Madeleine goes missing, the search begins and Robert Murat is named
as the first official suspect. Gerry returns briefly to the UK and travels with Kate to meet the Pope in Rome.
Saturday 28 April 2007
Kate and Gerry McCann touchdown at Faro airport with their children
Madeleine, Amelie and Sean for a holiday with friends at nearby Praia da Luz.
Mobile phone footage of Madeleine boarding the plane
They take the bus to the apartment.
Mobile phone footage of bus trip
Mr McCann said Madeleine was used to travelling, having
flown to Italy and Amsterdam.
"She was excited
about going away with the rest of the kids, it was her first time to Portugal. She had her Barbie rucksack... we all
had rucksacks - even Sean and Amelie - it was quite funny. And Madeleine was acting like a big girl, she was so excited."
Thursday 03 May 2007
At night, as had become the holiday pattern, Kate and Gerry dine
with their friends at the tapas restaurant, whilst their children sleep in the apartment. The tapas restaurant is located
within the Mark Warner Ocean Club complex but their apartment, 5A, is outside the boundary wall of the complex.
At around 10.00pm, Kate goes to the apartment to check on the children
and reports Madeleine missing and one of the most extraordinary cases begins.
Friday 04 May 2007
Police and locals call off the search at 4.30am. Kate, allegedly,
does not leave the apartment after reporting Madeleine missing but is reported to have gone out with Gerry at 6.00am - although
this is later contradicted in her BBC interview with Jane Hill in which she states that she never did any physical searching.
The McCanns are immediately moved to another apartment in the Ocean
Club complex, having been authorised to take just essential items with them. They carry the twins, who it is alleged,
do not wake throughout the whole disturbance.
Police use sniffer dogs and the Spanish and border police and airports
are notified. Volunteer groups continue to search the village resort and beach in efforts to find Madeleine and clues. The
forensic team arrive at 13.00pm to begin work on the apartment.
It is reported in Portuguese newspaper Correio da Manha that sniffer dogs found a scent trail from the McCanns apartment
to another apartment in the same holiday complex that had been occupied by Britons.
Kate's parents, Susan and Brian Healy, arrive on a flight from Liverpool with Michael Wright, Kate McCanns' brother-in-law.
At 10.00pm, as the search for Madeleine continues, her parents issue
a statement to say they "cannot describe the anguish and despair" they are feeling at their daughter's disappearance.
Police reveal that they believe Madeleine was abducted and that
she is still alive and being held in Portugal. They also reveal they have a sketch of a 'suspect' and that Madeleine
may have been abducted for sexual abuse.
Kate and Gerry keep a low profile, although Gerry does return to the apartment where they had
been staying - now a crime scene - to retrieve a suitcase of belongings and a bucket and spade for the couple's two year old
At one point they are seen walking hand in hand to the apartment where they are now staying,
after dropping off the twins with friends.
They later meet with British ambassador John Buck and are joined by three family liaison
officers from Leicestershire police.
At night, Gerry makes another emotional plea for help, appearing before a bank of cameras and a crowd of reporters.
Last Updated: 06/05/2007 10:33
The net is closing today on the person police believe abducted three-year-old Madeleine McCann from a Portuguese holiday
Madeleine's father last night made a fresh emotional plea for help in tracing his daughter. Following criticism of aspects
of how the case had been handled he also expressed the family's thanks to the police for their efforts.
Appearing before a bank of cameras and a crowd of reporters Dr McCann stood arm in arm with his wife Kate who was again
clutching a pink teddy bear as she was when the family were first seen in public following the disappearance which police
are now treating as an abduction.
A colleague of Madeleine's mother Kate has offered a Stg£100,000 reward. Detectives in the Algarve said they were hunting
a "suspect" after evidence appeared to rule out the possibility that Madeleine had gone missing by herself.
Moments before making his statement, Dr McCann appeared first alone before returning to the family's temporary holiday
apartment and re-emerging arm in arm with his wife. He said: "First of all we would like to thank everyone here in Portugal,
the UK and elsewhere for all your support during this extremely difficult time for our family.
"We are pleased that the family liaison officers from Leicestershire are now working closely with the Portuguese Police
in keeping us informed.
"We have no further information regarding the investigation but appreciate the significant effort everyone is making on
"We would again like to appeal for any information, however small, that may lead to the safe return of Madeleine.
"Finally we would like to thank the media for respecting our privacy especially that of Madeleine's little brother and
While Portugal's Judicial Police refused to give precise details of who they were hunting, they revealed that they believed
Madeleine was still alive.
Madeleine went missing from her family's rented holiday apartment in the Algarve village of Praia Da Luz on Thursday night
while her parents, Gerry and Kate, were eating dinner less than a minute's walk away. The couple said they had been making
regular trips back to the apartment from a tapas restaurant opposite to check on Madeleine and their twin son and daughter
Sean and Amelie.
Hundreds of tourists, British expats and Portuguese residents joined a search for her. Guilhermino Encarnacao, director
of the Judicial Police in the Faro region, said detectives believed she could still be in the country, even still in the Algarve.
Her parents, from Leicester, are being supported by a team of British police who flew in yesterday as people travelled
from up to an hour away to join the search for Madeleine.
The first reports:
Kate and Gerry attend the Mother's Day service at the church in
Praia da Luz and make a brief statement afterwards.
Later, they are driven to the Policia Judiciaria headquarters in
Portimao, as it is alleged the inquiry into their Madeleine's disappearance is centred on a group of three - two men
and a woman.
Two further "couples" aged in their 50s are driven into the back
of the PJ building in Portimao by mid afternoon.
Questions are raised about the quality of the police's sketch, with
one newspaper reporting that the image is based only on the rear view of a man seen with a child in the area.
Kate makes an appeal for the safe return of Madeleine, from inside
their holiday apartment.
In the first of what will become many 'sightings', police begin
investigating a claim that a man was seen dragging a girl towards the marina at Lagos, a short drive from Praia
Lori Campbell, a Sunday Mirror journalist, reports Robert Murat to Leicestershire police as she believes he has been
Madeleine's aunt, Philomena McCann - a schoolteacher in Ullapool, approaches one of her former pupils, Calum MacRae, to
set up a website to help raise awareness of Madeleine's disappearance.
Family friend Pat Perkins, sends out a chain e-mail asking for help and information about Madeleine's 'abduction'. See
here for e-mail
Police follow up 350 possible sightings and say they have already
interviewed more than 100 people.
In Portugal, police examine a CCTV tape from the Galp service
station on the east-west motorway, just a few miles outside Praia da Luz, showing a woman with a child fitting Madeleine's
In Morocco, Norwegian tourist Mari Pollard says she saw a girl who
looked like Madeleine with a man at a petrol station in Marrakesh. On the same day, a British holidaymaker saw a youngster
outside the Ibis Hotel in Marrakesh.
Two child abduction experts arrive from the UK.
The official Madeleine McCann website is launched under the domain name www.bringmadeleinehome.com (Note: This is replaced on 16 May 2007 by
Susan and Brian Healy (Kate's parents) talk to Sky News following their return to the UK
Watch video here - (*Note: The Sky News video link doesn't work for this video. You need to enter 'Susan Healy' into the video search
box and click on the video '09 May 2007')
Chief Inspector Olegario de Sousa holds a news conference
to give more details of the search for Madeleine. He insists that he is doing everything he can to find the
little girl, but so far from the ground search "the results are zero". He adds that the ground
search for Madeleine is now being wound down.
It is also revealed that police are checking several CCTV images. Mr Sousa said "images of video surveillance"
had been collected from several locations "in order to check possible leads that may have been recorded".
Kate and Gerry are asked to scan CCTV film for a glimpse of their kidnapped daughter. Footage at a garage in
Portugal captured an image of three suspects, including a woman, with a girl who matched Madeleine's description. The
camera also caught the car's British number plate and the registration has been circulated by Interpol and British police.
The McCanns were driven at speed from their holiday apartment to a police station in Portimao
to help officers examine the tapes after Mrs McCann again went to the local church to pray for her daughter. Bill Henderson,
the British Consul in the Algarve, was seen leaving the police headquarters while Mr and Mrs McCann were still inside.
Two of the three suspects in the CCTV footage that may show Madeleine have been identified by a man who claimed he
caught them photographing his own child two weeks ago. The witness, Portuguese-born Nuno Lourenco who lives in Germany, said
the gang attempted to abduct his own young daughter.
He told detectives that he saw a man of English appearance photographing his daughter, described as strikingly similar in
appearance to Madeleine, on April 30 in Sagres, a town just a few miles from the holiday complex where the McCann family was
The witness, who with his German wife
has two children aged two and four, said he chased the man, who fled, jumping into a car with a woman and another man before
speeding off. Mr Lourenco is believed to have provided the authorities with a photograph taken on his mobile phone. The witness
has told officers he was "100 per cent certain" they were the same people caught on CCTV with the girl matching
Madeleine's description hours after she went missing.
An image of a pair of pyjamas, identical to those which Madeleine had been wearing when she disappeared, is released at
a PJ press conference at 6:30pm.
The McCanns are reported to have spent most of the afternoon
and evening being questioned at the police station in Portimao: Kate, according to the UK press, is a
for 9 hours and Gerry is questioned for 14 hours, eventually leaving the station at 3.00am in the morning. However, it is
clear from the released PJ files that Kate was not actually interviewed on this day.
the McCanns were at the headquarters, according to local media reports, another British couple were interviewed at the same
station. They were not arrested and were driven from the station concealed by a blanket.
is also reported that while the McCanns were being reinterviewed police with dogs were searching the McCanns apartment
again. Police say it is the final time they will search the block to look for clues. The wider search in the area will end
in the next few days.
Gerry's 14 hours of questioning, finishing at 3.00am this morning,
goes largely unreported in the British media as it coincides with David Beckham's video appeal.
Scottish businessman Stephen Winyard offers a £1m reward for information.
Madeleine's 4th birthday
Kate and Gerry attend a mass to mark the day and call for people
to redouble their efforts to find her.
Robert Murat hires a car from Auto Rent Algarve for the period 12 May - 15 May.
Celebrities including JK Rowling, 42, and Sir Philip Green, 55,
donate to a £2.5 million reward fund.
Gordon Brown offers his sympathy.
The Guardian reports that Portuguese newspaper, Diario de Noticias, 'insisted Mr and Mrs McCann were suspects and
claimed that on the night Madeleine disappeared they had not checked on her, contrary to what they told police.'
Alison Castanheira, a British expat who had helped with the search, said there was resentment among the Portuguese and
expat community: "Everybody is angry as everyone is blaming the police for not doing their job, but realistically the parents
haven't done theirs."
It emerges London lawyers from the International Family Law Group
have flown to Portugal to assist the McCanns, and are setting up a special "fighting fund" to allow members of the public
to make their own financial contribution to the search.
At 7.00am, police launch simultaneous raids at Casa Liliana, the
home of Robert Murat's mother - situated 150 yards away from the McCann's apartment, Murat's German girlfriend's apartment
and several addresses with which Murat is believed to have had a connection.
Robert Murat is half British and half Portugese and has been living
at Casa Liliana with his mother Jenny.
Michaela Walczuch, Murat's girlfriend, and her ex-partner, Luis Antonio, are questioned by
police for the first time.
Kate and Gerry answer questions from the media for the first time,
on the road outside their holiday apartment.
Gerry says he is now being helped by two British lawyers from the
Family Law Centre on how best to use money pledged to help find Madeleine and give assistance in Portuguese legal processes.
He said: "We have felt a burden lifted from our shoulders. It is
one less thing to think about. It has allowed us to concentrate more on our own physical and mental wellbeing.
"We do need to spend more time focusing on that
and with our twins Sean and Amelie. We do wish to keep communicating with the media however as this is essential in the search
It is reported that around 10 British people, including the McCanns
and their friends, have been re-interviewed to clarify their statements in recent days.
This week, starting today, the group are set to appear in court
behind closed doors to record their evidence for any future trial before they go back to the UK. The procedure, known as "memory
for the future", is similar to a mock trial in which the friends would give evidence as witnesses now against a future defendant.
Local lawyer Artur Rego said the procedure was used only in exceptional
cases such as this where a large group of witnesses are foreign. He said: "It is recorded by video and kept sealed, then released
during the hearing. If somebody is ever charged then this statement can then be unsealed and disclosed for the judge who is
going to hear the case. It has the same value as witness statements delivered live in the trial."
The McCanns themselves are not expected to be asked to take part.
The McCanns hold an 8am press conference and, for the first time, take questions from the media.
British-born Robert Murat is made an official suspect - or "arguido"
- following a search of his mother's villa. Casa Liliana is 150 yards from the apartment where Madeleine went missing.
Chief Inspector Olegario de Sousa tells a news conference that
a 33-year-old had been interrogated, but not enough evidence was found to justify arresting him. Sousa said police had searched
five houses on Monday and seized "various materials" from the properties which were being subjected to forensic tests and
had questioned two other people as witnesses.
The suspect is reported to have signed an identity and residence
statement which prevents him from moving house or leaving the country, and requires him to regularly report to police. Though
no names are mentioned in the conference, the 33-year-old is believed to be Robert Murat and the other two questioned as witnesses
are believed to be Murat's alleged German girlfriend Michaela Walczuch, and her Portuguese former husband Luis Antonio.
Despite Murat's reluctance to make a public statement, he stated that "It’s ruined my life. It’s made things
very difficult for my family here and in Britain. The only way I’ll survive this is if they catch Madeleine’s
Murat also stated that he was being made a "scapegoat" so that the Police could be seen to have found a suspect.
Madeleine's Fund: Leaving No Stone Unturned Limited is registered with Companies House.
Madeleine's Fund is launched as a campaign to find the missing youngster
and bring her home. In conjunction, the website is relaunched under the new name www.findmadeleine.com
It is reported that two cars used by the Murats have been examined, and computers, mobile phones and several video tapes
were taken away from their villa. It is claimed that, on examination, several links to paedophile websites were found
on the computers and that some video tapes showed depraved sexual acts and bestiality though nothing was found to directly
link Murat to Madeleine's disappearance.
Detectives swoop on the home of Russian computer expert Sergei Malinka, 22, who designed a website for Murat,
and take him away for questioning. Officers took away a laptop computer and two hard drives fom his property. According
to the Portuguese media, Malinka is said to be a convicted child sexual offender and a computer technician who is believed
to be on good terms with Robert Murat, as the two exchanged frequent phone calls since Madeleine's disappearance, the reason
the authorities started suspecting him.
By John Askill
Published: 16 May 2007
MADELEINE McCann suspect Robert Murat last night denied taking the four-year-old and said: "I’ve been made a scapegoat."
Murat, quizzed by Portuguese cops, claimed the ordeal had "ruined his life". He said: "The only way I will survive this is
if they catch Madeleine’s abductor."
Murat returned to the villa he shares with mum Jennie, 71, after he was released by police. Officers hunting Maddie formally
named him as a suspect. But cops said they had too little evidence to arrest or charge him. Murat, 33, said: "This has ruined
my life and made things very difficult for my family here and in Britain. I’ve been made a scapegoat for something I
did not do."
Earlier Murat’s ex- boss gave an insight into his character. He told how the suspect astonished pals by leaping
on kids’ bouncy CASTLES at parties. Paul Titcombe said: "Instead of mingling, he’d go straight to the bouncy
castle and jump around. He got a bit of a name for himself. It seemed like a fixation."
In a section that was later deleted, The Sun also quoted former work colleague, Ji Stanton, who said: "If he didn't take
his medication, he could be very Jekyll and Hyde. People did see him as creepy." Ji once accused Murat of trying to nick his
sale: "Rob just flipped out in seconds. He went berserk, eyes bulging. I was freaked out."
The official Find Madeleine website receives 10 million hits between
10 a.m. and 4 p.m. causing the server to crash.
At a press conference, Chief Police Inspector Olegario Sousa reiterates that there was insufficient evidence to
make any arrests. Regarding Sergei Malinka, he said that he had been questioned as a witness for approximately 5 hours,
which did not, due to the "dynamic" nature of the investigation, mean the witness couldn't become a suspect.
Malinka speaks out against the coverage of the case in the Portuguese media, which had alleged that he was a convicted
sexual offender. He denies that he had contacted Murat and claims to be "completely innocent".
Inconsistencies in the account of Sergei Malinka's relationship
with Robert Murat emerge. The Russian IT specialist had said he had not contacted Murat in a year, he mentioned three months
to another reporter, however Murat's mobile phone records allegedly show he called Mr Malinka at 23:40 on the night Madeleine
Portuguese detectives fly to the UK to interview Dawn Murat, estranged
wife of Robert Murat
Kate and Gerry go jogging at 7.00am in the morning, to the monument
at the top of the steep cliff that overlooks Praia da Luz. They reach it in 19 minutes.
Gerry leaves for Faro airport, where he catches a late flight to Coventry Airport and plans to spend a day in the UK
before returning on Tuesday morning. He is reported to be making the visit home to deal with "personal matters" as well as
to meet organisers of the Find Madeleine fund. However, other reports, now deleted from the internet, suggested he was going
home to collect photographs of Madeleine.
A spokeswoman for the family in Portugal said: "He's very focussed, he is going out there for very practical reasons
and he's going to get back here as quickly as he can." It is thought the visit will involve arrangements to allow the couple
to stay in Portugal for the foreseeable future.
Gerry posts his first blog on the official Find Madeleine site.
Gerry McCann arrives at Coventry Airport in the early hours
of Monday morning.
Later in the day, he visits Rothley, where he sees thousands of
tributes from villagers.
Tuesday 22 May 2007
Gerry is joined by Clarence Mitchell, in his role as Director of
the government's Media Monitoring Unit, and they fly back together to Portugal.
Gerry becomes visibly uncomfortable when asked by a reporter 'Did
you know Robert Murat?' and refuses to answer the question.
Wednesday 23 May 2007
Kate and Gerry visit Portugal's holiest site, the Marian Shrine
of Fatima, in Porto. A car and driver are laid on by Mark Warner.
Michaela Walczuch and Luis Antonio are questioned for the second time by police.
Thursday 24 May 2007
Described by Gerry as a 'relatively quiet day'. Kate and Gerry have
a 'productive meeting' with the British Ambassador and the senior British Police Officer who has been working on the case
They start to finalise their plans for interviews in parts
of Europe where the coverage of Maddie's disappearance has been limited.
The 'last' photograph of Madeleine is released showing her sitting
with her feet in the Ocean Club pool, with Gerry and Amelie beside.
Friday 25 May 2007
Described by Gerry as 'extremely busy and tiring', Kate and Gerry
meet with their press officer Clarence Mitchell to discuss strategy for the forthcoming interviews. Their first interviews
since Madeleine was 'abducted'
They give 10 minute interviews to Sky, BBC, ITV, Portugese TV/radio
and one for the press association.
Shortly after the interviews are completed, police release the description
of the man seen carrying a child on the night of Madeleine's abduction. The man is described as 'white, 35-40 years old,
medium build and 5ft 10ins tall, who was seen at 21:30 on May 3, by a close friend of the McCanns'. According to Chief Police
Officer Olegario de Sousa, the man, who was carrying a child, or something which might have resembled a child, fits the description
of a suspect being hunted by Spanish police for the kidnappings of Sara Morales, 14 and 7 year old Yeremi Vargas, in the Canary
The height of the man being sought by the police was given on the Portuguese press release was 170cm (5ft 7in) but it
mistakenly appeared as 5ft 10in in the English version.
Portuguese police had refused to release details of Ms Tanner’s
claims for more than three weeks and only made a public appeal after the McCanns threatened legal action. A senior police
source said that they had not released the description because Ms Tanner’s evidence had changed over time and they feared
it could hinder their inquiry.
Kate attends a luncheon in aid of International Missing Child Day,
whilst John McCann, Gerry's brother, visits staff and volunteers at the Upper Richmond Road office in London to
lend his support for their work.
Saturday 26 May 2007
Kate and Gerry enjoy a family day with the twins, including a photo-shoot
in the morning for the Sunday newspapers.
Sunday 27 May 2007
Kate and Gerry start the day 'with an early morning run to the top
of the nearby cliffs'. They attend mass whilst Sean and Amelie, the twins, are put into kids club.
In the afternoon, Kate goes to the beach with the twins, Auntie
Trish and Anne. Gerry remains in the apartment catching up on e-mails, making calls and liaising with Clarence Mitchell. Gerry
remarks in his blog that there are more tourists this week due to half term but less journalists.
Kate and Gerry take ownership of a Renault Scenic hire car, which will become a major focus of future
investigations and speculation.
The 'European Tour' moves towards finalisation with confirmation
that they will start in Rome and there is a 'reasonable chance' that Kate and Gerry will meet the Pontiff.
In Malta, a woman says she believed she saw Madeleine with a man
in the capital Valletta a week earlier.
Monday 28 May 2007
Kate and Gerry find time to view an 800 sq ft inflatable poster of Madeleine, which has been driven all the way from the West
of Scotland by Chris and Les. The billboard will be placed near busy roads/motorways to maintain awareness of Madeleine's
TODAY the parents of missing tot Madeleine McCann have released heart-rending video clips of their daughter, captured
on a friend's mobile phone as they set off on their fateful holiday.
Mum Kate McCann has watched them regularly over
the last 25 days, for they are last moving pictures of her daughter. In the images, blonde Madeleine, now aged four, can be
seen wearing pink shorts, a pink top and trainers.
One 13-second clip shows her sitting on an airport bus, the other
is of her boarding the flight earlier.
Clasping her pink Barbie rucksack, Madeleine (pictured) excitedly clambers-up
the steps to the aircraft. Holding hands with another little girl she slips, grazing her shin.
Dad Gerry McCann said
she was so thrilled about going to Portugal she refused to get upset about hurting herself.
Holding the pink rucksack,
he said: "She was really brave. She started crying but stopped almost immediately."
The McCann family - Gerry, Kate,
Madeleine and two-year-old twins Sean and Amelie - were travelling in a group of 10 for a week in the Algarve resort of Praia
On arrival in Portugal, the family were filmed again by the friend as they were driven
the short distance to the terminal.
Madeleine - still holding her Barbie bag - can be seen swinging her legs as she
sits next to her brother.
Mr McCann is looking serious, which prompts his friend to joke: "Cheer up Gerry, we are on
Laughter is heard throughout the rest of the clip.
Mr McCann said Madeleine was used to travelling,
having flown to Italy and Amsterdam.
"She was excited about going away with the rest of the kids, it was her first
time to Portugal.
"She had her Barbie rucksack . . . we all had to have our own rucksacks - even Sean and Amelie -
it was quite funny. And Madeleine was acting like a big girl, she was so excited."
Tuesday 29 May 2007
Kate and Gerry set off from Praia da Luz in the afternoon for their
evening flight to Rome. They travel on a private jet supplied by retail tycoon Sir Philip Green, with Clarence Mitchell and
a small group of media. The flight takes two and a half hours and touches down at Ciampino airport in the capital.
As they step off the plane at Ciampino airport, they are greeted
by the British Ambassador to the Holy See, Francis Campbell, and a representative of the Catholic Church, who kissed Mrs McCann
on both cheeks.
The couple are then swiftly driven to the British residency in the
centre of Rome.
Two year old twins Sean and Amelie remain in Portugal to be looked
after by Gerry's sister Trish Cameron and her husband Sandy.
A team of mobile phone experts fly to Portugal to analyse mobile phone data, from the area, at the time of the abduction.
Using triangulation techniques, it will be possible to track mobile phones movements down to a couple of yards.
Also, detectives questioned four boat owners, three of them English, whose vessels were moored at the marina in Lagos,
a town about five miles from Praia da Luz. They were also trying to trace a British man who left the harbour in his yacht
about three weeks ago, after mooring there for two years. A witness reported seeing a man carrying a child in his arms down
to the marina, hours after Madeleine disappeared.
Wednesday 30 May 2007
The McCanns meet Pope Benedict XVI at a 10.30am general audience, at
the start of their "European tour" to raise awareness of Madeleine's disappearance.
Kate and Gerry return to Praia da Luz late in the evening.
In Morocco, a Spanish woman sees a girl being dragged across
a street by a woman in a headscarf in Zalo.
Thursday 31 May 2007
Kate and Gerry leave Praia da Luz for Madrid, arriving in the
Spanish capital 'late at night'.
to Nigel at