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New appeal following the disappearance of Madeleine McCann



Original Source: Metropolitan Police Wed 19 March 2014

Officers from Operation Grange investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have today issued a further appeal for information.


During the course of their enquiries, officers have identified a potential linked series of twelve crimes which occurred between 2004 and 2010, mostly in low season, whereby a male intruder has gained access to mainly holiday villas occupied by UK families on holiday in the Western Algarve.


In four cases between 2004 and 2006 the man sexually assaulted 5 white girls, aged between 7 and 10 years, whilst in their beds. On one of these occasions, he assaulted two girls in the same villa.


Whilst not identical, there are many similar aspects to each of the incidents in that in most cases there were no signs of forced entry to the property, nothing was taken, and the intruder appeared in the early hours of the morning between 02.00hrs and 05.00hrs.


The suspect may have been in the villa or looking round the villa for some time before committing the offences or being disturbed either by a parent, or the child waking up.


He remained calm, even when disturbed.


On two occasions the noise of a bin collection lorry could be heard nearby.


Of the twelve offences, there were four in Carvoeiro, six in the Vale da Parra , Praia da Gale district and two in Praia da Luz.


Witnesses describe the man as having dark (as in tanned) skin with short dark unkempt hair. He spoke in English with a foreign accent, his voice was described as slow, or possibly slurred.


He was sometimes bare chested, some describe him as having a pot belly, and three victims said that he had a noticeable odour.


On two occasions in Vale de Parra and Praia da Gale he was wearing a distinctive burgundy long sleeve top, on one of those occasions it was described as having a white circle on the back.


DCI Andy Redwood, the senior investigating officer said today,


“We need to establish the identity of this man.


“These offences are very serious and no one has been charged in connection with them. We also need to eliminate this man from our enquiries and ascertain whether these offences are linked to Madeleine’s disappearance.


“If you have been a victim of a similar crime please come forward even if you reported the incident to police in Portugal, or anywhere else, please do not assume we have been made aware of it .


“While some of these offences have been in the public domain before, following our appeal in October three more were reported to us as a direct result of that appeal. One of those reports we believe is the first in the potential series.


“Please call us on 0800 0961011 if you are within the UK. The number for non-UK residents is +44 207 1580 126. Alternatively if you do not want to speak to us directly you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


“Our appeal last year was very successful and we had over 5,000 calls which generated new information for us and which we continue to investigate.


“We still need to establish the identity of a man seen by three witnesses, carrying a child fitting Madeleine's description towards the beach or town areas at about 2200 on the night Madeleine disappeared. The witnesses have described the man in the e-fits as being white, aged in his 30s, with short brown hair, of medium build, medium height and clean shaven.


"The Metropolitan Police Service continues to offer a reward of up to £20,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and prosecution of the person(s) responsible for the abduction of Madeleine McCann from Praia da Luz, Portugal on 3 May 2007. "

Interactive map link
Madeleine McCann Appeal - March 2014
View transcript

Main appeal transcript pdf  

We have a further appeal today to come back to the public in relation to 12 offences that we're investigating whereby a man has entered the holiday homes or apartments of English families between the period of 2004 and 2010. These offences have taken place mainly clustered in areas known as Carvoeiro or Praia de Gale Vale de Parra which sit about 30km away from Praia de Luz and indeed there are 2 offences within this that are in this linked series that are in Praia de Luz themselves, itself. Now the offences involve a man, as I say, entering holiday apartments or holiday homes.


On the whole, in the majority of these cases, there is no forced entry and neither is there any property taken. Whilst the man is inside, in four of the most serious cases, he has sexually assaulted young white female children whilst they're in their bedrooms. These children are between the ages of 7 and 10 years of age and obviously this is a serious matter that we need to understand more about, particularly in relation to its possible connection to Madeleine McCann's disappearance. And the offender we know is described as being a male, with dark hair, who has got dark brown tanned skin. He often speaks to the victim's with a foreign accent, in English, which is, with his voice being rather slow or possibly slurred. We know that in two occasions, the man was wearing a distinctive burgundy top, one of the families describes this top as having a white circle on the rear of it.


In two of the occasions, we know that when the public have come out on to the street, they've heard binmen in the nearby area so possibly this could have something to do with who this offender is. These matters are very serious and its very important primarily for us to understand and identify who this offender is. Firstly, because clearly nobody has been prosecuted for these horrible offences against these young people. And secondly, once we've identified this offender, we need to be able to prove or disprove whether these offences and that offender is connected to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. So if you believe you know who the offender is, then please make the call today, it's really important you let us know. We do have the ability in the most serious case, that if a name is put forward, we can prove or disprove whether that person is indeed responsible for that offence. Secondly, is, on the basis of how this information about how these offences have taken place, it's really important that if you think you've been affected by them, if you've been a victim of them, then please phone in today so that my officers can speak to you. An extra part to that is, even if you have reported it to police in Portugal, then please do not assume that we'd know that this offence has taken place, so do come forward so we can possibly cross check against what we know, but equally as we know from our appeal last October, identifying new matters that have not previously come into our investigation.

Update on Previous appeal

Update on Previous appeal transcript pdf version 

The appeal that we did to the public last October was very successful, we've received many thousands of calls which has given us some very interesting new information. What I would like to say particularly today as we come back to the public is that what we are not saying is the appeal that we did before is now no longer relevant because it very clearly is for us. The sighting of the man walking down towards the centre of Praia de Luz at 10 o clock on the 3rd May with the child that looked like Madeleine McCann, we still have not identified who that man is and so if it is you and there's an innocent explanation then please come forward. Some of the other e-fits that we put into the public domain are also still unidentified so that October appeal is still very much live.



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