Sunday, 27 Sep 2020

Madeleine McCann latest: 12 years on – new clues in hunt for Maddie suspect

Quoting judicial sources, Portuguese newspaper Expresso said the suspect was being investigated “on suspicion of being involved in cases of paedophilia but in light of the information coming from London, the investigators are looking into this case in more detail”. Detectives are said to have spoken to witnesses. Madeleine was three when she vanished from her family’s holiday apartment in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz as her parents dined with friends in a nearby tapas restaurant. Meanwhile, Kate and Gerry McCann, on the 12th anniversary of the disappearance, have vowed to carry on looking for their daughter “as long as it takes”. It was reported that evidence shows the youngster was kidnapped from the Ocean Club apartment. Cardiologist Gerry, 51, and ex- GP Kate, 51, are being kept up to date on any significant developments in the Metropolitan Police investigation into the case.

The couple’s spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, said yesterday: “We will not be commenting whatsoever on operational details in either Britain or Portugal. We are not in a position to talk about it.”

Kate was last night due to attend prayers at a special service at their local church in Rothley, Leics, to remember missing children.

On the official Find Madeleine website the couple said: “It’s that time of year again. As much as we’d like to fast forward the first couple of weeks of May, there’s no getting around it.

“The months and years roll by too quickly; Madeleine will be 16 this month. It’s impossible to put into words just how that makes us feel. There is comfort and reassurance though in knowing that the investigation continues.”

They added: “Thank you to everyone who continues to support us and for your ongoing hope and belief. For as long as it takes”

The Facebook page, run by a close friend of the McCanns, has updated its cover photograph with the couple’s message “For as long as it takes” with a yellow ribbon representing hope for the return of a lost loved one.

Detectives from Portugal’s Policia Judiciaria are said to have had extra resources to investigate the “new clue”.

Portuguese daily newspaper Correio da Manha said public prosecutors had turned down its request to see new material which had been “sealed” because of “active lines of investigation”.

In the last episode of Netflix’s documentary The Disappearance Of Madeleine McCann, investigators Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan, revealed a masked predator allegedly carried out up to 28 attacks within 40 miles of the resort where Madeleine was staying.

The lone intruder is alleged to have targeted sleeping children and carried out sex assaults after breaking into their holiday homes.

In 2014 Met Police detectives launched a Europe-wide hunt for a paedophile who targeted the sleeping children of at least 12 British families on holiday in the Algarve and assaulted five of them.

The suspect – described as having a pot belly – is believed to have struck twice in Praia da Luz.

The other attacks were at two resorts within an hour’s drive of the McCanns’ apartment.

The man spoke in English with a foreign accent, his voice slow or slurred. There was no immediate official response in Portugal yesterday.

And Scotland Yard, which is applying for more funds for their probe, said it “will not be giving a running commentary of an ongoing investigation”.

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