by Bob Couttie

Six years after three-year-old Madeleine McCann disappeared in Portugal, Britain’s Metropolitan Police have opened a new investigation targeting 38 persons of interest. They have stated that there is a good chance that Madeleine is still alive.

Madeleine_McCann,_aged_three_and_(age-progressed)_nineMadelaine disappeared on the evening of 3 May 2007 just nine days before her fourth birthday. Her parents had left her in a bedroom in theeir holiday apartment at 5A Rua Dr Agostinho da Silva in the Praia da Luz resort in the Algarve while they dined with friends at a restaurant just a few yards away. Throughout that evening her parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, and friends checked in on the children. Yet, at 10pm she was found missing.

witness_account2Witnesses described a man with an ugly, pocked-marked face who was seen loitering near the apartment and spotted carrying a child away from it. He remains unidentified.

For Gerry and Kate McCann the nightmare continued to deepen. Portuguese authorities  badly misinterpreted forensic evidence provided by British investigators and the McCanns became prime suspects, accused of murdering their own child. In an astonishing display of crass journalism, several British newspapers also accused the McCanns of the crime and even suggested that they had sold their own child.

Several newspapers were sued successfully by the McCanns, and others, who had been fingered by the press and the Portuguese investigation was closed inconclusively in 2008.

The investigation had been unimaginably botched.

efit_womanSeveral private investigators, some paid by sympathisers of the McCanns, have been involved in the subsequent search for Madelaine. One of them tracked down two British men who had been approached by a woman with an Australian accent 72 hours after the disappearance and who asked them whether they were there to deliver her ‘new daughter’. The woman has not yet been found or identified.

At least three known paedophiles were also discovered to have been in Portugal at the time.

The McCanns have continued to try and find their daughter and established a Find Madelaine campaign. A photograph of Madelaine as she may look now, aged nine, has been released.

The McCanns would not let the case rest. After they appealed to British Prime Minister David Cameron in May 2011, the UK Home Office ordered New Scotland Yard, headquarters of the Metropolitan Police, to carry out a $10m review the case files in what has been called Operation Grange. A team of 37 investigators trawled through more than 30,000 documents – around 100,000 pages – from the Portuguese and British investigations and identified 38 ‘persons of interest’, 12 of them British nationals.

This month, with new suspects and new forensic evidence at hand, the Metropolitan police have announced a new investigation. It is extremely unusual for the British police to re-open a case of an overseas crime but the team leader, Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, believes, as do the McCanns, that Madelaine may well be alive.

In a statement the Metopolitan Police says:

“Over the coming months we will be conducting assertive enquiries, with the assistance of host countries to establish more information about the individuals concerned and any potential involvement.

“Twelve of the persons of interest are UK Nationals who we believe were in Portugal at the time Madeleine went missing.

“Officers, under Operation Grange, have formally requested the Crown Prosecution Service submit an International Letter of Request to the Portuguese Authorities seeking assistance in obtaining evidence relating to lines of enquiry they wish to pursue. This has been done with the full support of the UK Government.

“The MPS has requested, in accordance with accepted Mutual Assistance practice, that a small number of UK officers are present in Portugal whilst the enquiries are undertaken”.

eyemadeleineAs is normal in such cases local police authorities will take the lead role. The right of arrest and questioning is reserved for local police forces, and those countries in which suspects may be living.

Someone, somewhere, knows who took Madelaine McCann. Someone, somewhere, may know where she is now. For Gerry and Kate McCann there is only hope that the nightmare will end soon.


The Find Madelaine Campaign

Other stories by Bob Couttie










9 Responses to Madeleine McCann May Be Alive

  1. dotty says:

    …not that the mccanns get arrested…

  2. Bob Couttie says:

    The McCanns are not suspects. They were cleared. Why should they be arrested?

  3. dotty says:

    This child is much too distinctive, to be still alive – imo…
    she was also quite “old” to be sold… 3 almost 4 years old, while her younger twin-siblings were sleeping next to her…

    • Patrick H. Moore says:

      On the other hand, that could be why the evildoers keep her alive; she could be in demand due to her distinctive qualities.

  4. dotty says:

    imo, unlikely she was “stolen” – whether for sexual abuse or for being sold…

    the mccanns blundered quite around, so no surprise that they got into the crosshairs of the press…
    not to remember, what the child was wearing, when it disappeared or even getting it wrong, was just one of those…

    then there was the british grandmother, who talked about “valium”… this, together with the information that madeleine showed sleeping problems during the first days, was enough to see a clear story…

    maybe she was “snatched” – thats how gerry mccann would put it, when i remember right…
    maybe she was not…

  5. Bob Couttie says:

    No evidence whatsoever. Unfortunately, thinking up reasons for accusing the McCanns of something they did not do only detracts from trying to find out what really happened and the identities of the persons noted by witnesses.

  6. dotty says:

    that they couldnt find the guy with the measles? tsss… looks for a lengthy stay in the hospital… think, jane t. from the holidaying group saw him(?)… wondering, if she was already on anti-depressants or similar at the time…

    correct me if wrong, but i think NOBODY saw ANYTHING… just the mccanns and their pals spotted all sort of shady perps that night…

  7. adam says:

    Hi for those who say mccan should not be a suspect why did kate refuse to anser 48 simple questions by portugal policie just to say that if it was my child i would anser every question. they never had a real investigation against them. If it happened in uk parents an people who was with that child for 12 to 18 months would be in the line of investigation u refuse to anser 48 questions when you have some think to hide.
    Mccans an there friends contridicate what they previosly stated on major differences they never checked on there children every 30 mins otherwise they would ov been up an down constantly an nor have the time for 9 individuals i belive this by reading reports entensly

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