The kidnapper of Madeleine McCann drugged her and her twin brother and
sister so they would all be quiet while she was snatched.
A duplicate key may also have been used to gain entrance to the holiday
apartment where the children were sleeping, say investigators.
It means the monster is still a threat to children living or holidaying
on Portugal’s Algarve and must be caught urgently as he is highly likely
Former police detectives David Edgar and Arthur Cowley have spent months
re-analysing every shred of evidence.
They are convinced the abductor went to the family’s apartment on May 3
2007 fully prepared with sufficient drugs, probably chloroform, to
knock out all three children.
The fact that Sean and Amelie, then just 18 months old, failed to wake
when the alarm was raised, nor even as they were taken to another
apartment in the cold night air, has persuaded the detectives that they,
too, must have been drugged.
Had the twins been tested for drugs immediately, any medication used
could have been established, making it easier to identify the kidnapper,
but vital time was lost.
Chloroform can be made easily and other sedatives, such as the horse
tranquilliser ketamine, are commonly in circulation in the criminal
Even now, however, experts say there may be forensic clues on clothing
or bedding which could yield a breakthrough.
The Sunday Express can further reveal that the McCanns’ private
detectives are working on a solid theory about exactly how Madeleine was
Just as television investigator
Donal MacIntyre suggested in this paper three weeks ago, they believe
there was a dry run prior to the kidnap that fateful night at apartment
5a of the Ocean Club resort in Praia da Luz.
While checking the layout of the apartment the night before, the
kidnapper probably woke Sean, who in turn woke Madeleine. In the morning
she had told Kate and Gerry she was frightened.
The fact that the children woke up is thought to have persuaded the
kidnapper to use knock-out drugs when he returned the next night to take
On the question of the duplicate key, holidaymakers often left front
door keys under the doormats during the day.
A theory emerging is that the kidnapper had a duplicate key to apartment
5a, which could have been used on the night to enter by the front door.
Mr Edgar and Mr Cowley do not believe Madeleine was taken through an
open window as it would have been awkward, time consuming and there were
no forensic clues left behind.
It is far more likely, they say, that he simply walked out of the front
door with her in his arms. It had been thought that the front door was
double locked, making it impossible to open from the inside, but this
doubt falls away if there was a duplicate key.
The theory suggests the kidnapper had been targeting the apartment for
a long time and had a detailed knowledge of the lock system.
With the front door unlocked, it is easy to simply pull a latch across
to open it from the inside.
Another possibility is that the front door was not double-locked when
Kate and Gerry left through the unlocked patio doors to join their seven
friends at the resort’s tapas bar some 30 metres from their apartment.
Meanwhile it emerged yesterday that the parents of a two-year-old girl
who has gone missing in New Zealand are being supported by the
Aisling Symes vanished from a relative’s house in an Auckland suburb on
Her mother Angela had been close by, standing beside a washing machine.
There have been reports that the girl was later seen with a woman of
Detectives believe she was abducted. Despite repeated appeals for help
their searches have so far drawn a blank.
Kate and Gerry McCann said their “thoughts and prayers” were with the
The little girl’s father, Allan Symes, who is originally from County
Waterford in Ireland, made an emotional plea for her return, saying:
“These recent days have proven to be the most harrowing of our lives; no
sleep and we feel like we’re barely existing, just surviving every
moment, not knowing where Aisling is.”
It has also emerged that police in Sweden are trying to find a girl said
to bear a resemblance to Madeleine after a photograph was posted on a
However, she does not appear to have the distinctive mark Madeleine has
in her right eye.