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Original Source: EXPRESS: - 01 - 02 - 03 - SUNDAY16 DECEMBER 2007
Sunday December 16,2007
By James Murray

The FBI has been asked to examine CCTV footage of three men acting suspiciously near the Algarve apartment that Madeleine McCann disappeared from.

The night before she vanished, two men were seen acting nervously near the complex and on the evening she went, the same men were seen with a third man.

One of the men captured on camera on both nights bears a strong resemblance to a man with long, dark hair seen carrying a child, as reported by the McCanns’ friend Jane Tanner.

Today we can also reveal that sniffer dogs taken to a disused barn 30 miles from Praia da Luz have shown strong interest in two sites.

One is what appears to be a 14ft mineshaft opening to an underground cavity, and the other is where earth has been disturbed, possibly covering a shallow grave.

Detectives have asked for specialist imaging equipment to be brought in and are planning to excavate the shaft.

Portuguese police are desperate to identify the three men seen on the CCTV footage and have had long discussions with British detectives on how to enhance the grainy footage to get clear images of the three faces.

They have been told to send all the footage to an FBI lab in America, which has the best equipment in the world for zooming in on CCTV images.

The footage was gathered in the early days of the investigation. It was set aside because detectives could not see the faces clearly.

But now that the investigation has been reinvigorated by the new chief investigator, Paulo Rebelo, old material is being reviewed.

A source close to the investigation revealed: “There is a great deal of interest from the new team in the CCTV footage taken from a business premise between 50 and 100 yards from the apartment where Madeleine was staying.

“On May 2 in the evening two men are clearly seen hanging around in the area. One is smoking and both are seen with their heads down, glancing from side to side.

“One of them looks similar to the artist’s impression of a man seen taking a child away.

“They are in the area for a time and then one disappears and comes back into view. The non-smoker who stays is the one who looks like the drawing of the man seen carrying a child from the apartment.

“Their behaviour does not look normal. It clearly looks furtive and suspicious but because of the quality of the film it is difficult to make out their facial features.”

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Kate and Gerry issued a statement yesterday, thanking their supporters as they prepared for “an incredibly difficult Christmas”, their first without Madeleine.

The couple are staying in Britain but it is not known how much of the holiday will be spent at their Rothley, Leicestershire, home.


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