14 Oct 2013

Police issue e-fit images in new Madeleine McCann appeal

Police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann are asking for the public’s help to identify a man they say is of “vital importance”.

Two e-fit images have been released based on statements from two witnesses who saw the man in the town centre of Paria da Luz in Portugal. The sightings took place on the evening of 3 May 2007, the night Madeleine went missing.

Detective now have a far greater understanding of the times when the abduction could have taken place, making statements from two witnesses far more significant, Scotland Yard said.

Witnesses described the man in the e-fit as being white, aged between 20-40 years old, with short brown hair, of medium build, medium height and clean shaven.

Police appeal

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, the senior investigating officer, said this is not the only line of inquiry but it is of “vital importance”.

“Whilst this man may or may not be the key to unlocking this investigation, tracing and speaking to him is of vital importance to us,” he stated.

“We have witnesses placing him in the resort area around the time of Madeleine’s disappearance.”

He added that detectives have been able to “make massive steps forward” by drawing together all the material gathered to date and reviewing it as a whole.

“Praia da Luz is a popular holiday destination for many nationalities so our requests for help need to be repeated in many different countries. I will be travelling to Holland, Germany and Ireland to seek the support of the public there.

“If you were in and around the Praia da Luz resort on Thursday, 3 May 2007, but you have not yet spoken to police, and you think you may have information, please pass it on.

Significant information

Scotland Yard said on Sunday that new research “significantly changed” what they believe happened the night Madeleine disappeared.

Detectives have interviewed 442 people as part of their investigation and 41 people of interest have been identified including 15 UK nationals. They have also issued 31 international letters of request to European countries in relation to some persons of interest as well as seeking to access phone records.