"We can't even make a consistent prognosis of her fate, including... whether she is alive or dead."
UPDATE JANUARY 2010 THE MCCANNS COULD HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH CHILD KIDNAPPING AND TRAFFICKING (Pt Prosecutor giving evidence in an ongoing case in Portugal where the McCanns are demanding ONE MILLION POUNDS IN DAMAGES FROM THE OFFICER WHO INVESTIGATED THEM!!!
27 Feb 2009
EARLY DAILY EXPRESS ARTICLES HOLD THE KEY
As Police know, going back to what was said in the beginning, rather than everything that has subsequently been said to try and undo that, can provide the very best evidence. Strange the way that 'hunt the Maddie monster' phrase was already coined within the first few days. A game, that as we know, the McCanns would get Maddie's little brother and sister to play. What concern they have always demonstrated for their normal development!
MADELEINE'S FATHER IN PLEA FOR HELP
Friday May 4,2007
The father of missing three-year-old Madeleine McCann made a fresh emotional plea for help in tracing his daughter.
Following criticism of aspects of how the case had been handled he also expressed the family's thanks to the police for their efforts.
Appearing before a bank of cameras and a crowd of reporters Gerald McCann stood arm in arm with his wife Kate who was again clutching a pink teddy bear as she was earlier when the family were first seen in public following the disappearance which police are now treating as an abduction.
Dr McCann said: "First of all we would like to thank everyone here in Portugal, the UK and elsewhere for all your support during this extremely difficult time for our family.
"We are pleased that the family liaison officers from Leicestershire are now working closely with the Portuguese police in keeping us informed.
"We have no further information regarding the investigation but appreciate the significant effort everyone is making on our behalf.
"We would again like to appeal for any information, however small, that may lead to the safe return of Madeleine.
"Finally we would like to thank the media for respecting our privacy especially that of Madeleine's little brother and sister."
Detectives in the Algarve earlier said they are hunting a "suspect" after evidence appeared to rule out the possibility that Madeleine had gone missing by herself.
While Portugal's Judicial Police - the equivalent of Britain's CID - refused to give precise details of who they are hunting, they revealed that they believed Madeleine was still alive. Hundreds of tourists, British expats and Portuguese residents joined a search for her.
EVERY PARENT'S WORST NIGHTMARE
Saturday May 5,2007 Mark Reynolds
THE three-year-old daughter of two doctors is feared kidnapped today after disappearing during a family holiday in Portugal.
Police are investigating whether little Madeleine McCann was snatched from their ground-floor holiday apartment while they dined out.
Kate McCann, a GP, and her husband, Gerry, a heart specialist, had left the toddler – dressed only in white pyjamas – sleeping with her two-year-old twin brother and sister.
As the parents ate in a tapas restaurant just yards away in Praia da Luz, western Algarve, on Thursday night, intruders are feared to have broken through shutters into the bedroom and abducted Maddy as she slept. The twins, Amelie and Sean, were not disturbed.
Specialist anti-kidnap officers from Britain’s Serious Organised Crime Agency were heading to the resort last night to help the Portuguese police.
Sniffer dogs scoured the area for any signs of the missing youngster. One dog, after smelling a piece of the child’s clothes, appeared to pick up the scent before it disappeared some 50 yards away outside a local supermarket.
The store’s CCTV was checked – but it had not been working.
The McCanns, both 38, from Rothley village, near Leicester, were due to celebrate Maddy’s fourth birthday next week.
They issued an emotional statement, saying: “We have received lots of support from friends, family and the public and the family are very grateful for that support.
“At this time, all the family’s focus is in assisting the UK, and in particular the Portuguese, authorities in securing Madeleine’s safe return.”
The youngster’s aunt, Trish Cameron, of Dumbarton, near Glasgow, said: “The phone went last night and it was my brother Gerry, distraught on the phone, breaking his heart.
“He said, ‘Madeleine’s been abducted, she’s been abducted’. They kept going back to check the kids every half-hour.”
On the last visit, at 10 pm, Mrs McCann went into the apartment, then ran out, screaming.
Mrs Cameron said: “The door was lying open, the window in the bedroom and the shutters had been jemmied open. Nothing had been touched in the apartment, no valuables taken, no passports. They think someone must have come in the window and gone out the door with her. It looks as if somebody has either been watching, or they’ve targeted her.”
Police were keeping an open mind about what happened. They were also investigating whether Maddy could simply have wandered off.
The apartment block in the Mark Warner complex is just 200 yards from the sea, and it was dark by the time the alarm was raised. But kidnapping remained the most likely explanation for the disappearance.
The McCanns had not employed a baby-minder, although the holiday company offers a free drop-in creche service or a paid-for private babysitter.
Dr McCann is a cardiologist at Leicester’s Glenfield Hospital. His wife is a popular family doctor in Melton Mowbray. A Portuguese police spokesman said: “They immediately raised the alarm and a search was begun, but so far there has been absolutely no sign of the girl. The fear is she has been abducted.”
Police sealed off the five-storey block and began taking fingerprints. Three police vans and three police cars were at the scene as four uniformed officers searched the family apartment. Forensic specialists fingerprinted the window sill of the McCanns’ ground-floor apartment.
A patio at the back of the block, believed to be attached to the family’s room, was sealed off with tape.
As soon as the disappearance was discovered, hotel guests joined a frantic search of the grounds until 4.30am.
Resort hotel manager John Hill said: “It was a very emotional and very frantic night and everyone did a fantastic job of getting involved and trying to search the area. As you can imagine, Madeleine’s parents are distraught and not doing very well at all.”
A Mark Warner spokesman stressed that the resort offered a “dining out service” providing creche facilities for children aged four months to nine years.
“We are all hoping that the child is asleep under a bush somewhere, and that we will find her soon,” he said.
He added that there was no physical evidence that the girl had been abducted. And he said Mark Warner had never had a child missing or abducted before.
Yesterday, Maddy’s grandparents, Brian and Susan Healy, from Mossley Hill, Liverpool, flew to join their daughter Kate. They said she felt the Portuguese authorities were not doing enough to find Maddy.
But Portuguese police said every possible theory was being investigated.
A close friend of the McCanns, Jill Renwick, said the parents were adamant their daughter had been abducted.
“They were just watching the hotel room and going back every half-hour,” she said.
“They went out about eight, went back in at nine, they were fine, went back in at 10 – and she was gone. They are very, very anxious parents and very careful and they chose Mark Warner because it is a family-friendly resort.”
Another friend, Pat Perkins, 61, said: “Gerry and Kate are fantastic parents and could see the bedroom from the hotel restaurant.
“Madeleine’s a beautiful little girl. It’s her fourth birthday soon. They were supposed to be flying home tomorrow to celebrate. We can’t believe what’s happening. We’re sat by the phone waiting to hear news. We’re all going through hell.”
Praia da Luz resident Mark McCarrick said the girl might have simply walked out of her room.
“The parents left the door ajar so they could keep going over and looking at her,” he said. “We are hoping that because the door was open, she just walked out.”
The resort, set in sub-tropical gardens, is made up of self-catering cottages and low-rise apartment blocks. Though a popular, quiet holiday haven for Britons, it has also attracted “unsavoury types”, mainly burglars, who target holidaymakers.
Last night, the Foreign Office confirmed that the British anti-kidnap unit was in contact with the McCanns’ local police force and a liaison officer based in Lisbon was in contact with Portugal’s police chief.
WE KNOW MADDY MONSTER Sunday May 6,2007
By Matt Drake and David Paul KIDNAPPED toddler Madeleine McCann is in the clutches of a paedophile, Portuguese police said last night.
Detectives are convinced the three-year-old is still alive and they believe she is being held in a lair no more than three miles from the luxury holiday apartment where she was snatched from her bed.
A prime suspect has been identified, thanks to more than 30 witnesses contacting police with his description and a desperate hunt to find him was under way yesterday. But detectives were last night refusing to release copies of a sketch of Madeleine’s kidnapper in case he panics for fear of being caught and kills her.
Dozens of tourists in Praia da Luz in the western Algarve abandoned their holidays yesterday to join police search teams and local residents looking for golden-haired Madeleine.
And volunteers from more than an hour’s drive away from the seaside village of Praia da Luz have been turning up at the Mark Warner resort in the village offering their services.
I cannot deny we are looking for a paedophile Director of judicial police, Guilhermino Encarnacao
Search co-ordinator Dave Shelton, 38, from Manchester, who has lived in the village for more than 16 years running an air conditioning company, said: “I came here first on Friday morning, I speak a little Portuguese and was helping police knock on the doors of all the apartments. Then people just started coming out of the woodwork saying, ‘We’ve heard, what can we do to help’.”
But despite the news of a prime suspect there was mounting criticism of the Portuguese police’s failure to respond quicker and more decisively when the youngster was first found to be missing at 10pm on Thursday.
Friends and relatives of the McCanns alleged yesterday that the search was only upgraded to a major investigation after the intervention of John Buck, Britain’s ambassador in Portugal.
Despite being convinced – for reasons they have refused to make public – that Madeleine is still in the Algarve, Interpol have been alerted about her disappearance and checks were being made at every Portuguese port and airport.
At a chaotic press conference held on the steps of a police station in Portimao yesterday, Guilhermino Encarnacao, director of the judicial police in the Faro region of Portugal, confirmed that the search is centred on an area no further than three miles from the swish Mark Warner Ocean Club resort where the McCanns had hired a ground-floor holiday flat for £1,600 a week.
“There is a prime suspect,” said Mr Encarnacao. “There is a portrait sketch of the suspect but I am not going to release it because it may put the little girl’s life in danger.”
When asked if he thought Madeleine was still alive he added: “Yes, I believe she is still alive. However, in Portugal such kidnappings are not only just for money, they can be for sexual abuse. I cannot deny we are looking for a paedophile.”
Forensic experts have sealed off the apartment, in a three-storey block, where Madeleine disappeared. Her parents had been dining at a Tapas bar several hundred metres away but had checked on Madeleine and their other children, two-year-old twins Sean and Amelie, every 30 minutes.
It was when Kate McCann returned to the flat that she found the shutters of the front window had been jemmied open and the door left wide open. Madeleine was taken while her brother and sister slept either side of her.
At one point yesterday morning sniffer dogs were taken into the apartment where Madeleine had been sleeping to pick up her scent before heading off around the Ocean Club complex and into the nearby village.
Yesterday the McCanns faced the grim task of returning to the apartment to take away Madeleine’s toys and clothing. The family have moved to another flat a few yards away while the increasingly desperate search continues.
Doctors Gerry and Kate McCann, both 38, from Rothley, Leicestershire, looked shattered as they collected buckets and spades, suitcases and other items from their holiday home.
Meanwhile, Gerry’s sister Philomena slammed Portuguese police for not doing enough to find Madeleine’s faster. Speaking from her home in Glasgow she said Gerry was furious with the way the inquiry was being handled. “My brother is at his wits’ end. They’ve just played it down from the minute he first approached them.
“I mean, you can hear his voice breaking. His wife, she can barely stand up. She can’t sleep, she can’t eat.
“They spent seven hours in the police station yesterday. What for? It took three hours just to get a statement from Kate, and Kate is an extremely articulate young woman. What’s going on?”
The McCanns could have dropped all their three children off at a drop-in creche provided by the Mark Warner holiday firm at the Ocean Club while they dined out last Thursday, or paid for one of the firm’s staff to babysit for them at the apartment, but chose not to use either option.
That has sparked a wave of criticism of the couple, but yesterday their friends and family hit back.
Madeleine’s uncle, retired head teacher Bryan Kennedy said: “Kate and Gerry are highly responsible parents, very much devoted to the family idea.”
He added: “We understand that it is a pleasant resort which is supposed to be safe for families – just the type of place where you can put your children to bed and keep popping back to make sure they were safe.”
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