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 Thanks, Pamalam

Note: This site does not belong to the McCanns. It belongs to Pamalam. If you wish to contact the McCanns directly, please use the contact/email details campaign@findmadeleine.com    

Met. Police Review - Jan to May 2013*

MCCANN FILES HOME BACK TO GERRY MCCANNS BLOGS HOME PAGE PHOTOGRAPHS
NEWS REPORTS INDEX MCCANN PJ FILES NEWS MAY 2007
 

Selection of front pages, 18 May 2013
Selection of front pages, 18 May 2013

 

The Met. Police review continues with news of a "routine meeting", in January, with their Portuguese counterparts.

In April, it is revealed that the cost of Operation Grange has soared to ­£4.5million.

On 17 May, DCS Campbell, speaking on the eve of his retirement from the Met, says: "There are a lot of people of interest. There are people who could be properly explored further, if only to be eliminated."

Scotland Yard in Porto for Maddie, 21 January 2013
Scotland Yard in Porto for Maddie SOL

Madeleine McCann

By Joaquim Gomes
21 January 2013
With thanks to Joana Morais for translation

The Scotland Yard team that is responsible for the British investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann is at the Judiciary Police headquarters in Porto to "evaluate the current status" of the case - SOL has learned.

The British officers arrived today in Porto and are currently in a meeting with their counterparts from the Judiciary Police.

The reopening and re-analysis of the "Maddie" case - missing for nearly six years - was initiated 10 months ago, by the National Direction of the Judiciary Police who nominated a special team led by Helena Monteiro, a superior chief coordinator of criminal investigation.

The British authorities expect that eventual new data to be collected by the special PJ team will allow for the process to be formally reopened by the Attorney General's office.

After an initial investigation led by Gonçalo Amaral, the case was passed, still at the PJ of Portimão, to Paulo Rebelo, the current director of the Judiciary Police in Lisbon, but without any practical solution.

Madeleine McCann disappeared on the night of May 9(sic) 2007 from an apartment in a tourist resort in Praia da Luz, in the Algarve, she has not been found so far. At the time, Maddie McCann was nine days away of her fourth birthday.

Scotland Yard investigates the Maddie case in Porto, 21 January 2013
Scotland Yard investigates the Maddie case in Porto Diário de Notícias

Madeleine McCann

By Licínio Lima
21-01-2013
With thanks to Astro for translation

A team of British police is on the premises of the Judicial Police of Porto to follow up on the investigations of the British child missing in the Algarve in May 2007

A team from Scotland Yard, the British police, is now on the premises of the Judicial Police (PJ) of Porto to follow up on investigations into Madeleine McCann, a British child who went missing in the Algarve in May 2007. According to what DN learned from a Judicial source, it is a "routine meeting" with the team that continues to analyze the process in Portugal.

The presence of the English police in Portugal was reported by the online edition of the weekly Sol. DN was able to confirm with an official source of the PJ that these are routine meetings. This is the team formed in England to investigate the disappearance of the British child which often comes to Portugal to exchange information with their counterparts of the PJ in Porto. This team was established in March of last year, led by Inspector Helena Monteiro.

DN was able to find out that Scotland Yard is trying to find new data for the Portuguese Public Ministry so they can formally reopen the case.

Madeleine McCann - Scotland Yard back in Portugal, 24 January 2013
Madeleine McCann - Scotland Yard back in Portugal The Portugal News

BY BRENDAN BEER · 24-01-2013 09:26:00

A team of Scotland Yard investigators appointed to investigate the disappearance of British toddler Madeleine McCann was in Portugal this week to exchange information with its Portuguese counterparts at the Polícia Judiciária (PJ).

Kate McCann

The British inspectors arrived in Oporto on Monday where they reportedly discussed the current status of the investigation.

Operation Grange, the name of the investigative review into the case, commenced in May 2011, but only started in Portugal last winter.

At the time, it was decided the Oporto-branch of the PJ, led by Helena Monteiro, would be the best option to liaise with Scotland Yard.

Previously, the case had been handed to the PJ in Portimão, then in Faro, and later in Lisbon.

In the UK, a murder team within the Homicide and Serious Crime Command was tasked to conduct the review and is led by Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood. Estimates are the review has cost British taxpayers close to 2.5 million euros.

Work of the team involves close collaboration with a senior investigating officer from the PJ and detectives have been to Portugal several times.

Throughout the course of the review officers have been in close contact with the McCann family who have been assigned a Family Liaison Officer.

The review team say they are in a unique position in that their task is to compile and review material from three separate strands - the Portuguese investigation, inquiries by UK law enforcement agencies, and the work of private investigators/agencies.

Officers have been going through that material which they believe amounts to around 40,000 pieces of information equating to approximately 100,000 pages.

The objective of the review team is to work with the Portuguese authorities with a view to having the case, which has remained closed since 2008, re-opened in due course, Scotland Yard said.

"From the outset we have approached this review with a completely open mind, placing Madeleine McCann at the heart of everything we do. We are working on the basis of two possibilities here. One is that Madeleine is still alive; and the second that she is sadly dead", DCI Andy Redwood said last year.

Meanwhile, the defamation case the McCann family launched against former PJ inspector Gonçalo Amaral was this week reportedly suspended by a Lisbon court.

Kate and Gerry McCann have sued Amaral for 1.2 million euros in damages, but reports stated this week the case has been put on hold due to apparent attempts by both parties to reach an out-of-court settlement.

The case centres around the publication of a best-selling book by Amaral, The Truth of the Lie, which was later transformed into a television documentary shown on national television.

In a related story, it was reported this week that more than 1.2 million euros was made from Kate McCann's book about her missing daughter.

"Income from the book has significantly improved the position", of the funds' accounts, its directors said this week, who added: "This will continue as a result of publication in other countries and the release of the paperback."

Madeleine's Fund climbed to around 2.5 million euros in the immediate months after her disappearance in May 2007, but in 2009, Gerry McCann told The Portugal News, "We are in danger of running out of money by the end of the year."

While the Fund has admitted it has scaled back following UK Prime Minister David Cameron's creation of Operation Grange, it revealed that it still pays for "a 24-hour, 7 day a week telephone line to receive and capture information from around the world which may assist the investigation while also supporting a small investigation team, including a Portuguese speaker to help with the above and with campaign activities."

Maddie: Hunt for 6 Brit cleaners, 15 March 2013
Maddie: Hunt for 6 Brit cleaners The Sun (paper edition)

 
The Sun, 15 March 2013

--------------------

Maddie: Hunt for 6 Brit cleaners
The Sun

Cops' new lead

EXCLUSIVE
By DAN SALES and JACK ROYSTON
Published: 15th March 2013

COPS investigating the Madeleine McCann case are trying to trace six British cleaners working in Portugal when she disappeared.

The group were based in Praia da Luz when Madeleine, then just three, vanished from her family's holiday complex in 2007.

A property owner has told how cops probing the disappearance asked four times about the cleaners.

Officers became aware of the six to eight Brit workers — who are said to have used a white van — after poring through evidence amassed during the original Portuguese investigation.

They are now asking for information about the group from owners whose properties overlook the Praia da Luz apartment where Madeleine stayed.

It is the first time the cleaners have been mentioned during any investigations into the three-year old's disappearance.

The current inquiry — codename Operation Grange — is reviewing all evidence and leads thrown up by the original probe.

Portuguese police are said to have spoken to all nearby apartment owners about who was present on May 3, 2007, when Madeleine vanished while on holiday with parents Gerry and Kate.

Now Scotland Yard cops are going back to review witnesses and statements in the case.

One property owner showed The Sun a letter from the force, which says officers are checking who was in flats at the time.

When he rang the cops, he said he was asked repeatedly about the cleaners, who he believes were six to eight men or women.

The owner said: "The officer said it had been drawn to their attention there were British people that cleaned the apartments who they needed to speak to.

"They said, 'Who are the British cleaners that are cleaning the apartments in a white van'?

"They wanted to know if I knew anybody that does cleaning out there. They asked about it four times. Mostly the cleaners that do the Ocean Club apartments where the McCanns were staying are Portuguese.

"But they were keen to know if I knew anybody that worked for a cleaning firm out there. They were very interested in who'd have access to those apartments."

The owner added: "The apartments where the McCanns were staying have their own cleaners provided by the Ocean Club. But some don't want to pay their prices and get others to come in.

"Any British cleaners would not be on contract, they'd be brought in. They have adverts in the supermarkets and some of the private apartments use them because they're cheaper.

"Where the McCanns were — or near where they were — may well have had someone who used them. I think people should be aware cops want to speak to these people. Me speaking out might help others that know them to come forward."

A source said: "This seems to be a completely new line of inquiry. There is no mention of a group of British cleaners using a white van in the original Portuguese police files which have been made public so far.

"It would seem that this is something that has been brought to the attention of the police by someone they have interviewed during their investigation."

Operation Grange was set up by PM David Cameron following pleas from Madeleine's family, who live in Rothley, Leics.

A Met Police spokesman said speaking to individuals was part of its review, adding: "Officers are reviewing all of the material in relation to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. This is routine procedure as part of the ongoing review."

Mystery vehicle

WITNESSES have mentioned a white van before in the Madeleine case — most recently in 2010.

Carlos Moreira, 65, said he saw her lying in the back of a van near the spot where she vanished.

He told investigators he had seen a couple who looked like gypsies near the vehicle.

Earlier there were reports to the original Portuguese police probe of a young dark-haired man acting suspiciously beside a white van just before Madeleine disappeared.

The man, with deep-set eyes, was reportedly seen staring intently at the apartment where the McCann family were staying.

Madeleine McCann update: Who's being accused this time?, 22 March 2013
Madeleine McCann update: Who's being accused this time? examiner.com

BY CHELSEA HOFFMAN | MARCH 22, 2013

Kate and Gerry McCann

The disappearance of Madeleine McCann remains internationally relevant even though it's been the better part of a decade since she vanished. Over the course of the past few years it seems like every single person that can be accused of kidnapping her, has been accused of kidnapping her -- even though Portuguese officials made it clear in the very beginning where evidence pointed to in this case. As of March 21, 2013 there are new accusations rising against a cleaning crew who were around The Algarve vacation resort when Maddie vanished. Will these accusations lead to finality in this epic case or will this "lead" dry out like every single other one so far?

The British cleaning crew reportedly had use of a white van around the time of the child's disappearance, and is believed to had been cleaning apartments at the time. Detectives want to find these cleaners and question them in order to find out whether or not they saw or heard anything -- or if they themselves kidnapped little Maddie. This comes in the middle of bizarre allegations that a child kidnapping ring has operated in Portugal and other parts of Europe with "abducted to order" children for pedophiles or whoever else wants to illegally obtain a child.

Even after six years and no proof of an actual kidnapping, the parents of Madeleine McCann have never faced charges for the blatant child neglect that took place the night she vanished. Kate and Gerry McCann left the toddler alone with her two younger siblings -- to sleep unattended in a rental apartment -- while they drank with friends at a bar area over 130 yards away. Had they not made this mistake it's likely that little Maddie would still be here today instead of missing -- presumed dead if you read the evidence here [link to this site]. It's a shame to see such poor parenting go unpunished, even in the face of a missing or murdered child. At the very least it seems that the justice system in either Portugal or the UK would make an example of the McCanns to educate other parents in similar events. While Maddie remains missing and multiple people accused of being responsible, it appears that some very important elements of the case are being ignored.

Is it likely that the cleaning crew kidnapped Madeleine McCann? Sure it is, but if they did why not abducted her two younger siblings as well? Why abducted a single toddler and leave behind two similarly aged children? This doesn't fit with the behavior of kidnappers who have the perfect opportunity and environment to pull off such an abduction. Is it likely that Maddie wandered out of the apartment while her parents frivolously drank the night away, only to wander into the arms of a predator? Yes, that is absolutely likely, but where do we go from there? And even if that were likely, the McCann Files (shared above) clearly shares the evidence that there is no sign of Maddie leaving the apartment, nor were there ever any signs of forced entry. So this case may just forever remain a mystery.

Scotland Yard squad hunting Madeleine McCann costs £6,228 a day, 31 March 2013
Scotland Yard squad hunting Madeleine McCann costs £6,228 a day Daily Star Sunday

ABOVE: Madeleine McCann vanished in Portugal six years ago

By Jonathan Corke
31st March 2013

THE British police hunt for Madeleine McCann has cost at least £3.8million.

Scotland Yard has been investigating Madeleine's 2007 disappearance in Portugal since May 2011.

And figures obtained by the Daily Star Sunday show the probe is costing around £6,228 a day.

The vast majority is being spent on wages, with 38 staff currently working on the inquiry, which is called Operation Grange.

As we have previously revealed, ­Detective Chief Superintendent Hamish Campbell, who led the Jill Dando ­murder inquiry, is overseeing the probe.

He has 28 detectives working for him, along with three of the UK's top cold case specialists from the Metropolitan Police's Murder Review Group.

There are also six members of police support staff involved.

The figures we have obtained suggest the cost of the investigation, which the Met describes as an "investigative ­review", is rising.

For 2011/12 the cost, which is being met by the Home Office, was £1,929,354.

The figure for 2012/13 is £1,869,933 but this does not include January to March of this year. And based on daily costs over the past few months, the total bill is now likely to be well in excess of ­£4million.

The Met is recovering the cost, which includes thousands spent on flights to Portugal, from Home Secretary Theresa May’s department on a quarterly basis.

With the backing of Prime Minister David Cameron, she has asked the force to carry on the probe.

Madeleine, of Rothley, Leics, was just three when she vanished from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz.

Earlier this month it emerged the police in Cyprus had alerted Interpol after a Briton claimed to have seen a girl who looked like Madeleine in the holiday resort of Ayia Napa.

But there has yet to be any positive news regarding the sighting.

Madeleine's parents Kate, 45, and Gerry McCann, 44, remain hopeful their daughter can be found.

After the Portuguese police shelved their probe, the couple had to rely on private investigators in the hope of a breakthrough.

But following high-level diplomatic talks with the Portuguese authorities, in 2011 the Metropolitan Police agreed to review the case.

And the force has told us it still has a large team involved.

In responding to a Freedom of ­Information request, the Met said: "A major investigation team is assigned to Operation Grange.

"This is made up of one detective chief inspector, three detective inspectors, five detective sergeants, 19 detective ­constables, six police support staff.

"The MIT is assisted by three murder review group officers.

"Staff numbers are open to change depending on the needs of the ­review.

"The MIT also continues to work on its existing outstanding ­homicide cases."

It also confirmed that Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood is the senior investigating officer and that he is "supervised" by ­Detective Chief Superintendent Campbell "who has oversight of this investigation".

Scotland Yard's Madeleine McCann quiz bill soars to £4.5m, 28 April 2013
Scotland Yard's Madeleine McCann quiz bill soars to £4.5m Sunday Express

THE cost of Operation Grange, the Scotland Yard review of the Madeleine McCann mystery, has risen to ­£4.5million, the Sunday Express can reveal today.

By: James Murray
Published: Sun, April 28, 2013

Madeleine McCann went missing in 2007

Detectives are said to be making "good progress" with the ­estimated £6,228-a-day investigation that began in May 2011.

The Home Office told us: "We remain committed to supporting the search."

Home Secretary Theresa May will this week face pressure to explain in ­detail if taxpayers are ­getting value for money.

The Yard will also be under pressure to call a press conference to say if they are any nearer to catching whoever was responsible for Madeleine’s disappearance in the Algarve in Portugal on May 3, 2007, when she was three.

On Friday, the sixth anniversary, her parents Kate and Gerry are expected to join supporters for prayers by a candle that burns day and night in their home village of Rothley, Leicestershire.

Michelle Canilleri, who lives in the village, said: "We want to make sure Madeleine will never be forgotten."

EXCLUSIVE: British police identify new leads in hunt for Madeleine McCann and urge Portuguese to act, 17 May 2013
EXCLUSIVE: British police identify new leads in hunt for Madeleine McCann and urge Portuguese to act Evening Standard

'Still hopeful': Gerry and Kate McCann

Justin Davenport, Crime Editor
17 May 2013


Scotland Yard has identified a number of potential suspects who may have abducted Madeleine McCann, the force's top detective revealed today.

Investigators carrying out a review of the case have drawn up a list of people who they say are "of interest" to the inquiry.

Detective Chief Superintendent Hamish Campbell, the head of Scotland Yard's Homicide and Serious Crime Command, said there were a "good number" of individuals who should be questioned.

Today he urged the Portuguese authorities to investigate the new leads identified by the British review.

DCS Campbell, speaking on the eve of his retirement from the Met, said: "There are a lot of people of interest. There are people who could be properly explored further, if only to be eliminated."

He refused to give numbers but said there was "more than a handful" of names of "people of interest".

Madeleine was nearly four when she went missing from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in Portugal in 2007 as her parents Kate and Gerry McCann dined with friends near-by.

The official Portuguese inquiry was shelved in 2008 but Scotland Yard launched a review of the case in 2011 after David Cameron responded to a plea from Madeleine's parents.

Last year the review team led by Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood said it had identified 195 potential leads after examining a huge bundle of material.

Today DCS Campbell said the 30-strong review squad had done a "fantastic" job in identifying "further investigative and forensic opportunities."

He said it was "perfectly probable" that information which could identify the suspect responsible for Madeleine's disappearance was already within the Portuguese files.

He added: "We have to ask ourselves why are cases unsolved and, on many occasions, we find we passed the suspects by already and the suspect sits within our system."

DCS Campbell said there were a "good number" of people who could be interviewed and eliminated to allow investigators to focus on a smaller group.

Detectives from the Yard's team have travelled to Portugal around 10 times to liaise with the authorities there and gather evidence in an inquiry which has cost more than £2 million.

So far, Portugal's attorney general has ruled out a new inquiry into Madeleine's disappearance but the comments from the senior Yard detective will raise hopes of a fresh investigation.

DCS Campbell said: "The Portuguese hopefully will pursue some of these investigative opportunities with our assistance. There is room for further work and collaboration to resolve the case."

He re-iterated a claim that Madeleine could still be alive. He said: "You only have to look at the case in Cleveland, Ohio, and the European cases. Of course, there is a possibility she is alive, you cannot exclude it. But the key is to investigate the case and, alive or dead, we should be able to try and discern what happened."

He added: "The purpose of the review is to look at it with fresh eyes...there has been real benefit in doing it."

Martin Brunt's 'murder' tweet, 17 May 2013
Martin Brunt's 'murder' tweet Twitter

 
Martin Brunt original tweet, 17 May 2013

 

17 May 2013

martinbrunt @skymartinbrunt

#mccann Scot Yard says it has identified "more than a handful" of suspects for murder of Madeleine McCann in its review of Portuguese case

-------------------

Amended version:

Martin Brunt tweet, 17 May 2013

17 May 2013

martinbrunt @skymartinbrunt

#mccann Scot Yard says it has identified suspects for disappearance of Madeleine McCann in its review of Portuguese case

Madeleine McCann: British police identify potential suspects and urge Portuguese cops to make arrests, 17 May 2013
Madeleine McCann: British police identify potential suspects and urge Portuguese cops to make arrests Daily Mirror

17 May 2013 13:13

Missing: Madeleine was snatched from her holiday apartment as her parents dined at a tapas restaurant with friends nearby in 2007

British police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have drawn up a list of potential suspects who may have abducted the schoolgirl.

They have identified a "good number" of people who should be quizzed by their colleagues in Portugal and have urged authorities to investigate the leads as a matter of urgency.

And the top cop working on the review case has revealed that it was "perfectly probable" that the suspect responsible for Maddy's disappearance could be identified from information which is already contained in the Portuguese files.

Portugal's attorney general has ruled out a new inquiry into Madeleine's disappearance but the comments by the head of Scotland Yard's Homicide and Serious Crime Command, Detective Chief Superintendent Hamish Campbell, has raised hopes of a fresh investigation.

Madeleine was nearly four when she disappeared from Praia da Luz in Portugal's Algarve on May 3, 2007.

The little girl was snatched from her holiday apartment as her parents dined at a tapas restaurant with friends nearby.

Madeleine's parents have refused to give up hope that they might find their daughter.

Speaking to the Evening Standard, DCS Campbell, said the review team had done a "fantastic" job in identifying "further investigative and forensic opportunities."

He said: "There are a lot of people of interest. There are people who could be properly explored further, if only to be eliminated."

He explained: "We have to ask ourselves why are cases unsolved and, on many occasions, we find we passed the suspects by already and the suspect sits within our system."

DCS Campbell still believes there is a possibility that Maddy is still alive and added: "The Portuguese hopefully will pursue some of these investigative opportunities with our assistance. There is room for further work and collaboration to resolve the case."

Scotland Yard hands list naming 'people of interest' to Portuguese police in hunt for missing Madeleine McCann, 17 May 2013
Scotland Yard hands list naming 'people of interest' to Portuguese police in hunt for missing Madeleine McCann Daily Mail
  • Met police have named 'a good number' of potential suspects to speak to
  • DCS Hamish Campbell says his officers have done 'fantastic' case review
  • He urged his Portuguese counterparts to investigate their fresh leads
  • Madeleine went missing in May 2007 during a family holiday in Praia da Luz
By HARRIET ARKELL
PUBLISHED: 14:31, 17 May 2013 | UPDATED: 14:56, 17 May 2013

Detectives working to find missing Madeleine McCann have given their counterparts in Portugal a new list of potential suspects and have urged them to investigate them

Detectives working to trace missing Madeleine McCann have given a list of names of potential suspects to police in Portugal, it emerged today.

Scotland Yard has drawn up the list of people 'of interest' who may have abducted the British child who went missing from a holiday apartment in the resort of Praia da Luz in 2007.

Detective Chief Superintendent Hamish Campbell, head of the Met's Homicide and Serious Crime Command, said his detectives had drawn up a 'good number' of individuals who needed to be spoken to over the abduction.

This afternoon he said his Portuguese counterparts needed to work on the new leads the British police had given them.

He told the Evening Standard: 'There are a lot of people of interest. There are people who could be properly explored further, if only to be eliminated.'

The official inquiry by Portuguese police was shelved in 2008 but after David Cameron responded to a plea from Madeleine’s parents, police in London launched a review of the case in 2011.

DCS Campbell said the 30 officers working on the review had done a fantastic' job in working to bring up 'further investigative and forensic opportunities.'

He said it was 'perfectly probable' that information which could identify the suspect responsible for Madeleine’s disappearance was already within the Portuguese files.

'We have to ask ourselves why are cases unsolved and, on many occasions, we find we passed the suspects by already and the suspect sits within our system.'

The detective said there were a 'good number' of people who could be interviewed and eliminated to narrow the number of suspects down.

Madeleine, from Leicestershire, was nearly four when she disappeared while her parents Kate and Gerry were enjoying dinner with friends at the holiday resort in Portugal.

Last week Kate and Gerry McCann marked the sixth anniversary of their daughter's disappearance with prayers

Last week Kate and Gerry McCann marked the sixth anniversary of their daughter's disappearance with prayers

--------------------

Last week, soon after the sixth anniversary of their daughter's disappearance, the McCanns said their daughter's bedroom in their home in Rothley was still as she had left it to go on holiday in 2007.

British and Portuguese police have not always seen eye to eye on the case.

Last year Portuguese police refused to reopen the investigation into the Madeleine case and said there was no new evidence. But Scotland Yard said their own review, led by Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, had thrown up 195 potential leads after studying vast amounts of material and evidence.

McCanns 'very pleased' with review, 17 May 2013
McCanns 'very pleased' with review The Press Association

Press Association – Fri, May 17, 2013

Madeleine McCann went missing from her family's holiday apartment in Portugal's Algarve in May 2007
Madeleine McCann went missing from her family's holiday apartment in Portugal's Algarve in May 2007
 

Madeleine McCann's parents are said to be "very, very pleased" with Scotland Yard's review of their daughter's disappearance, as it emerged detectives have identified "more than a handful of people of interest" in the case.

Detective Chief Superintendent Hamish Campbell said the review, dubbed Operation Grange, has identified "both investigative and forensic opportunities", and said the people of interest could be explored further, if only to be eliminated.

Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry, who spoke earlier this month about how they were encouraged by the review, have now repeated their support for it.

Their spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "Kate and Gerry remain very, very pleased with the work that Scotland Yard are doing and have been encouraged by Operation Grange from the day it began. Beyond that, they simply will not comment on what are police operational matters."

Madeleine, who was then nearly four, disappeared from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in Portugal's Algarve on May 3 2007, as her parents dined at a restaurant with friends nearby.

Operation Grange, conducted by Scotland Yard's Homicide & Serious Crime Command, was launched in May 2011.

Mr Campbell said: "The purpose of the review was to look at the case with fresh eyes and there is always real benefit in doing so. The review has further identified both investigative and forensic opportunities to support the Portuguese.

"There is more than a handful of people of interest which could be explored further if only to be eliminated. The key things are to investigate the case and our work is happening to support the Portuguese."

As they marked the sixth anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance earlier this month, Mr and Mrs McCann said they were encouraged by Operation Grange, and said police seemed "more determined than ever".

''In many ways things haven't changed and you could argue that, with the Met review two years in, we are actually in a better place because so much more information has been collated and lots of pieces of the jigsaw have been filled,'' said Mr McCann.

McCanns 'very pleased' with review, 17 May 2013
McCanns 'very pleased' with review Daily Star

ABOVE: Madeleine McCann went missing from her family's holiday apartment in Portugal's Algarve in May 2007

17th May 2013

Madeleine McCann's parents are said to be "very, very pleased" with Scotland Yard's review of their daughter's disappearance, as it emerged detectives have identified "more than a handful of people of interest" in the case.

Detective Chief Superintendent Hamish Campbell said the review, dubbed Operation Grange, has identified "both investigative and forensic opportunities", and said the people of interest could be explored further, if only to be eliminated.

Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry, who spoke earlier this month about how they were encouraged by the review, have now repeated their support for it.

Their spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "Kate and Gerry remain very, very pleased with the work that Scotland Yard are doing and have been encouraged by Operation Grange from the day it began. Beyond that, they simply will not comment on what are police operational matters."

Madeleine, who was then nearly four, disappeared from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in Portugal's Algarve on May 3 2007, as her parents dined at a restaurant with friends nearby.

Operation Grange, conducted by Scotland Yard's Homicide & Serious Crime Command, was launched in May 2011.

Mr Campbell said: "The purpose of the review was to look at the case with fresh eyes and there is always real benefit in doing so. The review has further identified both investigative and forensic opportunities to support the Portuguese.

"There is more than a handful of people of interest which could be explored further if only to be eliminated. The key things are to investigate the case and our work is happening to support the Portuguese."

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: "Our investigative review is ongoing and we are encouraged by the progress we are making. We are reviewing a significant number of documents and continue to identify potential lines of inquiry.

"We can confirm that as part of this process we have identified a number of persons of interest, but any suggestion that the MPS is asking the Portuguese police to make arrests in connection with this inquiry is entirely inaccurate. We are in regular contact with Kate and Gerry McCann and they are kept fully updated on the progress of our work. We also continue to work closely with the Portuguese police and are actively considering our next steps."

'There is a possibility she is still alive': Scotland Yard identify 20 new suspects in hunt for Madeleine McCann - but Portuguese will not re-open inquiry, 17 May 2013
'There is a possibility she is still alive': Scotland Yard identify 20 new suspects in hunt for Madeleine McCann - but Portuguese will not re-open inquiry Daily Mail
  • Met police have named 'a good number' of potential suspects to speak to
  • DCS Hamish Campbell says his officers have done 'fantastic' case review
  • He urged his Portuguese counterparts to investigate their fresh leads
  • Kate and Gerry McCann are 'very, very pleased' about the new list of names
  • Madeleine went missing in May 2007 during a family holiday in Praia da Luz
By STEPHEN WRIGHT
PUBLISHED: 14:31, 17 May 2013 | UPDATED: 10:52, 18 May 2013

Detectives working to find missing Madeleine McCann have given their counterparts in Portugal a new list of potential suspects and have urged them to investigate them

More than 20 new suspects in the Madeleine McCann investigation have been identified by British police.

A Scotland Yard review of the bungled Portuguese inquiry into the three-year-old's disappearance in 2007 has uncovered dozens of fresh leads, it emerged yesterday.

They include 'forensic opportunities' and several 'people of interest', including Britons, who have not been eliminated from the case.

Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, are said to be 'greatly encouraged' by the developments.

But the Mail has learned that behind the scenes, a major diplomatic row is brewing because the Portuguese authorities are adamant they will not reopen the inquiry.

Officials in Lisbon have told their British counterparts that under Portuguese laws, they can reopen the case only if there is new evidence.

But Yard chiefs – who want the Portuguese to agree to a joint investigation – say their new leads could, if properly explored, result in new evidence and possibly the Maddie mystery being solved.

One well-placed source described the deadlock as 'a Mexican stand-off'.

'It's a chicken-and-egg situation. Significant new evidence can be found if the leads uncovered by the Yard are investigated. There are two major obstacles to a joint investigation: the money to fund it in Portugal and the loss of face they would suffer from having to agree to such an inquiry.'

It is understood high-level discussions have taken place in the UK about the possibility of Scotland Yard launching its own investigation. British police do not have jurisdiction in Portugal, but they have the right to investigate and prosecute any British suspects linked to Madeleine's disappearance.

Still hopeful: Mrs McCann returned to Portugal this month with her mother, Susan Healy, six years on

Still hopeful: Mrs McCann returned to Portugal this month with her mother, Susan Healy, six years on

--------------------

This picture shows Kate and Gerry McCann marking the fifth anniversary of their daughter's disappearance with an 'aged' photo of how she might look - on the sixth anniversary this year they said they'd not given up

 

This picture shows Kate and Gerry McCann marking the fifth anniversary of their daughter's disappearance with an 'aged' photo of how she might look - on the sixth anniversary this year they said they'd not given up

-------------------

Should the Met decide to launch its own investigation, it is likely to send a formal letter of request to the Portuguese authorities – seeking its assistance in its inquiries.

Last night a Yard spokesman confirmed a high-level delegation of officers travelled to Portugal in March, but he refused to comment on what discussions took place.

The senior detective who has overseen the Met's two-year review of the case yesterday confirmed his officers had drawn up a list of people who they say are 'of interest'. Detective Chief Superintendent Hamish Campbell, the head of Scotland Yard's Homicide and Serious Crime Command, said there were a 'good number' of individuals who should be questioned.

Blunders in Portugal

He would not disclose the precise number but sources told the Mail that at least 20 potential suspects – including a number of Britons who were in the Algarve at the time of Madeleine’s disappearance six years ago – had not been properly eliminated.

Mr Campbell urged the Portuguese authorities to investigate the new leads.

He said: 'There are a lot of people of interest. There are people who could be properly explored further, if only to be eliminated.'

Madeleine went missing from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in Portugal in 2007 as her parents dined with friends nearby. The shambolic Portuguese inquiry was shelved in 2008 but Scotland Yard launched a Home Office-funded review of the case in 2011 following the intervention of David Cameron.

Last year the officer in day-to-day charge of the review, Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, said his team had identified 195 potential leads after examining a huge bundle of material.

Mr Campbell said it was 'perfectly probable' that information which could identify the suspect responsible for Madeleine's disappearance was already in the Portuguese files.

He reiterated a claim that Madeleine could still be alive. He said: 'You only have to look at the case in Cleveland, Ohio, and the European cases. Of course there is a possibility she is alive.

'But the key is to investigate the case and, alive or dead, we should be able to try and discern what happened.' The McCanns, of Rothley, Leicestershire, have been kept closely informed of Scotland Yard's review – codenamed Operation Grange – over the past two years.

A spokesman for the couple said: 'They have been encouraged from the moment the review started and are now greatly encouraged that police have drawn up a short list of people who they believe are of interest to the inquiry.'

A source close to the couple said: 'While they don't want to raise their hopes too much, they are buoyed up by these revelations.'

A Home Office source said: 'Clearly not all the 20 potential suspects identified by the Met could be responsible for Madeleine's disappearance. But the Yard are adamant that if they were running the inquiry here, these people would have been properly eliminated.'

The Ocean Club resort in Praia da Luz in the Algarve from where Madeleine McCann was abducted in May 2007

The Ocean Club resort in Praia da Luz in the Algarve from where Madeleine McCann was abducted in May 2007

------------------

Madeleine McCann as she looked when she went missing, left, and how she would look now, right

Madeleine McCann as she looked when she went missing, left, and how she would look now, right

DCS Campbell, who retired today as head of the Met's Homicide and Serious Crime Command, urged Portuguese police to act on the new list of potential suspects in the Madeleine McCann case

DCS Campbell, who retired today as head of the Met's Homicide and Serious Crime Command, urged Portuguese police to act on the new list of potential suspects in the Madeleine McCann case

-----------------

Madeleine McCann disappearance: Missing girl's parents "pleased" with police review after it indentifies potential suspects, 17 May 2013
Madeleine McCann disappearance: Missing girl's parents "pleased" with police review after it indentifies potential suspects Daily Mirror

17 May 2013 16:56

Madeleine was nearly four when she disappeared from Praia da Luz in Portugal's Algarve on May 3, 2007

Missing: Madeleine was snatched from her holiday apartment as her parents dined at a tapas restaurant with friends nearby in 2007

Madeleine McCann's parents were today said to be "very, very pleased" with Scotland Yard's review of their daughter's disappearance, as it emerged detectives have identified "more than a handful of people of interest" in the case.

Detective Chief Superintendent Hamish Campbell said the review, dubbed Operation Grange, has identified "both investigative and forensic opportunities" and said the people of interest could be explored further, if only to be eliminated.

Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry, who spoke earlier this month about how they were encouraged by the review, today repeated their support for it.

Their spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "Kate and Gerry remain very, very pleased with the work that Scotland Yard are doing and have been encouraged by Operation Grange from the day it began.

"Beyond that, they simply will not comment on what are police operational matters."

Madeleine, who was then nearly four, disappeared from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in Portugal's Algarve on May 3 2007, as her parents dined at a tapas restaurant with friends nearby.

Operation Grange, conducted by Scotland Yard's Homicide & Serious Crime Command, was launched in May 2011.

Madeleine's parents have refused to give up hope that they might find their daughter.

Today Mr Campbell said: "The purpose of the review was to look at the case with fresh eyes and there is always real benefit in doing so. The review has further identified both investigative and forensic opportunities to support the Portuguese.

"There is more than a handful of people of interest which could be explored further if only to be eliminated.

"The key things are to investigate the case and our work is happening to support the Portuguese."

As they marked the sixth anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance earlier this month, Mr and Mrs McCann said they were encouraged by Operation Grange, and said police seemed "more determined than ever".

"In many ways things haven't changed and you could argue that, with the Met review two years in, we are actually in a better place because so much more information has been collated and lots of pieces of the jigsaw have been filled," said Mr McCann.

The couple's hope was further reinforced by the recent discovery of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight in Ohio, a decade after they went missing in separate incidents.

When the women were found, the McCanns said the rescue of the women "reaffirmed" their hope of finding their daughter, which had never diminished.

"Their recovery is also further evidence that children are sometimes abducted and kept for long periods," they said in a statement.

"So we ask the public to remain vigilant in the ongoing search for Madeleine."

Mrs McCann, who recently returned to Portugal, said their family, including twins Sean and Amelie, now eight, had found a "new normality" since Madeleine's disappearance.

She encouraged anybody with any information to contact police, added: "I think to encourage everybody, it's six years on, but the way the Met review is going is really positive and with that, new hope.

"The search goes on, in a major way."

Madeleine McCann: New Suspects Identified, 17 May 2013
Madeleine McCann: New Suspects Identified Sky News

8:24pm UK, Friday 17 May 2013

Officers investigating the toddler's disappearance in 2007 draw up a list of "people of interest" they wish to speak to.

Sky News video - Portuguese police in Praia da Luz, May 2007

Police have identified a number of suspects in the case of missing Madeleine McCann, Scotland Yard has disclosed.

Officers investigating the case as part of a review have drawn up a list of "people of interest" they wish to speak to in connection with the disappearance of Madeleine in May 2007.

The review was launched in 2011 in an attempt to find out what happened to the toddler who vanished from the family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz on the Algarve.

Detective Chief Superintendent Hamish Campbell said: "The purpose of the review was to look at the case with fresh eyes and there is always real benefit in doing so. The review has further identified both investigative and forensic opportunities to support the Portuguese.

An artist's impression of what Madeleine might look like now

"There is more than a handful of people of interest which could be explored further if only to be eliminated.

"The key things are to investigate the case and our work is happening to support the Portuguese."

A spokesman for the McCann family, Clarence Mitchell, said: "Kate and Gerry continue to be encouraged by Operation Grange and are very pleased by the work the police are doing. Beyond that they won't be commenting on any operational matters."

The Portuguese authorities' handling of the original investigation was widely criticised.

The police named Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry, as suspects but they were cleared in July 2008 when the attorney general ruled there was nothing to link them to their daughter's disappearance.

Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry McCann in Praia da Luz in 2007

Madeleine disappeared from the bedroom of the ground floor apartment that she was sharing with her brother and sister Sean and Amelie, who are twins, on the evening of May 3, 2007, just days before her fourth birthday.

Her parents had been enjoying a holiday meal with friends at a tapas restaurant just 130 yards away.

Mr and Mrs McCann, who have campaigned endlessly to find out what happened to their daughter, recently quietly celebrated her 10th birthday.

Speaking at that time, Mrs McCann, a GP, said: "We still celebrate her and her being part of our lives. I go into Madeleine's room and I don't even have to talk - I can just think. It's as it was really and I'm not ready to change it.

"We always include Madeleine in everything. She is in my head and my heart every minute of every day."

------------------

Video transcript

By Nigel Moore

Mark White: (voice over) The disappearance of Madeleine McCann in the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz captured worldwide attention. A mystery, which, six years on, remains unsolved.

The official investigation into Madeleine's disappearance by police in Portugal is at an end. But the McCann family have been given renewed hope by a Scotland Yard review of the case. Detectives here say they're making progress and have identified a number of 'people of interest'; potential 'suspects'.

Detective Chief Superintendent Hamish Campbell, head of the Met's Homicide and Serious Crime Command, said: "There is more than a handful of people of interest which could be explored further if only to be eliminated. The key things are to investigate the case and our work is happening to support the Portuguese."

A spokesman for Kate and Gerry McCann said they were very pleased with the progress of the Scotland Yard review. A position they echoed in an interview with Sky News earlier this month.

Gerry McCann: (archive footage) We think they're doing a great job and in some respects because there was so much information, I get the feeling that the... the Met now feel that they're really just getting their teeth into it and they can see all these lines of inquiry that need followed up. So, errm... as far as I understand it, there's no timescale set and it's as long as progress is being made and we certainly feel, on the information we've been given, that they're... they're making excellent progress.

Mark White: (voice over) The McCanns said the recent discovery of three missing girls in the US had reinforced their belief that Madeleine could still be alive. That view is shared by Detective Chief Superintendent Campbell but the passage of time won't make it easy for any renewed investigation.

This computer enhanced image [Teri Blythe image] was released recently by the family, showing how Madeleine McCann might look now. They're keeping up the pressure.

Scotland Yard is now also actively encouraging the Portuguese police to look afresh at the case and interview the people detectives here believe are of interest.

Mark White, Sky News.

--------------------

Madeleine: Key Events Timeline

Updated: 12:59pm UK, Saturday 15 June 2013

Here is a timeline of the key events since Madeleine McCann's disappearance.

2007

:: May 3
- Kate and Gerry McCann leave their three children asleep in their holiday apartment in Praia da Luz while they dine with friends at a nearby tapas restaurant.

Jane Tanner, one of the friends eating with the McCanns, later reports seeing a man carrying a child away earlier that night.

:: May 5
- Portuguese police reveal they believe Madeleine was abducted but is still alive and in Portugal, and say they have a sketch of a suspect.

:: May 14
- Detectives take Anglo-Portuguese man Robert Murat in for questioning and make him an "arguido", or official suspect.

:: May 25
- Detectives release a description of the man reported by Jane Tanner three weeks earlier after pressure from the McCanns, their legal team and the British Government.

:: May 30
- Mr and Mrs McCann meet the Pope in Rome in the first of a series of trips around Europe and beyond to highlight the search for their daughter.

:: August 6
- A Portuguese newspaper reports that British sniffer dogs have found traces of blood on a wall in the McCanns' holiday apartment.

:: August 11
- Exactly 100 days after Madeleine disappeared, investigating officers publicly acknowledge for the first time that she could be dead.

:: September 7
- During further questioning of Mr and Mrs McCann, detectives make them both "arguidos" in their daughter's disappearance.

:: September 9
- The McCanns fly back to England with their two-year-old twins Sean and Amelie.

:: October 2
- Goncalo Amaral, the detective in charge of the inquiry, is removed from the case after criticising the British police in a Portuguese newspaper interview.

:: October 25
- The McCanns release a new artist's impression drawn by an FBI-trained expert showing the man described by Jane Tanner.

2008

:: March 19
- Mr and Mrs McCann accept £550,000 libel damages and front-page apologies from Express Newspapers over allegations they were responsible for Madeleine's death.

:: April 7
- Three Portuguese detectives, led by Paulo Rebelo, fly to Britain to re-interview the seven friends on holiday with the McCanns when Madeleine vanished.

:: July 17
- Mr Murat receives £600,000 in libel damages from four newspaper groups over "seriously defamatory" articles connecting him with the child's disappearance.

:: July 21
- The Portuguese authorities shelve their investigation and lift the "arguido" status of the McCanns and Mr Murat.

:: August 4
- Thousands of pages of evidence from the Portuguese police files in the exhaustive investigation into Madeleine's disappearance are made public.

2009

:: January 13
- Mr McCann returns to Portugal for the first time since coming back to the UK without his daughter.

:: March 24
- The McCanns launch a localised new appeal for information focused on the area in the Algarve where Madeleine disappeared.

:: April 4
- Mr McCann goes back to Portugal to help film a reconstruction of the events on the night his daughter vanished.

:: April 22
- The McCanns fly to the US to record an interview with chat show host Oprah Winfrey to mark two years since Madeleine's disappearance.

:: June 14
- Dying paedophile Raymond Hewlett says he was in the Algarve when Madeleine disappeared and has an alibi - but has no plans to reveal it.

:: August 6
- Detectives say they are hunting a "Victoria Beckham lookalike" with an Australian or New Zealand accent, reportedly seen in Barcelona three days after the little girl went missing.

2010

:: Feb 18
-  Kate and Gerry McCann say they are "pleased and relieved" at a judge's decision to uphold a ban on a book by former detective Goncalo Amaral.

:: Mar 3
-  A newly-released file from Portugese police on possible sightings is called "gold dust" and could lead to a breakthrough, says a spokesman for the McCanns.

:: May 1
- Kate McCann reveals she had thoughts about being "wiped out" in a motorway crash to end the pain of losing Madeleine - but vows never to give up.

:: November 10
- Madeleine's parents launch an online petition to help force a UK and Portuguese joint review of all evidence in the case.

:: November 15
- The McCanns sign a deal to write a book about their daughter's disappearance.

2011

:: May 13
- The Prime Minister David Cameron asks London's Metropolitan Police to help investigate the case.

:: November 23
- Kate and Gerry McCann appear at the Leveson Inquiry into media ethics.

They tell how media pressure affected their family life and accuse newspaper editors of hampering the search for their missing daughter.

Kate McCann says she felt "violated" when her diary was published without her permission.

:: December 5
- Scotland Yard detectives spend time in Barcelona as part of their re-examination of the case.

2012

:: March 9
- Portuguese police in Oporto launch a review of the original investigation.

:: April 26
- Scotland Yard says Madeleine McCann may still be alive and release an artist's impression of what she may look like as a nine-year-old.

:: July 6
- British detectives examine a claim that the little girl's body is buried near the apartment from where she vanished. It comes after a self-styled investigator sends police radar scans he claims show a burial site.

2013

:: Feb 11
- Gerry McCann calls for politicians to implement the conclusions of the Leveson Inquiry in full, backed by legislation.

:: Feb 13
- Police say the results of DNA tests on a girl in New Zealand who was mistaken for Madeleine reveal that she is not the missing British girl.

:: Feb 21
- Retired solicitor Tony Bennett who published claims that Madeleine McCann's parents caused her death is given a suspended jail sentence.

:: May 2
- Madeleine McCann's parents tell Sky News a police review into their daughter's disappearance is making "excellent progress" as they mark the sixth anniversary since she went missing.

:: May 17
- Scotland Yard say they have identified a number of "people of interest" they want to speak to. It believes it has found enough evidence to reopen the case but the Portuguese authorities are still resistant.

:: June 15 - 
The Home Office agrees to fund a full-scale investigation by the Metropolitan Police.

Various suspects in the disappearance of Maddie are identified, 17 May 2013
Various Suspects in the Disappearance of Maddie are Identified Correio da Manhã

English authorities reveal new developments a few days after the sixth year anniversary the girl's disappearance. Stephen Birch, a South-African private investigator, says that "it is all part of a staging".

By: José Maria Pinheiro
17 May 2013 20h50
With thanks to Ines for translation

Maddie disappeared six years ago

Scotland Yard of the British police has identified a considerable number of potential suspects related to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, after the Prime Minister, David Cameron, ordered a review of the case, according to the British press.

Details about the potential suspects have not been released, however their identification has led a team of almost 40 English officers to travel to Portugal on several occasions.

"Our objectives are to investigate the case and to provide support to the Portuguese police," Andy Redwood stated to the British newspaper "The Guardian".

Little "Maddie" disappeared on 3rd May 2007, from Praia da Luz in Portugal. The case was archived by the national authorities in 2008, a decision that was highly criticised at the time.

STEPHEN BIRCH TALKS OF A STAGING

"It is no more than a staging by the British government," says Stephen Birch, a South African businessman who carried out one of the main private investigations into the Madeleine McCann case. "It is rather a means of maintaining the bilateral agreement between the two countries, which translates into almost 8 million euros in the form of trade exchanges."

Birch says that he is setting up an investigation page on the Internet, as he does not believe in the capacities of the British authorities: "The site will be in Portuguese and people will have the opportunity to send or publish information that they consider to be relevant to the case," the businessman told CM.

Since last year Stephen Birch has claimed that "the girl is dead and buried in the grounds belonging to Robert Murat's house", although he admits that the owner "could be unaware of this". What is clear is that Birch, in spite of having been in Murat's property with a sonar device and having said that he the found the girl's remains, has never managed to make the authorities believe his theory and excavate the site.

Madeleine McCann may still be alive: Police identify list of new abduction suspects, 17 May 2013
Madeleine McCann may still be alive: Police identify list of new abduction suspects Daily Mirror

By Martin Fricker, Tom Pettifor | 17 May 2013 21:00

The release of three women from the House of Horror in Ohio has given police new energy in the hunt for the youngster

Missing: Madeleine McCann pictured hours before she was taken

Kate and Gerry McCann have been given new hope in the hunt for missing daughter Madeleine after police identified a number of suspects who could have taken her.

Scotland Yard detectives today handed the names to their Portuguese counterparts and begged them to reopen the investigation into the three-year-old's abduction.

The man leading the Metropolitan Police's £2million review into the kidnapping, Operation Grange, insisted Madeleine could still be alive and believes it is "perfectly probable" ­information which could identify her abductor lies within local crime files.

Detective Chief Superintendent Hamish Campbell said the release of the three women from the House of Horror in Ohio after a decade in captivity has given them new energy in the hunt for the youngster.

He added: "There is more than a handful of people of interest which could be ­properly explored further, if only to be eliminated.

"The key things are to investigate the case and our work is happening to support the Portuguese.

"The purpose of the review was to look at the case with fresh eyes and there is always real benefit in doing so.

"The review has further identified both investigative and forensic opportunities to support the Portuguese.

"You only have to look at the case in Cleveland, Ohio, and European cases.

"Of course, there is a possibility she is alive, you cannot exclude it.

"But the key is to investigate the case and, alive or dead, we should be able to try to discern what happened.

"The purpose of the review is to look at it with fresh eyes... there has been real benefit in doing it."

Welcome news: Kate and Gerry McCann

 

 The McCanns, both 45, are said to have welcomed the news.

A spokesman for the pair revealed they could not comment as the ­Scotland Yard review is ­continuing.

But a source close to the family, from Rothley, Leicestershire, added: "Kate and Gerry are ­encouraged by what Hamish Campbell has said.

"They have been impressed from day one with how Operation Grange has been progressing and how the Met Police are handling it.

"They both feel like something is finally being done to solve what happened to their daughter and find her.

"It was always going to be the case that the review would flag up people that need to be interviewed again, even if it is just to eliminate them.

"They have never, and will never, give up hope that Madeleine will one day be found alive."

Mr Campbell, head of the Met's Homicide and Serious Crime Command, said his team of 30 hand-picked officers had done a "fantastic" job in ­identifying "further ­investigative and forensic opportunities".

They drew up the list of people "of interest" after making 10 trips to Portugal to liaise with officials there.

The officer added: "We have to ask ourselves why are cases unsolved and, on many occasions, we find we passed the suspects by already and the suspect sits within our system."

Mr Campbell said there were a "good number" of individuals who should be questioned about the little girl's disappearance and that many could be ­eliminated to allow investigators to focus on a smaller group. ­

Portugal’s attorney general has repeatedly ruled out a new inquiry – despite British ­pressure.

But Mr Campbell's remarks will raise hopes of a fresh ­investigation, ­something the McCanns have called for since ­blundering police on the Algarve closed the case.

He said: "The Portuguese ­hopefully will pursue some of these ­opportunities with our ­assistance.

"There is room for further work and collaboration to resolve the case."

Resort: Holiday complex at Praia da Luz

Former GP Kate and heart doctor Gerry were both considered arguidos, or suspects, themselves in the weeks after their daughter vanished from their holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in May 2007 as they dined out with friends nearby.

Portuguese police dropped their ­suspicions after grilling the pair for two days. The bungled hunt for Madeleine was formally shelved in 2008.

Last November, the Mirror revealed officers were looking again at links between British ­paedophile Raymond Hewlett and Madeleine's ­disappearance.

Scotland Yard launched Operation Grange in 2011 after Home Secretary Theresa May responded to a plea from the McCanns.

Last year, detectives said they had identified 195 potential leads after ­examining the files.

Portuguese authorities in the northern city of Oporto launched a "tandem" review just months later which is continuing.

In December 2011 it was revealed the Met officers were examining up to eight "very important" new leads after meeting private ­investigators in Spain.

Detectives visited the Barcelona HQ of Metodo 3 – an agency which spent six months working for Kate and Gerry.

And last May, officers urged the Portuguese to reopen the case after uncovering potential new leads while sifting through 40,000 pieces of information.

But their hopes were dashed days later when the attorney general refused.

A statement from his office said: "We will only open the case if new, credible and relevant facts arise, and not more hypotheses or speculations."

Madeleine McCann police identify 'new leads', 17 May 2013
Madeleine McCann police identify 'new leads' BBC News (video)

The McCanns visit the church in Praia da Luz in 2007

The McCanns visit the church in Praia da Luz in 2007

The McCanns visit the church in Praia da Luz in 2007

Gerry McCann enjoys a joke with Justine McGuinness as he enters church

17 May 2013 Last updated at 22:14

British police officers reviewing the case of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in 2007 say they have identified "a number of persons of interest".

Madeleine was almost four when she went missing from her family's Portuguese holiday flat in an Algarve resort.

In a statement, the Metropolitan Police said they were keeping Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, up-to-date with their progress.

Ben Geoghegan reports.

------------------
Video transcript

By Nigel Moore

Ben Geoghegan: (interview/voice over) Well, Scotland Yard have had about 30 officers looking through all of the evidence, over the last two years, since, errr... Scotland Yard said they would do that - and this was prompted by the Prime Minister, if you remember, a couple of years ago - and it's evidence from the Portuguese, it's their own evidence - because they've had detectives go over there on about 10 occasions, in the last couple of years - and it's also evidence that came about by inquiries from private investigators.

And the top man at Scotland Yard, in charge of homicide, is retiring and to sort of mark that he has given an interview to the Evening Standard newspaper, here in London, and he was asked about the Madeleine McCann case and he said, 'reviewing all the evidence has allowed us to look at it with fresh eyes and it's definitely been a worthwhile activity' and he went on to say 'the review has further identified both investigative and forensic opportunities to support the Portuguese'. He says, 'there is more than a handful of people of interest which could be explored further if only to be eliminated'.

And so the suggestion he seems to be making is that perhaps there are names in those files that, when the Portuguese saw them, perhaps they passed them by and perhaps need to go back to and look at again. They're not saying 'suspects', errr... certainly in that interview he's not saying 'suspects'. So, the question is, really, is this a real development?

Well, Scotland Yard issued a statement this afternoon; any suggestion they are asking the Portuguese to go out and arrest people as a result of this is 'inaccurate'.

Ray Stubbs(?): And the family reaction to the news today?

Ben Geoghegan: (studio) Their spokesman said they remained 'very, very pleased with the work Scotland Yard are doing and have been encouraged from the day it began'.

So, they're very supportive of this and, of course, they're supportive of anything that really keeps Madeleine's name in the headlines, which this, of course, will do.
   Front pages, Saturday 18 May 2013
 
Daily Express, 18 May 2013

 
Daily Star, 18 May 2013

 
Daily Mirror, 18 May 2013

 
Daily Mail, 18 May 2013

 
The Sun, 18 May 2013

 
London Evening Standard, 18 May 2013

Madeleine McCann hope as Scotland Yard identify 'handful' of suspects, 18 May 2013
Madeleine McCann hope as Scotland Yard identify 'handful' of suspects Daily Express

SCOTLAND YARD have identified a new list of potential suspects in the hunt for Madeleine McCann, it was revealed yesterday.

By: John Twomey
Published: Sat, May 18, 2013

It is now six years since Madeleine disappeared during a family holiday in Portugal

 

Officers have compiled a dossier on at least six "people of interest" who may hold the key to solving the six-year ­mystery of her disappearance.

Their names have been passed to Portuguese police. The breakthrough was revealed by Detective Chief Superintendent Hamish Campbell, head of the Metropolitan Police murder squad, who said it was possible that Madeleine could still be alive.

He said the escape of three women held captive for 10 years in a suburban house in Cleveland, Ohio, should give fresh impetus to efforts to find her.

Mr Campbell is in overall charge of Operation Grange, the ­£2million review of the case ordered by David Cameron.

Mr Campbell said: "The purpose of the review was to look at the case with fresh eyes and there is always real ­benefit in doing so.

"The review has further identified both investigative and forensic opportunities to support the Portuguese.

"There is more than a handful of people of interest which could be explored further if only to be eliminated. The key things are to investigate the case and our work is happening to support the Portuguese."

Portugal's attorney general has ruled out a new inquiry into three-year-old Madeleine's disappearance in Praia da Luz on the Algarve coast in May 2007.

But the Yard hopes the ­latest breakthrough by Operation Grange will mean a new inquiry is now more likely.

Mr Campbell added: "The Portuguese hopefully will pursue some of these investigative opportunities with our assistance. There is room for further work and collaboration to resolve the case."

The detective, who retired from the Met yesterday after 40 years, declined to give details of the new developments.

Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry McCann, said: "They continue to be very pleased with the work that the Met are doing on Operation Grange.

"They have been encouraged from the moment the review started and are now greatly encouraged that police have drawn up a shortlist of people who they believe are of interest to the inquiry. Beyond that they cannot comment on operational matters."

A source close to the couple said: "They are hoping it could lead to a ­significant breakthrough in the investigation. While they don't want to raise their hopes too much, they are buoyed up by these revelations.

"There are still things that need to be reviewed and police are continuing to look at the case files."

Madeleine vanished from her fam­ily's holiday apartment as Kate, 45, and husband Gerry, 44, dined with friends nearby. Operation Grange was launched in May 2011 after the couple, both doctors from Rothley, Leicestershire, appealed to Mr Cameron for help.

Gerry and Kate on TV on sixth anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance

 

Sir Paul Stephenson, the then Metropolitan Police Commissioner, agreed to set up a special squad of 37 hand-picked detectives and a number of important breakthroughs have been made.

Last year the officer in charge, Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, said there was a genuine possibility that Madeleine was still alive. At the time, Mr Redwood said: "From the outset we have approached this review with a completely open mind, placing Madeleine McCann at the heart of everything we do."

In all, the Grange squad has identified around 200 potential leads from a huge amount of material generated by three investigations – the Portuguese and British police inquiries and the work by private eyes employed by the McCanns.

Yard officers have travelled to Portugal and Spain several times.

Mr Campbell praised the painstaking professionalism of the Grange squad, saying officers had done a "fantastic" job.

He said it was "perfectly probable" that information that could identify the suspect or suspects responsible for Madeleine's disappearance was in the police files.

He added: "We have to ask ourselves why are cases unsolved and, on many occasions, we find we passed the suspects by already and the suspect sits within our system."

Mr Campbell said there were a "good number" of people who could be interviewed and eliminated to allow investigators to focus on a smaller group.

He endorsed the claim that Madeleine could still be alive, saying: "You only have to look at the case in Cleveland, Ohio, and the European cases. Of course there is a possibility she is alive, you cannot exclude it. But the key is to investigate the case and, alive or dead, we should be able to try to discern what happened."

A Yard spokesman stressed last night that the Met was not urging the Portuguese to arrest any suspect.

He said: "Our investigative review is ongoing and we are encouraged by the progress we are making.

"We are reviewing a significant number of documents and continue to identify potential lines of inquiry.

"We can confirm that as part of this process we have identified a number of persons of interest, but any suggestion that the Met is asking the Portuguese police to make arrests in connection with this inquiry is entirely inaccurate.

"We are in regular contact with Kate and Gerry McCann and they are kept fully updated on the progress of our work. We also continue to work closely with the Portuguese police and are actively considering our next steps."

Madeleine in Portugal

Scotland Yard hunt six British cleaners driving a white van in search for missing Maddie, 18 May 2013
Scotland Yard hunt six British cleaners driving a white van in search for missing Maddie Daily Mail
  • British cleaners and Portuguese manual workers are among new suspects
  • Many suspects worked at the complex where the three-year-old was staying
  • Scotland Yard have conducted a review of the Portuguese inquiry
  • Sources said 'low-level' workers have become the focus of interest.
By IAN GALLAGHER AND RUSSELL MYERS
PUBLISHED: 22:02, 18 May 2013 | UPDATED: 11:30, 19 May 2013


British cleaners and Portuguese manual workers are among new suspects in the Madeleine McCann investigation, The Mail on Sunday has learned.

Scotland Yard identified what they describe as 'people of interest' during a review of the Portuguese inquiry into the three-year-old's disappearance in May, 2007.

The suspects are thought to number 12 – not 20 as has been reported – and include a number of British cleaners who were working near the apartment complex where Madeleine, twin siblings Sean and Amelie and parents Gerry and Kate were staying.

Scotland Yard identified what they say are 'people of interest' in the kidnap of Madeleine McCann

 

Scotland Yard identified what they say are 'people of interest' in the kidnap of Madeleine McCann

---------------------

Sources said 'low-level' workers – handymen, cleaners and gardeners – have become the focus of interest. Some are thought to have been employed by the Ocean Club complex on a casual basis and may have already been interviewed.

Police are said to be keen to trace six British cleaners who were working in Praia da Luz when Madeleine vanished and who didn't appear in the Portuguese files.

They are said to have used a white van and went from apartment to apartment offering their services, chiefly concentrating on expats.

Gerry McCann and Kate McCann take their twins Sean and Amelie to the creche at the Ocean Club Resort in 2007

 

Gerry McCann and Kate McCann take their twins Sean and Amelie to the creche at the Ocean Club Resort in 2007

-------------------

The Ocean Club in Praia da Luz where Maddie was disappeared. Portuguese police refuse to reopen the case

 

The Ocean Club in Praia da Luz where Maddie was disappeared. Portuguese police refuse to reopen the case

----------------------------

A source said: 'There is quite a culture of people drifting from door to door offering services from everything from your garden to your roof or windows.'

As well as the manual workers there are a number of more obvious suspects who already appear in the Portuguese files but who British police feel haven't been 'bottomed out' properly and therefore warrant further investigation.

'There are a lot of people who could be explored further, if only to be eliminated,' said Detective Chief Superintendent Hamish Campbell, head of Scotland Yard's Homicide and Serious Crime Command.

However officers face having to break down Portuguese resistance to re-opening the inquiry. Officials in Lisbon say they can reopen the case only if there is new evidence. But it has been claimed that the new leads could, if properly explored, result in new evidence and possibly solve the Madeleine mystery.

Madeleine disappeared in 2007 when she was on holiday with her parents and brother and sister in Portugal

 

Madeleine disappeared in 2007 when she was on holiday with her parents and brother and sister in Portugal

-------------------

Kate and Gerry McCann have never given up hunting for their daughter

 

Kate and Gerry McCann have never given up hunting for their daughter

---------------------

Detectives examining the Portuguese files were alarmed that the original inquiry had not traced and interviewed all the staff and holidaymakers who were at the Ocean Club when Madeleine went missing.

Last year the Met said that it had identified 195 fresh leads that should have been investigated either by conducting further witness interviews, eliminating suspects or carrying out forensic tests that were missing from the 2007 inquiry.

Officers found unexplained gaps in the investigation timeline and that there had been a complete lack of forensic examination of mobile phone activity in the area on the night Madeleine disappeared.

Madeleine in an Everton football shirt before she disappeared. British officers face difficulty in breaking down resistance in Portugal to reopening the case

 

Madeleine in an Everton football shirt before she disappeared. British officers face difficulty in breaking down resistance in Portugal to reopening the case

---------------------

Madeleine McCann is seen how she may look as her ninth birthday approached in this computer-generated handout photograph released in 2012

Madeleine McCann is seen how she may look as her ninth birthday approached in this computer-generated handout photograph released in 2012

--------------------

Mr Campbell said it was 'perfectly probable' that information which could identify the suspect responsible for Madeleine's disappearance was already in the Portuguese files.

He reiterated a claim that Madeleine could still be alive. He said: 'You only have to look at the case in Cleveland, Ohio, and the European cases. Of course there is a possibility she is alive. But the key is to investigate the case and, alive or dead, we should be able to try and discern what happened.'

The McCanns, of Rothley, Leicestershire, have been kept closely informed of Scotland Yard's review – codenamed Operation Grange – over the past two years.

A spokesman for the couple said: 'They have been encouraged from the moment the review started and are now greatly encouraged that police have drawn up a short list of people who they believe are of interest to the inquiry.'

   Sunday Express, 19 May 2013

Sunday Express, 19 May 2013

Mystery couple seen going into McCanns' flat on night before sobbing Maddie disappeared, 19 May 2013
Mystery couple seen going into McCanns' flat on night before sobbing Maddie disappeared Sunday Express

SCOTLAND YARD detectives are trying to find a middle-aged couple said to have entered Madeleine McCann's holiday apartment to comfort her because she was crying, we can reveal today.

By: James Murray
Published: Sun, May 19, 2013

Madeleine's tears alerted a resident on eve of her disappearance

 

It is believed they entered the bedroom on May 2, 2007, the evening before Madeleine disappeared from the Ocean Club at Praia da Luz on Portugal's Algarve.

The tip-off was given by two key witnesses who were reinterviewed as part of the Yard's two-year, £4.5million investigation.

It is already known that Pamela Fenn, who lived directly above apartment 5a, heard a child, believed to be Madeleine, crying for about an hour on the evening of May 2.

She was so concerned she rang a friend in the village to ask what to do and considered ringing Portugal's Policia Judiciaria.

At the time, Madeleine's mother Kate and father Gerry were dining with friends at a tapas bar some 50 yards from the apartment.

A source said: "Police were astonished when this new information came to light. Officers spoke to other key witnesses to discover more about the middle-aged couple.

"Apparently they were concerned about the crying and went to see if they could comfort the girl."

Pamela Fenn has since died, so police have been speaking to other people who were staying in the same apartments.

Our revelation comes as Scotland Yard detectives say there are potentially 20 suspects they want to speak to. Retiring Detective Chief Superintendent Hamish Campbell, head of the Yard's Homicide and Serious Crime Command, urged Portuguese authorities to investigate the new leads.

He said: "There are a lot of people of interest. There are people who could be properly explored further, if only to be eliminated."

Scotland Yard officers have been interviewing witnesses here for months, although the public prosecutor in Portugal has decided against reopening the investigation.

Despite claims of a "Mexican stand off" between Portuguese police and Yard officers, the Sunday Express understands there is in fact very good co-operation between both squads.

Pedro de Carmo, deputy national leader of the PJ, said yesterday: "We still co-operate with their team. There are good communications."

Portuguese officers are very impressed with the diligence of the Met investigation and have been impressed with their interviews with witnesses in Britain.

We can confirm that a couple staying in the same block as apartment 5a were interviewed last February.

They were in their apartment on the night Madeleine vanished. Afterwards they wrote an account of what they saw but were never formally interviewed by Portuguese detectives.

They had been at a restaurant earlier in the evening and left at about 9pm.

Ocean Club view, showing distance between tapas bar and McCanns' apartment

 

On their way home they walked directly past the entrance to the Ocean Club pool, where the "Tapas 7" (the name given to the friends eating with the McCanns on the night Madeleine disappeared) were enjoying the meal with Kate and Gerry.

They walked past apartment 5a but noticed nothing untoward. The woman said in her statement: "I stood on the balcony at about 9.15 with a whisky.

"I saw people eating at the tapas bar and children in the play area. We went to bed at 10pm-ish. We were woken up by our bell ringing at 11.30pm. It was a friend of the McCanns, saying that a little girl had been abducted. The friend asked if we had a computer so they could get the media involved in the search.

"Two police were on the corner of our block, one lady said that off-duty police had come and were searching. We did see single men on mobiles while we were out who could have been police."

The couple took part in the search for Madeleine and then returned to their apartment.

The woman's statement continues: "We walked back up towards our apartment, a group had gathered on the corner. The McCanns were in bits, he was crying on the shoulder of a friend. She was screaming: 'The f*****g bastards have taken her'. Finally, at around 4am, we said: 'Is it OK if we go to bed?' We directed this comment towards a man in a white shirt and jeans, who seemed to be authoritative."

At the couple's home here, two Yard officers questioned them separately for three hours and got them to sign lengthy statements. They further interviewed them this year to double check their information.

The couple are key because at precisely 9.15pm on May 3, Jane Tanner, a friend of the McCanns, said she left the tapas bar and walked past Gerry, who was talking to holidaymaker Jez Wilkins outside apartment 5a.

Neither Gerry nor Kate said they saw Jane. She reported that she had seen a man carrying a child, believed to be Madeleine, walking across the top of the road.

At the time she had not realised the significance. Officers asked the couple if they saw Jane, Gerry or Jez but they insist they did not.

The Sunday Express has visited the couple's holiday apartment, which looks over the tapas bar. From its balcony you can see directly into the garden of apartment 5a.

The woman said: "We have one of the best views of the whole block. We are sure of the timings. If we had seen anyone we would have remembered.

"We will continue to answer the Yard's questions. We have given our fingerprints and DNA. We were happy to assist. They should be left to get on with their inquiries."

Is this where kidnapper spied on Madeleine McCann? Police narrow search to FOUR apartment blocks, 19 May 2013
Is this where kidnapper spied on Madeleine McCann? Police narrow search to FOUR apartment blocks Sunday Mirror

By Justin Penrose, Alex Wellman
19 May 2013 01:00


A British property owner in the resort of Praia Da Luz said the police had pinpointed "persons of interest" to the blocks

The view: Balcony overlooks Maddie flat and bar

British police probing Madeleine McCann's disappearance now believe her kidnapper was staying in a holiday flat near the family.

Scotland Yard detectives, who believe the youngster may still be alive, have narrowed their search to FOUR apartment blocks where the family were on holiday when the youngster went missing.

They are trying to work out who was in them at the time in 2007.

A British property owner in the Portuguese resort of Praia Da Luz told the Sunday Mirror police had pinpointed "persons of interest" to the blocks.

He said officers had told him some properties had been sub-let at the time WITHOUT the ­owners' knowledge.

The owner said police had spoken to him twice about the Ocean Club apartment blocks, which include the one where Madeleine was snatched.

"The officer who spoke to me blurted out the blocks ....five, six, two and four, in that order. I was amazed," said the Brit.

"Every one of the properties they are interested in is right next door to, or on top of the one where the little girl went missing.

"The officer said the ­people of interest were ­located in one of those blocks at the time.

"Knowing the resort layout, anyone in one of those flats could have looked down on that family.

"The McCanns were in the very lowest one on the corner."

Praia da Luz: Resort blocks overlook one another

The British owner showed us a letter from the Met Police's Operation Grange unit ­re-investigating Madeleine's ­disappearance.

He spoke as it emerged detectives have 20 potential suspects.

The four blocks contain 59 holiday flats, including flat 5A, which Kate and Gerry McCann were renting.

Officers are believed to have discounted several of the remaining 58 apartments after contacting owners and occupiers.

Met Det Chief Supt Hamish Campbell said on Friday he believed Madeleine, who would now be 10, could still be alive.

And Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for the McCanns, said yesterday: "Kate and Gerry continue to be encouraged by the work of Operation Grange."

So easy to spy on the McCanns

The four blocks at the heart of the Scotland Yard investigation would be an ­ideal location for an abductor to snatch Madeleine ­McCann.

Vantage points from some apartments give clear views of key areas at the centre of the police probe.

A patio window and the front door of the apartment where Madeleine slept with her brother and sister can be watched from many of them.

Crucially, there are also views of the tapas bar where her parents were dining with friends the night she ­vanished, along with the route they took to check on their children.

Yesterday the Sunday Mirror visited the four blocks in Praia da Luz and it was clear why detectives are focusing on the properties.

Visit: Our reporter Dominic Herbert at flats where the McCanns stayed

The McCanns were staying in Apartment 5A of Block 5.

Its front door is on the car park side of the block, so a kidnapper could be fleeing by car along the Algarve's main highway within minutes of a kidnap.

In the days before Madeleine went missing, anybody with access to certain apartments could easily watch her family's every movement without ­looking suspicious.

Next door to Block 5 is Block 4, which provides similar views.

Detectives are also focusing on Block 6, which is over the road from the other two blocks.

The building provides a direct view of Madeleine's apartment, the pathway behind the apartment, the rear patio doors, the Tapas bar entrance and the key roads out of the resort.

Finally police are also focusing on a fourth building, Block 2, which overlooks the whole area.

Meal: The tapas bar where Kate and Gerry ate

One police theory is that an abductor spied on the family from the moment they arrived.

Gerry ­McCann has said he believes they were being watched.

Met detectives are keen to trace everyone with ­access to flats there at the time of her disappearance but they have been hampered by the fact that many are sublet.

There was an eerie silence outside Apartment 5A yesterday and the shutters were firmly closed.

The yard was neat and tidy but without any activity inside it felt frozen in time, keeping the secrets of Madeleine's fate locked behind the large wooden front door.

There were only a handful of tourists in the resort which, while still open for business, is clearly tainted for ever by the events in 2007.

Holidaymaker Jola Wrzesinska, 52, of London, is staying directly above Apartment 5A and said she woke in a panic a few days ago after she thought she could hear noises downstairs.

She said: "I was having a nightmare about Madeleine and I was convinced I could hear somebody downstairs, it was horrible.

"I realised it was only a bad dream but it shows that our thoughts are always with what ­happened to that poor little girl."

The theories

Wanted: Artists' impressions of suspects

The sinister pock-marked stranger : A tourist said she saw him twice, once four days before Madeleine was snatched and again on May 2, the day before she disappeared.

The gypsy gang : Paedophile Raymond Hewlett, who lived on the Algarve, said he had been ­approached by gypsies ­wanting to buy ­children.

Buried under roadworks : The area around the Nossa ­Senhora da Luz church had been dug up at the time but this theory was dismissed.

Buried at sea : Police were quoted saying she had been dumped at sea.

Yacht ­escape : Police tried to find a British man who left the harbour on his yacht ­after mooring there for two years. A man was seen carrying a child to the boat.

Paedo network : It was claimed she'd been taken by a Europe-wide group.

Posh lookalike : Two men were ­approached in Barcelona by a "Victoria Beckham lookalike", who asked if they were ­delivering her new daughter.

Dumped in a lake : A local reservoir was searched. Cord, tape and a sock were found.

Maddie's kidnapper may still live here, 20 May 2013
Maddie's kidnapper may still live here The Sun

Brit expats fear he is 'one of us'

Missing ... Madeleine McCann
Missing ... Madeleine McCann

From ANTHONY FRANCE, Crime Reporter, in Praia de Luz
Published: 20th May 2013

WORRIED expats told last night of their fears that Madeleine McCann's kidnapper is still living among them in Portugal.

As UK detectives began tracking down 20 possible suspects, Brits even said the child snatcher "could be one of us".

Almost every bar and restaurant in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz has been asked to contact police in London after a major case review by the Met flagged up the 20 "people of interest".

They are said to include British tourists, workers and expats who were in the area at the time but were not properly ruled out of the inquiry.

Restaurant owner Carlos Rodrigues, originally from Bath, said: "We are worried the person responsible is one of us — a Brit we all trusted.

"They may even have been returning to Praia to see what is going on and listen in on people talking about them. It's chilling. Everyone is looking at each other. Madeleine's family need answers. It has gone on too long."

Madeleine vanished from her family's holiday flat days before her fourth birthday in 2007.

New hope as Maddie cops hunt 8 Brits, 20 May 2013

New hope as Maddie cops hunt 8 Brits Daily Star (paper edition)

 
Daily Star, 20 May 2013

Maddie cops hunt 8 Brits Daily Star

EIGHT Brits are on the police hitlist of new suspects wanted for questioning over the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

By Jerry Lawton / Published 20th May 2013

Madeleine McCann as she might look today

They include six cleaners with a white van who were working in the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz when the then three-year-old vanished.

Detectives also want to quiz a middle-aged British couple said to have entered the McCanns' apartment the night before Madeleine disappeared after hearing crying.

They are among 12 "people of interest" identified by a 30-strong team of Scotland Yard detectives who have spent the past two years reviewing the case.

Workers at the Ocean Club resort, where Madeleine was staying with her doctor parents Kate, 45, and Gerry, 44, are also on the list. They include a handyman, a cleaner and a gardener.

Det Chief Supt Hamish Campbell of Scotland Yard revealed the UK team’s inquiries had unearthed "a lot of people who could be explored further if only to be eliminated".

The team of Brit cleaners went from apartment to apartment offering their services with a focus on ex-pats.

A source said there was "quite a culture of people drifting from door to door" offering to tidy gardens and scrub windows or roofs.

The middle-aged couple were spotted by two witnesses with an apartment overlooking the garden of 5a where Madeleine was staying in May 2007.

The witnesses say the couple may have entered the apartment on May 2, just 24 hours before the youngster vanished, to comfort her after hearing her crying.

At the time Madeleine's parents were dining with pals in a nearby tapas bar.

Madeleine disappeared the following night while her parents, of Rothley, Leics, were again in the tapas bar.

Portuguese police are said to be impressed by the work of the UK detectives.

But they can only re-open the case if new evidence comes to light.

Madeleine Suspects 'Not Fully Investigated', 20 May 2013
Madeleine Suspects 'Not Fully Investigated' Sky News

12:46am UK, Monday 20 May 2013

Some suspects identified by Scotland Yard in the hunt for Madeleine McCann had been questioned before but not investigated fully.

Madeleine was almost four when she went missing

By Martin Brunt, Crime Correspondent, Praia da Luz, Portugal

Known paedophiles, holidaymakers and Ocean Club staff are thought to be among the dozen suspects identified in a Scotland Yard review of the Madeleine McCann case.

Some of them at least have been questioned in the original Portuguese police investigation, but dismissed without being fully investigated.

A source said: "British detectives on the McCann review have had major problems because the Portuguese police did not record reasons for not pursuing leads.

"They would just record 'no further action' without any explanation or justification."

The apartment building where Madeleine disappeared

Another source said that cell-site analysis of suspects' mobile phones, which is standard practice in all crime cases, was not done fully. That may have allowed Madeleine's abductor to avoid arrest.

Scotland Yard believes it has unearthed enough clues to justify the Portuguese authorities re-opening their investigation which was abandoned 15 months after Madeleine vanished.

Portugal's new Attorney-General Joana Marques Vidal has so far refused to do so, but as a lawyer who specialises in child protection, she may eventually be more willing than her predecessor.

Madeleine disappeared from the bedroom of the ground floor apartment that she was sharing with her brother and sister Sean and Amelie, who are twins, on the evening of May 3, 2007. It was just days before her fourth birthday.

Her parents had been enjoying a holiday meal with friends at a tapas restaurant just 130 yards away in the resort of Praia da Luz.

Psychologists Suggest Deep Flaws in Latest Search Strategy for Madeleine McCann, 21 May 2013
Psychologists Suggest Deep Flaws in Latest Search Strategy for Madeleine McCann The Huffington Post

Dr Raj Persaud and Adrian Furnham

Posted: 21/05/2013 00:00

The recent discovery of three women in Cleveland, Ohio, who had been abducted for such an extended period, has rekindled hopes that others long-missing could still be found. The search for Madeleine McCann appears to have been re-invigorated, coinciding with the recent publication of an 'age-progressed' photograph.

But new data from a recent series of psychology experiments, investigating how people recognize missing children, are alarming. The results suggest that the very techniques police forces around the world are currently using, may actually be making it harder to recover missing children.

When a child has gone missing for an extended period, predicting accurately current appearance seems imperative. This is currently accomplished via forensic techniques known as 'age progression,' in which an old photograph of the missing person is used to predict how the child would look now, using computer modelling.

In the USA it is claimed that age progression has helped to recover one of out every seven children reported missing to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. In almost every case in which age progression is used, it's also claimed new leads are generated.

Linked to the release of the age-progressed image of Madeleine McCann, the media have widely reported that UK detectives reviewing the case of her 2007 disappearance have identified "a number of persons of interest".

Although increasingly widely used, and offering much hope to distressed relatives and searchers, whether the technique actually aids recognition, has not been properly scientifically tested.

But psychologists Steve Charman and Rolando Carol, from Florida International University, have recently claimed in a new study, that age-progressed images might even harm recognition.

This has serious and profound implications for the current search strategy for Madeleine McCann, and others, particularly given how much publicity current age-progressed images have received all around the world.

In this research, participants are presented with either an outdated image of a child, an age-progressed image of a child, or both images, and then are exposed to a series of faces of young adults, and then asked to indicate whether any of them are the 'target' or missing child.

Charman and Carol found in their study that the addition of an age-progressed image significantly harmed recognition of the child, and significantly inflated false recognition.

The current study entitled 'Age-progressed images may harm recognition of missing children by increasing the number of plausible targets' found that the age-progressed images were not just simply decreasing the likelihood of recognizing anyone, but they seemed to be systematically leading people away from recognizing the target (and toward mistakenly 'recognizing' non-targets).

Charman and Carol's recent finding is absolutely crucial to the field of missing children investigation, as this remains one of the only proper investigations of this popular technique, and it indicates age-progressed images may actually harm ability to recognize a target.

Charman and Carol acknowledge this result is intriguing and counterintuitive: If the age-progressed image was a poor representation of the target, participants who viewed both an outdated and an age-progressed image could have simply ignored it and relied solely upon the outdated image. But they clearly did not: In fact, they performed worse than participants who viewed only the outdated image.

The detrimental effect of age-progressed images is most probably partly a psychological effect: The addition of an age-progressed image somehow changes observers' decision-making strategies, and does so in a profoundly unhelpful way.

Charman and Carol conducted further studies to investigate the precise mechanism by which age-progressed images seem to impede recognition of missing children. Adding an age-progressed image to an outdated image appears to effectively create a second target face that people use when looking for the target. But the age-progressed image is not a very accurate representation of what the actual missing child currently looks like. Therefore, the age-progressed image increases the number of competing non-target faces that are seen as possibly being the target.

Because more faces are now competing with the target's face for recognition, this results in lower recognition of the missing child, and inflated mistaken recognition of other faces.

Charman and Carol point out there are two possible negative costs associated with a recognition error produced by age-progressed images in the real world: An observer may mistakenly 'recognize' a non-target (a false alarm) or may fail to recognize an actual target (a miss). But these errors are not equal: The failure to recognize a missing child is much more serious than mistakenly 'recognizing' someone.

Consequently, an age-progression procedure that increased hits would be beneficial, even if it led to an increase in false alarms. The problem is that these new results suggest that age-progressed images seem to actually reduce the likelihood of correctly recognizing a missing child.

In other words, age-progressed images were not simply useless; they were in fact worse than useless, leading people away from the actual 'missing child'.

If observers behaved logically, then adding an age-progressed image to an outdated image should lead them to narrow in on a target. But, in contrast, it actually increases the number of plausible targets.

Basically people do not respond logically to age-progressed images.

Their data, published in the 'Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition' suggests that instead of realizing that the target must be a plausible match to both the outdated image and the age-progressed image (or, if the age-progressed image is perceived to be completely worthless, to only the outdated image), people seem to respond to age-progressed images by reasoning that the target must match either the outdated image or the age-progressed image, but not necessarily both.

Age-progression techniques are problematic not only because the algorithms of those techniques by which the photo is generated could be flawed, but also because observers are using information derived from age-progressed images incorrectly.

Charman and Carol conclude their study by pointing out the anecdotal evidence from The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which claims: "In virtually every case the production and distribution of an updated [i.e., age-progressed] image stimulates new leads" may not in fact be the good news it is touted to be.

Any purported increase in leads may just tend to be false recognitions of non-targets. Given the recent much trumpeted 'good news' suggesting the possible generation of new leads over Madeleine McCann, there is an ominous possibility suggested by this new research, that the hunt is heading in the wrong direction.

Why Madeleine McCann?, 23 May 2013
Why Madeleine McCann? England's England

Christopher England
Thursday, May 23, 2013


When the original news broke in 2007 about the disappearance from a holiday apartment in Portugal of a three year old, it wasn't a particularly unusual story.

I mean that in respect of the disturbing and unacceptable fact that children go missing all the time. Thousands of them disappear every year never to be seen again. I can't begin to imagine the agony this leaves behind. There can be nothing worse than the 'not knowing'.

And in writing this, I am not trying to take away that pain or to be demeaning.

Madeleine Crimestoppers

But, what has always puzzled me is the complete control of the media the case of Madeleine McCann has always had. That is not to say it shouldn't, but more to ask why the tens of thousands of parents facing the knotted stomachs and anguish as the weeks, months and then years pass since their child went missing, aren't given the same kind of coverage.

The initial investigation went through many odd twists and turns. Lots of the statements, lots of the supposed evidence, and, well, just lots of things, didn't add up.

We, the people sitting in our armchairs watching it all, just didn't like the McCanns for leaving tiny children unattended in an apartment whilst they were out getting drunk and partying. When the McCann's were arrested and treated as suspects, especially the mother, I was convinced the truth was now out. Yep, the parents had killed the child and the case was solved. Next story please.

The lack of a body and the lack of any relevant evidence meant this was not the answer, despite the number of websites spouting the contradictory 'evidence' for this particular conspiracy theory.

As always, after a while - although in the McCann case it was an extremely long while - the story finally left the front pages of British newspapers.

Every now and again it pops its head up, especially on Madeleine's birthday or the anniversary of her disappearance.

It's just done that yet again with the press full of the story that Scotland Yard has identified some 'persons of interest' that need interviewing. Or, maybe they were originally interviewed, they aren't so sure, but they need interviewing again.

How many other grieving parents wish they had such media attention to keep their case in the public eye? All of them.  For nearly all of them, the national press or TV coverage of even the initial disappearance doesn't appear. Their cases don't make headlines. Then a handful, especially where it's possible that others might go missing, make it to the local news for a while.

Depending on other factors, including a 'slow news day' only a tiny few make it into our eyeline via national headlines.

And virtually nobody gets mentioned again once the story is 'old' unless there's a body found, or somebody arrested.

Parents and friends will try desperately to keep the public interested, spending a fortune in time and money printing and distributing leaflets and posters. Tirelessly they will continue their search, but this usually doesn't generate any media interest, not even at a local level.

In complete contrast, something bizarre happened in the case of Madeleine McCann.

Stop me if I'm wrong, but how many other parents of missing children still have, even six years later, the services of a 'spokesman'? In theatrical terms this is a bit like having an 'agent', through whom all enquiries have to be made. For anybody else who has a missing child, they are their own 'spokesman', grabbing any opportunity they can. They will gladly do the interviews, answer questions or get involved in publicity for the search for their missing child, should the media ever bother to contact them. Meanwhile the McCanns have a 'spokesman' to deal with all that so they don't have to.

Doesn't that seem a little strange?

The other strangeness of the power of the McCanns compared to any other parents with missing children is the people they had access to. From the then Pope, with whom they got a fast-tracked audience within weeks of Madeleine's disappearance, through to the then Prime Minister Tony Blair. Heck, maybe it's a Catholic thing, since all parties are devoted to that particular religion, but surely there are hundreds of other Catholic parents who would have wanted the luxury of such access?

The power the McCanns have seems to be out of proportion to who they are. They are just a couple of middle class doctors, reasonably well off, but not with any particular heritage or connection to the upper echelons of the chattering and controlling classes.

Well, they were. Now, it seems, they are right in with them. They even have the power to bend the ear of the current Prime Minister David Cameron such that he went on to ask/command that Scotland Yard start 'Operation Grange' dedicated to re-visiting the case.

In contrast of course, to put this in context, when the 96 families of those football fans killed in the Hillsborough Disaster, kept asking Cameron and predecessors to re-visit the case, their pleas fell on deaf ears.

It seems the parents of a little girl disappearing hold far greater power than a group of 96 families when it comes to calling for justice. Likewise for any letters than may have arrived at Downing Street concerning any of the tens of thousands of other missing children. Nothing happens.

Don't get me wrong, I too wish for a satisfactory answer to the mystery of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. Equally, I wish for a satisfactory answer to the mystery of the disappearance of all the children whose parents don't have the luxury of spokesmen, easy access to the media, the Pope, or the Prime Minister.

But mainly, I'm asking why doesn't anybody else have this level of access to government, media, and the leader of their religion? Why just the McCanns?

Was Maddie snatched by monster who killed this little lookalike? That's the dramatic new lead uncovered by British detectives so why are the Portuguese refusing to investigate?, 24 May 2013
Was Maddie snatched by monster who killed this little lookalike? That's the dramatic new lead uncovered by British detectives so why are the Portuguese refusing to investigate? Daily Mail
  • Scotland Yard detectives have a list of 30 potential suspects
  • One of them is peadophile and child murderer Urs Hans von Aesch who killed himself in woodland
  • Von Aesch murdered five-year-old only five months after Maddie disappeared
  • But Portuguese police STILL dragging heels over investigation
By PAUL BRACCHI and STEPHEN WRIGHT
PUBLISHED: 23:46, 24 May 2013 | UPDATED: 13:14, 25 May 2013

Have you seen me? asks the little girl in the poster. The youngster is Madeleine McCann; not the Madeleine we all remember, but Madeleine as she might look today as a ten-year-old.

Her once-blonde hair is darker, the button nose has gone, along with those babyish chubby cheeks, and while the distinctive black 'flash' in her right eye — where her pupil runs into the iris — is still visible, it is not nearly so distinctive.

Behind this latest digitally created picture of Madeleine, now being circulated on the Continent, is renewed hope: that one day Madeleine's parents will find out what happened to her, and so end perhaps the most enduring and haunting mystery of modern times.

Linked? Five year old Ylenia Lenhard (left) from Appenzell in Switzerland who was killed by Swiss man Urs Hans Von Aesch just months after the disappearance of Madeleine McCann (right)

 

Linked? Five year old Ylenia Lenhard (left) from Appenzell in Switzerland who was killed by Swiss man Urs Hans Von Aesch just months after the disappearance of Madeleine McCann (right)

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That hope, if truth be told, had been all but extinguished, such were the shortcomings of the original Portuguese police investigation into Madeleine's disappearance on the Algarve a few days short of her fourth birthday in May 2007.

Only now, with the intervention of an elite team of detectives from Scotland Yard which has been carrying out a review of the case on David Cameron's orders, has evidence been properly accessed and analysed. It may be six years late, but at least this basic groundwork is finally being tackled.

The 30-strong squad working on the inquiry — codenamed Operation Grange — has identified 20 potential suspects, among them several Britons, as the Mail reported last week.

But who are they?

One of the 20, the Mail has learned, was a notorious paedophile who kidnapped and murdered a five-year-old girl in his native Switzerland less than three months after Madeleine vanished from the Ocean Club resort in Praia da Luz.

Secrets: Could child-killer Urs Hans Von Aesch, the Swiss man, who lived in Spain, have played a part in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann?

Urs Hans von Aesch, 67, shot himself dead after poisoning and sexually abusing Ylenia Lenhard.

Like Madeleine, Ylenia was blonde and blue-eyed. At the time Madeleine vanished, von Aesch was living in Spain, but he had visited the Algarve in the past and was known to have friends there.

Interpol twice contacted the Portuguese authorities about von Aesch, but information supplied by the Swiss about possible links with Madeleine was not followed up because senior officers in the Policia Judiciaria — the Portuguese CID — were wrongly convinced that Madeleine's parents were implicated in their daughter's disappearance.

The 'very urgent' messages from Interpol are there, in black and white, printed in publicly available documents in Portugal.

Unlike the Policia Judiciaria, however, detectives from Operation Grange did rigorously pursue this line of inquiry. Last year, they flew to Switzerland to probe von Aesch's movements. He is still believed to be a 'person of interest'.

Two other convicted child abusers — including one believed to be from Britain — who were on the Algarve at the relevant time, are also understood to be on the Scotland Yard 'list', together with a number of hotel workers and lorry drivers.

Detectives are now 'actively' examining mobile phone traffic in the Praia da Luz area on the day Madeleine was last seen.

Although the Policia Judiciaria had this information at the time of Madeleine's disappearance, they did not find out who the phones were registered to, even though 'cell-site' analysis is now a crucial investigative tool and the catalyst for solving countless crimes.

Had standard police procedures been followed back in 2007, it is conceivable that you would not be reading this article now, for the mystery of Madeleine’s disappearance may have been solved.

Nevertheless, Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, are said to be encouraged both by the progress of Operation Grange, and recent events in the U.S., where three women who had been missing for a decade were found alive and well in Cleveland, Ohio.

Hope: Kate and Gerry McCann have never given up hunting for their daughter

 

Hope: Kate and Gerry McCann have never given up hunting for their daughter

-------------------

Kate and Gerry, both doctors,  still refer to Madeleine in the present tense.

'She lives in the village of Rothley in Leicester with her mummy and daddy and little brother and sister, Sean and Amelie,' is how they introduce her on the 'Find Madeleine' website.

'Madeleine is a very happy little girl with an outgoing personality' ... like most girls her age, she likes dolls and dresses (and anything pink and sparkly).'

Madeleine was wearing pink pyjamas, with an Eeyore motif, on the night she was taken from apartment 5a on the ground floor of the Waterside Gardens at the Ocean Club complex.

Her parents were at a tapas bar with friends a few hundred yards away, taking it in turns to return to the flat every 30 minutes to check on the children.

It was Kate who made the final, fateful check at around 10pm. She found the twins were asleep inside but Madeleine's bed was empty, a moment Kate would later relive in her book, Madeleine.

'My heart lurched,' she wrote, 'as I saw now that, behind them, the window was wide open and the shutters on  the outside raised all the way up.  Nausea, terror, disbelief, fear, icy fear. Dear God, no! Please, No!'

Experts will tell you that what happens in the immediate aftermath of a child going missing — the so-called golden hour — is critical. Yet Portuguese police took four days to even issue a description of Madeleine.

Time to act: The Ocean Club in Praia da Luz where Maddie disappeared. Portuguese police refuse to reopen the case

 

Time to act: The Ocean Club in Praia da Luz where Maddie disappeared. Portuguese police refuse to reopen the case

--------------------

They failed to 'lock down' the resort or set up road blocks because they assumed she had just wandered off. The apartment itself was not taped off until 10am the following morning, by which time dozens of people had traipsed through the 'crime scene'.

Ash from policemen's cigarettes would later be found among contaminated forensic samples from the flat. Not all the staff and guests at the Ocean Club were traced and interviewed. Those who were interviewed were not always properly eliminated.

And a photofit picture of an early 'suspect' consisted of nothing more than the sketch of a face with hair parted on one side but with no actual eyes, nose or mouth.

The catalogue of mistakes and official complacency is almost endless and culminated in a shameful shadow of suspicion over Kate and Gerry McCann, who were treated as suspects themselves until their 'arguido' (suspect) status was removed in 2008, the same year as the inquiry into Madeleine's disappearance was formally suspended.

There were, declared the Portuguese police, simply no more leads to pursue.

Within months of Operation Grange being set up in 2011 — after Mr Cameron received a direct appeal for help from the McCanns — dozens of fresh leads had been identified.

The only British involvement in the case before this was that of Leicestershire police, the McCanns' local force, who were responsible for collating all the investigation work carried out on behalf of their Portuguese counterparts, such as interviewing British witnesses.

Gerry McCann and Kate McCann hold their twins Sean and Amelie at the Ocean Club Resort in 2007

 

Gerry McCann and Kate McCann hold their twins Sean and Amelie at the Ocean Club Resort in 2007

-----------------------

All this evidence was later made available to officers from Operation Grange, drawn from the Met's highly skilled Homicide and Serious Crime Command.

Two detectives first visited Praia du Luz in October 2011 and spoke 'informally' to staff at the Ocean Club. Colleagues are understood to have returned there up to ten times over the past two years.

Of particular interest were the numerous holiday flats, some of which were sub-let at the time the McCanns were staying at the resort. They have spoken to residents on the phone in recent months as well as emailing them questions.

'When I spoke to the police they were asking about other crimes happening in the area at the time of Madeleine's disappearance,' said expat Christie Jones, who works for her family's villa management company.

Two private detectives employed by the McCanns, Dave Edgar and Arthur Cowley, have also been interviewed.

'They [detectives from Operation Grange] came to see me late last year about specific people who were of interest to them,' said Mr Cowley, a retired detective sergeant, who lives in Holywell, North Wales.

One of those people, of course — according to a source close to Operation Grange — is the aforementioned Urs Hans von Aesch.

His exact whereabouts when Madeleine was abducted on May 3, 2007 are unclear. He was living near Alicante in Spain with his wife, but border records show that, driving a white van, von Aesch re-entered Switzerland on July 10.

Still out there? Senior Met Police officers believe Madeleine (pictured left, and in an artist's impression of how she may look aged nine, right) may still be alive and said the Cleveland kidnappings show there could still be hope

Still out there? Senior Met Police officers believe Madeleine (pictured left, and in an artist's impression of how she may look aged nine, right) may still be alive and said the Cleveland kidnappings show there could still be hope

-------------------

Less than a month later, he used this vehicle to abduct Ylenia as she left her local swimming pool in Appenzell. The day after she vanished, von Aesch was discovered in woodland with self-inflicted gunshot wounds to the head.

Ylenia's bicycle helmet, rucksack and a scooter were found nearby. All of the items contained von Aesch's DNA. Shortly afterwards, the remains of Ylenia were found in a shallow grave in nearby Oberbueren, a 20-minute drive from the spot where she was abducted.

At von Aesch's home in Spain, police seized diaries — in English — revealing his dark sexual fantasies about children and computer discs containing evidence that he had frequently visited child sex websites and forums on the internet.

Swiss police officers were immediately struck by the physical similarities between Ylenia and Madeleine, who had both gone missing within weeks of each other. They alerted Interpol which, in turn, contacted the Portuguese authorities about its suspicions on August 17.

When it did not get a response, it contacted them again on September 3. Again, there was no response, we were informed by sources in Interpol.

We now know why.

Just four days later, on September 7, Kate and Gerry McCann were named as arguidos in the Portuguese investigation. On September 11, police submitted a summary of their case against them to prosecutors.

In his report, Chief Inspector Tavares da Almeida concluded — without a shred of hard evidence — that Madeleine had died in the flat, her parents had hid the body, then faked an abduction and got their friends to lie to the police.

'Kate McCann and Gerald McCann are involved in the concealment of the cadaver of their daughter Madeleine McCann,' he wrote.

Could a police officer have made a more catastrophic misjudgement?

Meanwhile, Ylenia Lenhard's heartbroken mother Charlotte believes her daughter was not von Aesch's only victim.

'I am convinced that my little girl was not the only one,' she told the Mail. 'I simply cannot believe that a man, at the age of 67, suddenly chooses to become a killer. It was in him all the time and I am certain he has struck before.'

Indeed, after von Aesch's death, Swiss police re-opened inquiries into the disappearance of five girls who disappeared from the area in the Eighties, before he moved  to Spain.

These include five-year-old Sarah Oberson, whose neat features and bobbed-hair are also reminiscent of Madeleine McCann, and who went missing in September 1985 when cycling to her grandmother's house 50 meters away; doe-eyed seven-year-old Loredana Mancini, who vanished in April 1983 and was found dead in September of the same year: and eight-year-old Rebecca Bieri, who disappeared in March 1982 and was found dead five months later.

The police were unable to prove links between von Aesch and the missing girls.

Under Portuguese law, a case can be reopened only if there is  new evidence.

Yet the senior Scotland Yard detective who oversaw the two-year-review of the evidence before he retired says it is 'perfectly probable' that information that could identify the suspect responsible for Madeleine McCann's disappearance was already in the  Portuguese files.

'Of course, there is a possibility she is still alive,' said former Detective Chief Superintendent Hamish Campbell. 'But the key is to investigate the case and, dead or alive, we should be able to try to discern what happened.'

It is the very least Kate and Gerry McCann, indeed any parent of a missing child, deserves.

Additional reporting: Neil Sears in Praia du Luz

Maddie mystery of ex-soldier and his camper van: Police contacted Army for information days before confirming they had identified new 'persons of interest', 25 May 2013
Maddie mystery of ex-soldier and his camper van: Police contacted Army for information days before confirming they had identified new 'persons of interest' Daily Mail
  • While former guardsman Peter Verran has not been accused of any wrongdoing, the timing is significant
  • McCann family also wants to speak to him about his whereabouts at the time of Madeline's disappearance
By MARC NICOL and NICK CONSTABLE
PUBLISHED: 23:09, 25 May 2013 | UPDATED: 23:09, 25 May 2013

Scotland Yard is investigating claims made by a former soldier in connection with the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

Days before confirming they had identified new 'persons of interest', officers from the Homicide and Serious Crime Command contacted the Army seeking information about Peter Verran.

While Mr Verran has not been accused of any wrongdoing, the timing is significant.

Questions: Madeline McCann before her disappearance in 2007 and former Guardsman Petter Verran

 

Questions: Madeline McCann before her disappearance in 2007 and former Guardsman Petter Verran

--------------------

Sources close to the McCanns say the family also want to speak to Mr Verran about his whereabouts at the time Madeleine was snatched from the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in 2007.

Ex-Guardsman Mr Verran first came to the attention of police in 2009 when he emerged to dispute the alibi of British child abuser Raymond Hewlett, 64.

Mr Verran first came to the attention of police in 2009 when he emerged to dispute the alibi of British child abuser Raymond Hewlett

 

Hewlett was living in the Algarve just an hour's drive from where the youngster disappeared.

However, in publicly pointing the finger at Hewlett, who denied abducting Madeleine, Mr Verran apparently neglected to mention the disappearance of his own camper van within months of Madeleine’s disappearance, or the fact he had been in Portugal.

Those details, disclosed in documents held by the Royal British Legion, show he sought emergency funds from the organisation after claiming his van and all his possessions had been stolen.

The documents also reveal he travelled through Portugal.

When Mr Verran came forward, he was interviewed by Leicestershire Police, and by private investigators working for the McCanns, as an informant.

Mr Verran told of a conversation he had with Hewlett in September 2007 after they met at a Moroccan campsite.

Hewlett admitted to owning a white Transit-style van around the time of Madeleine's disappearance – the van was similar to one seen parked near the Ocean Club.

Hewlett, who died in 2010, said in a newspaper interview that a blue Dodge truck was his only vehicle at the time.

A source close to the McCanns said Mr Verran made no mention of his camper van being stolen, or the time he spent in Portugal, to private detectives working for the family. It is not known what the former soldier told police.

Waste Scrubland in Tavira, Portugal, where suspect Raymond Hewlett stayed at in 2007, at the same time Madeline McCann was abducted in Playa da Luz, 1 hours drive away

 

Waste Scrubland in Tavira, Portugal, where suspect Raymond Hewlett stayed at in 2007, at the same time Madeline McCann was abducted in Playa da Luz, 1 hours drive away

----------------------

'We'd like Mr Verran to explain these omissions from his interviews with us, and say when he was in Portugal,' said the source.

'It is potentially interesting that this information has now emerged and we will be discussing this development with police.'

Earlier this month, Scotland Yard detectives approached the Army seeking to establish the whereabouts of 50-year-old Mr Verran's military records.

How she could look: This impression of how Madeline McCann might appear now was released last year

How she could look: This impression of how Madeline McCann might appear now was released last year

------------------

A source close to the probe said: 'There is almost certainly an innocent explanation behind the theft of Mr Verran's van and his journeys through Portugal and Morocco.

'But he challenged Hewlett's version of events without seemingly admitting he, too, was in Portugal, or that his only method of transport vanished.'

The Met would not confirm officers had sought Mr Verran's Army records. The Ministry of Defence declined to comment.

Spare us these smug lectures on marriage, Penelope, 25 May 2013
Spare us these smug lectures on marriage, Penelope Daily Mail

Amanda Platell

By AMANDA PLATELL
PUBLISHED: 00:02, 25 May 2013 | UPDATED: 00:02, 25 May 2013


- Extract -

Remembering Maddie


Two weeks ago, the McCanns were all over the newspapers after UK police revealed new leads in the search for their daughter Madeleine.

So isn't it sad they are among a group of people who have complained about the royal charter proposed by a newspaper industry that has done so much to publicise their daughter's plight?

Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.

Madeleine McCann: Monster who killed lookalike is linked by police, 26 May 2013
Madeleine McCann: Monster who killed lookalike is linked by police Daily Mirror

By Justin Penrose | 26 May 2013 00:01

Urs Hans von Aesch shot himself dead after poisoning and ­abusing Ylenia Lenhard, who resembled Maddie.

Missing Maddie, murdered Ylenua and evil von Aesch

A paedophile who murdered a girl is among 20 people ­detectives believe might have snatched ­Madeleine McCann.

Urs Hans von Aesch, who had links to the Algarve in Portugal where Madeleine vanished, shot himself dead after poisoning and ­abusing Ylenia Lenhard, who resembled the British victim.

He killed the blonde, blue-eyed five-year-old in his native Switzerland two months after Madeleine disappeared.

Interpol detectives twice ­contacted Portuguese authorities about 67-year-old von Aesch, but cops did not act as they wrongly believed Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry, had killed her.

Officers from Scotland Yard's Operation Grange, who are investigating Madeleine's disappearance, say von Aesch is one of 20 "persons of interest".

Two other child abusers - including a Briton - who were on the Algarve at the time are also understood to be on the list together with hotel workers and lorry drivers.

Detectives are examining phone traffic in the Praia da Luz area on the day Madeleine vanished there.

Von Aesch's whereabouts when she was abducted on May 3, 2007, are unknown but police know he was living in Spain with his wife.

Border records show von Aesch re-entered Switzerland on July 10 in a white van. He used the vehicle to abduct Ylenia.

Her mother Charlotte believes he had other victims. She said: "I am convinced that my little girl was not the only one."

Maddie suspects named, 28 May 2013
Maddie suspects named Daily Star (paper edition)

 
Daily Star, 28 May 2013

 

Maddie suspects named by police Daily Star

THREE paedophiles thought to have been in Portugal when Madeleine McCann vanished are on a list of suspects drawn up by British police.

By Jerry Lawton / Published 28th May 2013

Madeleine McCann disappeared in May 2007 from her holiday apartment in Praia da Luz

One is thought to have killed a girl in his native Switzerland two months after Madeleine disappeared.

Urs Hans von Aesch, 67, suspected of poisoning and abusing Ylenia Lenhard, five, who resembled Maddie, shot himself dead in 2007.

Interpol twice contacted Portuguese police about him but they did not act.

Officers from Scotland Yard's Operation Grange, who have spent two years reviewing the police probe, say von Aesch is one of a number of "persons of interest" who should be investigated.

They have established he had been living in Spain with his wife. Border records show he re-entered Switzerland on July 10, 2007, in a white van which he used to abduct Ylenia.

Her mother Charlotte said: "I am convinced that my little girl was not the only one."

Two known child abusers who were in the Algarve at the time have not been eliminated from inquiries. One of them is a Brit, Raymond Hewlett, 64, who was living just an hour’s drive from where Madeleine vanished.

He died in 2010. The second, who is not British, has not been named.

Detectives are examining phone traffic in the resort of Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007, when three-year-old Madeleine disappeared.

Det Chief Supt Hamish Campbell, head of Scotland Yard's Homicide and Serious Crime Command, revealed the UK team's inquiries had unearthed "a lot of people who could be explored further if only to be eliminated".

---------------------

[Note: The headline to the online version was originally: 'Maddie police name paedos']

Madeleine McCann: Witness saw 'weird' stranger lurking near apartment day before she vanished, 29 May 2013
Madeleine McCann: Witness saw 'weird' stranger lurking near apartment day before she vanished Daily Mirror

By Lucy Thornton | 29 May 2013 00:00

He is convinced the lurker was involved in the kidnap and spoke out after the Daily Mirror visited his home in the Algarve

Ready to talk: Laundryman Mario Fernando happy to speak to cops

A vital witness has revealed he saw a man wearing sunglasses lurking in a stairwell near Madeleine McCann's apartment 24 hours before she vanished.

Mario Fernando, 47, told Portuguese cops about the "weird" stranger lurking at the Ocean Club resort in Praia da Luz but has never been quizzed by British police or spoken publicly.

Now, six years after Madeleine disappeared, the laundryman has urged British detectives to speak to him.

Mario believes the man he saw the night before three-year-old Madeleine disappeared in May 2007 should be on Scotland Yard's list too.

The divorced dad, who said he has always felt "uncomfortable" about the Portuguese police inquiry, spoke out after the Daily Mirror tracked him down at his home in the Algarve this week.

He also believes he may be one of 12 manual workers and cleaners Scotland Yard detectives have identified as "people of interest".

Scene: Stairwell where Mario saw lurking stranger

Mario recalls a "nervous" man wearing big sunglasses hiding in a stairwell seconds away from the holiday apartment where parents Gerry and Kate were staying with their three children.

The laundryman is convinced the lurker was involved in the kidnap.

Part of Mario's role at the Ocean Club was to collect dirty sheets from apartment blocks and drive them to the laundry room beneath the Tapas bar where the McCanns were when Maddy disappeared.

He said: "I was at my last collection point near the girl's flat. I was always rushing. I'd park the van anywhere.

"It was 7.30pm to 8pm. When cleaners cleared sheets they dropped them down the hole in the stairs to be collected by me at the bottom.

"When I walked down and turned into the hole to get the laundry, I saw the weird guy and we nearly bumped into each other. He was embarrassed. He looked nervous.

"He was walking out from the hole under the stairs and must have been much further inside but had taken several steps after hearing me coming. We were, like, dodging each other.

"He had a really fat face and had two-tone sunglasses on, they got lighter at the bottom and were big. I will never forget those glasses.

"There was no reason for him to be there and no reason to wear the glasses as it was dark under the stairs.

Vanished: Madeleine McCann went missing in 2007

"He did not walk away but watched what I did. I collected the sheets and took them to the van outside. He stayed there watching me.

"I had never seen him before. I knew everyone who was living at the complex and he was not one of them.

"It is still recorded in my head like it was at the time. It was not usual for people to be there, in the shadows.

"My theory is that guy must have been involved, either in the kidnapping or studying what to do — their movements.

"He was there for something, for sure!"

Mario, who only started working at the Ocean Club a month before Madeleine vanished, said he identified a potential suspect to Portuguese police a few months after Madeleine went missing.

He spent hours with an officer looking at pictures and videos.

Investigators could then find no other evidence linking the identified man to the girl's disappearance.

However, according to Portuguese files, officers asked British police to put more questions to this man – a full year after Madeleine vanished.

Mario was 80% convinced he was the man he saw but admits he could not be sure and now six years have passed.

Kidnap: Drawn from McCann friend's description

Referring to Portugal's "secrecy of justice" law, he said: "I couldn't speak then. I'd been warned by police I would be in trouble if I spoke to anyone."

But Mario now says: "I am available. I am happy to speak.

"I have not spoken to the British police about what I saw but I want the truth to be revealed."

Twice-divorced Mario, who has a 21-year-old son and lives in a village on the outskirts of Praia da Luz, worked at the Ocean Club for nine months.

Describing the man who haunts him he explained: "He was quite tall and looked sort-of Scandinavian.

"He had lots of hair, close to his head — like it was glued. It was straight hair. He was about my age now — 45, 46."

Det Chief Supt Hamish Campbell, head of Scotland Yard's Homicide and Serious Crime Command, said earlier this month that there are many people who could be spoken to and eliminated from the inquiry.

Mario added: "I agree with what the British police have said and lots of people should be interviewed again."

The McCanns, of Rothley, Leics, who have never given up looking for their daughter, have been kept closely informed of Scotland Yard's review, codenamed Operation Grange, over the past two years.

Officials in Lisbon are still insisting they can reopen the case only if there is new evidence.

Witness statement of Mário Fernando Madeira Marreiros, 08 May 2007
Witness statement of Mário Fernando Madeira Marreiros PJ Files

 
Processo 03-VOLUME IIIa, page 555
Processo 03-VOLUME IIIa, page 555

 
Processo 03-VOLUME IIIa, page 556
Processo 03-VOLUME IIIa, page 556

 
Processo 03-VOLUME IIIa, page 557
Processo 03-VOLUME IIIa, page 557

Witness Statement

Date: 2007/05/08        Time: 11h15

Name: MARIO FERNANDO MADEIRA MARREIROS

Occupation: Laundry worker

Place of Work: "The Ocean Club"

He has worked at the "The Ocean Club" since the 5th March 2007 as a laundry worker as well as the driver of the laundry vehicles of the resort, delivering and collecting laundry (towels and sheets) from the apartments that make up the resort.

With relation to the events being investigated he states that on 4th May 2007, upon arriving at work at about 10h00 he saw that next to an apartment block there were various cars and police as well as members of the press, which he found strange.

Later, when he arrived at his place of work he was informed by colleagues that this "apparatus" was due to the disappearance of a little girl who had been staying at the resort.

He was informed that the girl was three years old, of British nationality and he observed that posters with her photograph and details were already up, with indications to follow in the case of information about her disappearance.

When questioned he said that he did not know the girl or her family, only having heard about them after the event.

When questioned about the day of the disappearance of the girl (Thursday, 3rd May 2007), whose name he does not remember, he says he carried out his normal routine, arriving at his place of work at about 10h00, with a lunch break from 13h00 to 14h30, returning to work until 18h00. After work he returned home where he stayed with his wife until 21h30 when he went alone by car to Barao de Sao Joao, where his stepson works.

After having picked up his stepson he returned home where he stayed until the following day when he left for work.

He only knew about the events from the press and from his colleagues.

He knows nothing more apart from that the girl was on holiday with her family and twin siblings as he was informed later.

He does not know of anything suspicious that could be related to the events.

Reads, ratifies, signs

A Portuguese man claims to have seen a new suspect in the Maddie case, 29 May 2013
A Portuguese man claims to have seen a new suspect in the Maddie case Correio da Manhã

An English newspaper spoke to the Portuguese man who claims to have seen a suspect wearing dark glasses close to the apartment rented by the McCanns, 24 hours before Maddie's disappearance in 2007.

Madeleine disappeared shortly before her fourth birthday

29 May, 13h06
With thanks to
Ines for translation

The British newspaper "The Mirror" spoke to Mário Fernando Madeira Marreiros, a 47 year old Portuguese man, who is a witness in the case of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, and who claims to have seen a suspect ignored by the Portuguese authorities.

At the time of the disappearance, Mário was working as a laundry man in Praia da Luz, Lagos, where the McCann couple and their children were on holiday in 2007. On the eve of Maddie's disappearance, the Algarvian claims that he saw a strange man wearing dark glasses, hidden in a stair well outside the McCann's rented apartment.

Mário told "The Mirror" that whilst he was collecting linen from the apartments "we almost bumped into each other. He seemed embarrassed and nervous", the Portuguese man told the newspaper, adding: "I had never seen him before. I know all the people staying at the resort and this was not one of them".

As regards the actions of the authorities and of the investigators, Mário says that he felt "uncomfortable" with the PJ investigation. In his first statement to the PJ, which was made public, no reference is made to the suspect whom he allegedly spotted and which is described by the British paper. However, a few months later, Mário passed this information to the PJ, having spent "hours with a detective looking at photos and videos". However, they did not manage to identify anyone.

But the laundry worker from the Algarve, who had only been working at the resort for a month before the event, thinks that the stranger could be related to Maddie's disappearance in some way, either as abductor or perhaps an accomplice who was observing the timing and behavior of the McCanns.

Six years after the girl's disappearance, Mário Marreiras is now asking the British authorities who never requested any statement from him nor showed any interest in him, to be heard by Scotland Yard.

Portuguese cleaner speaks of 'weird' stranger at Madeleine apartment, 29 May 2013
Portuguese cleaner speaks of 'weird' stranger at Madeleine apartment The Portugal News

BY BRENDAN DE BEER · 29-05-2013 16:01:00 

A Portuguese laundry worker who was working at the resort from where Madeleine McCann disappeared has this week spoken about a "weird" stranger lurking in a dark stairwell a day earlier.

Apartment 5A

Mário Fernando Madeira Marreiros (47) told the Mirror this week that his testimony was ignored by Portuguese investigators.

He says he made the sighting the night before Madeleine's disappearance as he went to collect dirty laundry.

"I saw the weird guy and we nearly bumped into each other. He was embarrassed. He looked nervous."

Mário Fernando continues that the man had "a really fat face" and that he wore "two-tone sunglasses".

"There was no reason for him to be there and no reason to wear the glasses as it was dark under the stairs", he told the Mirror.

"My theory is that guy must have been involved, either in the kidnapping or studying what to do – their movements."

The divorcee has urged British detectives to contact him.

In his initial testimony given five days after her disappearance, and which is available at http://www.mccannpjfiles.co.uk/PJ/MARIO_MARREIROS.htm he told investigators that he did not know "of anything suspicious that could be related to the events."

Earlier in May, it emerged that British police were eager to question a series of individuals who may be "of interest" in the case of Madeleine McCann who went missing in Praia da Luz in the Algarve just over six years ago.

Scotland Yard said at the time that it would like to question a list of "about 20 people" who might lead to solving what is one of the greatest ever unsolved missing persons' mysteries.

Detective chief superintendent Hamish Campbell, head of Scotland Yard's homicide and serious crime command, revealed British police investigating the case in the ambit of Operation Grange, believe they could get closer to the truth should they be afforded the opportunity of speaking to these "person's of interest".

"The purpose of the review was to look at the case with fresh eyes and there is always real benefit in doing so. The review has further identified both investigative and forensic opportunities to support the Portuguese", Campbell said in a statement.

"There is more than a handful of people of interest which could be explored further if only to be eliminated.

"The key things are to investigate the case and our work is happening to support the Portuguese."

Portuguese PJ police have since stated they have nothing to add to Campbell's comments, and have reminded national media that the case remains closed and has been since 2008.

With thanks to Nigel at McCann Files

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