Release and
publication of information in this manner also
potentially compromises future investigations.
It is difficult to see how anyone benefits from
this week's actions.
It is imperative that the Authorities take
responsibility for sensitive and confidential
information. We, together with the general
public, need assurances that this will not be
allowed to happen again. Equally, we need
absolute assurances that all credible
information and leads will be investigated.
We also urge each individual working for the
media to consider their own personal
responsibility - to put commercial interests
aside occasionally and to bear in mind the
potential consequences of their actions,
especially when people's lives and well-being
are at risk.
Our own investigators have acted professionally
and with complete integrity. We are eager to
encourage anybody who has any information which
may relate to Madeleine's abduction to contact
our investigation team directly by phone (0845
838 4699 or 800 814 028), by email (http://email@example.com/)
or via the P.O box address given on the website.
Information may be given anonymously via each
We are incredibly grateful to all those who
continue to support us in our search for
Madeleine. During weeks such as these, it is
invaluable to know that we are not facing this
difficult journey alone
Madeleine McCann's parents
criticise release of files BBC News
Page last updated at 14:05 GMT, Saturday, 6
The parents of Madeleine McCann have criticised
Portuguese police for releasing previously
unseen files on their case to British
The 2,000-page dossier details dozens of
possible sightings of their daughter since she
disappeared in May 2007.
Kate and Gerry McCann said the release "greatly
jeopardises the search" and puts witnesses at
Madeleine went missing from a holiday flat in
Praia da Luz, Portugal, just before her fourth
The McCann's said the release of the dossier was
"incomprehensible" and "upsetting".
In a statement, they said:
"Disclosing such information publicly greatly
jeopardises the search for Madeleine and puts
witnesses and innocent members of the general
public at risk (as well as causing them great
"Release and publication of information in this
manner also potentially compromises future
investigations. It is difficult to see how
anyone benefits from this week's actions."
The files include a report of a small blonde
girl being dragged along the road to Faro
airport in the Algarve - an hour's drive from
Praia da Luz - on the night Madeleine vanished.
Another report details how a young girl who
looked like the missing child was seen being
held at gunpoint on a French motorway by a
half-naked man in August 2008.
In their statement, the McCanns also thanked
"We are incredibly grateful to all those who
continue to support us in our search for
"During weeks such as these, it is invaluable to
know that we are not facing this difficult
Portuguese police ignored a British tourist when she
reported sighting Madeleine McCann in France, the Sunday
Mirror can reveal.
Jane Blakie claimed a child who was the "spitting image"
of the missing youngster (right) had stared straight at
her, adding the youngster had seemed to be saying: "Help
me" with her eyes. The girl was said to be with a couple
"strikingly similar" to an artist's impression of a man
and woman seen with a Madeleine lookalike in Amsterdam.
British police sent Mrs Blakie's report to their
Portuguese counterparts, but no action was taken. Mrs
Blakie saw the child in July 2008 - 14 months after
Madeleine vanished - at a campsite in Alsace, eastern
She told police: "The girl just stood staring at me. The
look in her eyes conveyed a feeling of 'Help me'."
Gerry and Kate McCann said the "upsetting" release by
Portuguese police this week of files listing dozens of
possible sightings of their missing daughter
"jeopardises the search".
Madeleine McCann parents blast cops' dossier
By Fiona May
7 March 2010
The parents of Madeleine McCann last night slammed cops
in Portugal for releasing files on their daughter's
disappearance, branding the move "upsetting and
The 2,000-page dossier covers dozens of possible
sightings after she vanished from a holiday flat in
Praia da Luz just before her fourth birthday.
One was from New Zealand - but Portuguese detectives
failed to ask for it to be followed up. Another claimed
a blonde girl was dragged along the road to Faro airport
- an hour's drive from Praia da Luz - on the night
A third told how a lookalike child was held at gunpoint
on a French motorway by a half-naked man in 2008.
Maddie's 41- year old parents Kate and Gerry, of
Rothley, Leics, said in a statement: "Disclosing such
information greatly jeopardises the search and puts
witnesses and innocent members of the general public at
risk, as well as causing them great anxiety.
"Release and publication of information in this manner
also potentially compromises future investigations. It
is difficult to see how anyone benefits from these
But they added: "We are incredibly grateful to all who
continue to support us in our search for Madeleine."
Police in Austria registered almost 100 tip offs by
people in the case of Madeleine McCann who went missing
at a Portuguese holiday resort in 2007.
Alexander Marakovits, a spokesman for the Federal Crime
Office (BK), said today (Tues) almost 100 people got in
touch with authorities claiming to have evidence. He
stressed investigators checked all tips but none of them
led them anywhere.
Marakovits said one of the people who got in touch were
a Norwegian couple who claimed they saw the girl at a
motorway rest stop in St. Valentin, Lower Austria, in
He explained the couple told cops the girl screamed
"Help me!" in English.
Marakovits said other witnesses were interviewed over
the couple's claim and guest lists at the rest stop's
hotel where checked but with no result.