A new photo which appears to
show Madeleine McCann is being investigated
DETECTIVES have been given a photo which appears to show Madeleine
McCann with an abductor.
The Sunday Express was passed the picture independently but
Scotland Yard appealed to us not to publish it while it
continues sensitive global investigations into the
Officers were happy for us to describe the potentially
key evidence which shows a healthy fair-haired girl aged
three or four in pink trousers, a green top and a blue
The child is walking along a road, possibly near a port
or airport as there are many people with suitcases in
the area. It is sunny with a palm tree in the
The photograph was allegedly taken in Brazil in June
2007, a month after Madeleine, three, was snatched from
a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz on Portugal’s
The girl is holding the hand of a swarthy
foreign-looking man aged about 50 with long dark hair
and a beard. He is wearing cut-off jeans and a green
Nearby, another man in checked shorts and a black
T-shirt is pulling a red suitcase. There is no sign of a
woman and the child looks out of place with the older
REFER TO BRAZIL EMAIL WITH IMAGE)
If the picture is genuine, it would be the biggest breakthrough in
the case to date.
A Portuguese speaking man living in Brazil forwarded the photo to a
detective on Operation Grange, the Yard squad trying to
find Madeleine by reviewing thousands of documents.
The man suggests paedophile Raymond Hewlett, who died of throat
cancer, aged 64, in Germany in 2010, was involved with
others in the abduction.
Hewlett was staying on a Portuguese camp site when Madeleine was
taken. In a deathbed letter to his estranged son Wayne
he claimed to know what happened to her.
The man in Brazil has also sent the Yard a picture of a market
scene, apparently shot in Portugal, purportedly showing
Hewlett standing near a white van used in the abduction.
Hewlett denied taking Madeleine but later mysteriously said she had
been “stolen to order” by gipsies. In an e-mail to the
Yard, the man writes in Portuguese: “The London police
holds in its hands the real opportunity to rescue
Madeleine. I know how.”
He wants to be flown to London to give officers the “entire route
taken by the bandits”.
The man says he is not a policeman, is not seeking money nor fame
and wants to remain anonymous. He adds: “I am sending
you more photos of the bandits taking Madeleine McCann
and running from the police.
“Unfortunately, we have to break the normal investigation rules,
only for this specific case. Your presence, together
with me, and also your investigators, we will rebuild
the bandits’ entire action.”
Giving his phone number and address he provides details of a flight
from Ibiza to Munich in which one witness saw a girl
looking like Madeleine “with the bandits”. Scotland Yard
and the McCann investigators are used to dealing with
letters from cranks, but are taking this more seriously
because of the photographs provided.
We can also reveal the man has been in contact with Isabel Duarte,
Kate and Gerry McCann’s civil lawyer in Lisbon.
Mrs Duarte told the Sunday Express: “It is an interesting picture
but you cannot say it is Madeleine.
“I communicated with him by e-mail because I wanted to know where
the picture was taken and who took it and who the men
“He was not prepared to tell me but said he would talk to the
police. I don’t know exactly what this guy wants but it
needs to be checked out. It is a matter for the police
to look into.”
Last week she sent all details of her correspondence with the man
to Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry in Leicestershire.
A spokesman for Scotland Yard said: “An image has been passed to us
and it is being assessed.”
The Yard may send the picture to FBI imaging experts in America for
This week the Yard is expected to ask detectives in Brazil to
interview the man before considering whether to fly him
to London. Officers want to know what he knows about
Hewlett, who was jailed for abduction, attempted rape
and assault of girls aged six, nine and 14.
Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for the McCanns, said: “This is a
matter for Scotland Yard and I am sure they will get to
the bottom of it. Kate and Gerry have confidence in
Operation Grange was launched in May 2011 at the request of Home
Secretary Theresa May.