04 May 2007
Timeline and press reports for Thursday 04 May 2007

The Tapas group gather 04 May 2007

Picture above, 04 May 2007, about 11 hours after Madeleine had been reported missing: The McCanns, officers of the PJ and some members of the Tapas Group gather at 08:30am outside the holiday apartments, prior to their departure to the police station in Portimão.
 
(l-r) Jane Tanner, Kate McCann, Matthew Oldfield, PJ Officer, Dianne Webster, PJ Officer, Fiona Payne and Gerry McCann.

Time
What happened?
00:00am
Local GNR officers, who were first on the scene, decide to call in the Policia Judiciaria. This was done at 00:10am according to the PJ case files.
 

00:30am – 01:00am
According to Portuguese newspaper Sol (18 August 2007), sometime between 00:30 and 01:00am Kate calls her parents. Susan Healy says ”I had a phone call from Kate asking me to contact Father Paul Seddon”
 
*
 
When Kate McCann called her parents in Liverpool, they had a visitor, Patricia Perkins. After hearing of Madeleine’s disappearance, Mrs Perkins rang her friend Aurelio Guerreiro and asked him to go and help the McCanns. 
 
Sol reports the incident:
 
‘Aurelio Guerreiro, the owner of a bar at the marina in Vilamoura, was close to being involved. His testimony to Sol confuses the McCanns’ time version. Sometime between 0.30 and 1 a.m., Aurelio got a phonecall from an old customer: Pat Perkins, the human resources director from a public English organisation. She calls him, upset: ”She told me the daughter of British friends of hers, who were holidaying close to Lagos, had disappeared over 3 hours ago, that they were completely alone and that nobody was helping them to search for her”.

Kate McCann had just informed her parents of the tragedy. Pat, who lives in Liverpool, confirms: ”I was at Kate’s parents’ house at that moment. But I have nothing further to add”.

Guerreiro tells what he did after Pat called him: ”I understood she wanted me to go meet them, but I was an hour away from their location, and I could not close the bar, I decided to call the police”. After PJ in Portimao confirmed to him they already knew about the case, Aurelio phoned Kate, at the number that Pat had given him: ”An Englishman picked it up. He thanked me, and contrary to what I expected, he didn’t ask me for anything”.

Minutes after this phonecall, Gerry asks for the priest from the Luz parish to be called for him – but the Ocean Club staff members refused, given the time it was.

 

01:00am
Officers from the Policia Judiciaria arrive.
 
*
 
Bridget O’Donnell reports that ‘at 1am there was a frantic banging on our door. Jes got up to answer. I stayed listening in the dark. I knew it was bad; it could only be bad. I heard male mumbling, then Jes’s voice. “You’re joking?” he said. It wasn’t the words, it was the tone that made me flinch. He came back in to the room. “Gerry’s daughter’s been abducted,” he said. “She …” I jumped up and went to check our children. They were there. We sat down. We got up again. Weirdly, I did the washing-up. We wondered what to do. Jes had asked if they needed help searching and was told there was nothing he could do; she had been missing for three hours. Jes felt he should go anyway, but I wanted him to stay with us. I was a coward, afraid to be alone with the children – and afraid to be alone with my thoughts.’
 
Why were Ms O’Donnell and Mr Wilkins woken at 1:00am in the morning, simply to be told there was nothing they could do to help the search? Why even knock on their door?
 
The person knocking on the door is believed to have been Matthew Oldfield, in the company of John Hill. Ms O’Donnell describes seeing the same man, one of the doctors, over breakfast later that morning, with his young child in a pushchair.
 
*
 
The Times reports, on 09 November 2007, that ‘The PJ arrived at 1am, according to the McCanns. There was substantial searching involving tourists and locals for some hours. Kate remained in the apartment hoping for news, while Gerry went out and looked.’
 
*
 
Russell O’Brien claims to have met Murat at 1:00am in the morning and says Murat told him he also had a daughter.
 

02:00am
Linda McQueen, one of Kate’s friends from childhood, recalled how she had spoken to Kate at about 2am on the night Madeleine vanished.
She tells the Daily Mail, of 16 September 2007, that: “She just said, ‘Somebody’s taken Madeleine, somebody’s taken Madeleine.’ She sounded shocked and frantic and was just trying to get everything up and running to find her. It was just awful. This cold, icy feeling came over you.”
 

03:00am
Jon Corner receives a call from Kate: ”She phoned at about 3am. She just blurted out that Maddie had been abducted.
 
“She said, ‘They’ve broken the shutter on the window and taken my little girl’. She’s still devastated. She’s very upset that the police don’t seem to be doing anything.”
 
*
 
The Sun, 17 November 2007, reports on Jane Tanner’s sighting of the ‘abductor’ and says: ‘When two cops arrived around 11.15pm Jane told them. She did a more formal interview at around 3am. Gerry was present and it was the moment he learnt Jane had seen an “abductor”.
 
Until then she had not had the opportunity to tell Kate and Gerry. They had been too busy hunting their daughter.
 
Jane said she felt “total guilt” when she revealed what she had seen. Later she found out Madeleine had been wearing pink and white pyjamas.
 
The Sun, 20 November 2007, reports: “Then, at around 11.15, two policemen arrived and I told them. Later CID arrived. They did this thing called a cognitive technique, where they put you back in the moment, and it was then that I remembered the pyjamas.”

 
“They were pink and white, they were what Madeleine was wearing. I just felt so awful, I felt I could have stopped this from happening. I think of that everyday.”
 
There are two extraordinary aspects to the suggestion that Tanner had not had the opportunity to speak to Kate and Gerry, about what she had seen, until 3am in the morning. 
 
Firstly, by all reports and by her own admission, Kate McCann never left her apartment all night, yet we are asked to believe that in 5 hours Tanner couldn’t find a single opportunity to speak to Kate about what she had seen and secondly, the McCanns were adamant from the very first minutes that Madeleine had been abducted. She had not simply wandered off. Yet, despite this, Tanner did not feel compelled to mention the fact that she had seen a man carrying a child away from their apartment until 3am in the morning!
 

03:30am
John McCann (Gerry’s brother) speaking on the Panorama documentary, about Gerry: “He was walking the streets of Praia da Luz at half past three. I think most of the search party had disbanded by then and he was still crying his eyes out.”
 
*
 
David James Smith, in his Times article, writes that: ‘By 3.30am they (PJ) had gone and there was no police action at all, or none visible to the McCanns. Gerry had asked the departing PJ detectives at half three about contacting the media to make an appeal. One of the officers had reacted with surprising agitation, waving his hand emphatically: ”No journalists! No journalists!”’
 
*
 
The Times, in another report, states that: ‘By 3.30am the police had packed it in for the night. The searching was pretty much over. Gerry and Kate were frustrated and desperate.’
 

04:00am
According to Sol, at four in the morning, Jane was asking a member of GNR: ”Have you cut off all the roads already?”.
 
Minutes later, Gerry, given the fact that the priest didn’t appear, asked another element of GNR to show him the way to the church.
 
*
 
The Times reports that: ‘Gerry went out at about 4am with David Payne, another of their group, hoping to find something.’
 

04:30am

The Telegraph, on 09 September 2007, reports that: ‘The searches continued until around 4.30am, when a shattered Mr and Mrs McCann were ushered back into their apartment, which, despite it being a crime scene, had not been sealed off at that stage.’

It’s not clear how Kate could be ‘ushered back into their apartment’ when she had never left it.

*

The manager at the Mark Warner resort, John Hill said the police had been doing all they could. He said around 60 staff and guests at the complex had searched until 4.30am while police notified border police, Spanish police and airports.

*
 
The Guardian reports: ‘By 4.30am exhausted holidaymakers began drifting away, having found no sign of Madeleine.’
 

??? am
The Ocean Club gave them another apartment, but the McCanns did not want to be alone, so the twins were taken to the Paynes’ apartment, and Kate and Gerry went there later too, to try to rest.
 

06:00am
The Times reports that: ‘Later, at about 6am, the McCanns went out alone and walked around the scrubland on the outskirts of the village, holding hands and calling Madeleine’s name. There was nobody else around and they felt utterly alone.’
 
*
 
David James Smith writes that: ‘They got up at first light and went to search alone on the open scrubland beyond the resort, wandering around, calling Madeleine’s name. It was cold and lonely – there was no answer.’
 
These reports, both from The Times, are contradicted by Kate’s admission, in her BBC interview with Jane Hill, that she never did anything that could be described as ‘physically searching’.
 
*
 
George Burke, from Liverpool, was driving home from nearby Lagos around 6.00am when he caught the two people in his car headlights. “I couldn’t see them clearly because it was dark and windy. They scurried down a side road and out of sight.”
 
He says: “It was very, very dark and it was hard to make out exactly what the couple looked like. But through the gloom I could see a very suspicious-looking man and woman, with a child who fitted Madeleine’s description. Though there was nobody else on the road, they were hurrying across a road that leads straight to the train station and marina.”
 
He adds (but only reported in The Sun): “They were trying to carry the kid without anyone seeing.”
 
Whether this sighting has any relevance to the case remains to be seen but what is interesting is Mr Burke’s description of the weather conditions. At the same time as the McCanns are alleged to have gone out searching the scrubland ‘at first light’, Mr Burke describes the conditions as ‘very, very dark’ and ‘windy’ and could only make out the couple he saw because of his headlights.
 
There are no lights in the scrubland around the outskirts of the village, which renders the area pitch black.
 

06:36am – 06:40am
Sunrise in Praia da Luz, Portugal.
07:00am
McCann family friend, Jill Renwick, revealed how panicking Kate sent her a text saying: ”I need help.” Jill Renwick has known the McCanns since they all worked together at a Glasgow hospital more than a decade ago.
 
She spoke to Kate at 7am on the morning after Madeleine vanished and said: ”Kate was at the police station in hysterics. When we spoke she said the police weren’t doing enough.”
 
It’s not clear how Kate could be calling from the police station at 7am when the McCanns were actually filmed leaving Praia da Luz for the police station at 8:30am! (see below)
 
*
 
The Guardian, 02 June 2007, reports that: ‘Jill Renwick has known the couple since they all worked together at a Glasgow hospital more than a decade ago. She spoke to Kate at 7am on the morning after Madeleine vanished: “She just said, ‘Help me, please help me’. She said, ‘We’ve been searching all night until 4.30am, and then everybody left us’. At that stage there was only one police officer at the door. They didn’t know what to do. So I phoned GMTV.”‘
 

07:30am
David James Smith writes that: ‘It is widely believed among the Portuguese media, and perhaps the police too, even now, that the McCanns called Sky News before they called the police. For the record, Sky News picked up the story from GMTV breakfast television, at around 7.30am the following day.’
 

07:30am – 08:30am
Bridget O’Donnell writes that: ‘The next morning, we made our way to breakfast and met one of the Doctors, the one who had come round in the night. His young daughter looked up at us from her pushchair. There was no news. They had called Sky television – they didn’t know what else to do. He turned away and I could see he was going to weep.’

The doctor that Ms O’Donnell describes is believed to have been Matthew Oldfield.

It also clearly states, from a first-hand account, that Sky Television were called directly with the news, contradicting previous reports that Sky picked up the story from GMTV. Sky News broadcast the ‘Breaking News’ at 07:38am.

08:30am
This news item was broadcast at 14:00 on May 4th. The following news item (below) confirms that the man in the brown jacket is an officer of the Policia Judiciaria, who had come to collect them at 08:30am that morning. That makes this footage being recorded just 10/11 hours after Madeleine had been reported missing.
 
The PJ officer appears to be looking round for David Payne, who we see at the end of the clip sitting in the front passenger seat of the car. Presumably, Kate and Gerry went in one car, driven by the PJ officer, whilst Jane Tanner, Matthew Oldfield and David Payne went in a second car.
 
Presumably, their partners Russell O’Brien, Rachael Oldfield and Fiona Payne stayed behind to mind their children.
 
At the start of the clip Gerry says “Where are we going?”
Gerry and Kate make their way to the police station on 04 May 2007
Gerry and Kate make their way to the police station on the morning of 04 May 2007
This broadcast was made later that day at 20:00 and shows more footage, including David Payne making his way to the car.
 
The report says that, in spite of having called the media to start with, the 3 groups of friends now refuse to talk to the media, probably to avoid accusations of negligence to the parents of the child (no talk of their own children).

They report that nothing was missing from the room except Madeleine, not even her pink blanket.

They also add that it was around 21.30 that Madeleine was discovered missing and that there were people walking around, yet nobody saw or heard anthing.

10:00am
Back home in Dumbarton, Trish Cameron, Gerry’s sister, receives her second call from Gerry at 10am.
 
“It was frustrating for him then because between 5am and 7am the police seemed to do nothing, they were standing about,” she said.
 
This contradicts other statements emanating from the McCanns which suggested that the police had deserted them at 4:30am and that they had been forced to go out looking on their own at 6.00am.
 
*
 
10:00am is believed to be the time the apartment was sealed off by police tape.
 

13:00pm
The forensic team arrive at 13.00pm to begin work on the apartment. The apartment and immediate surroundings are already sealed off with police tape – as can be seen in the SIC video above.
 

???pm
Kate’s parents, Susan and Brian Healy, arrive on a flight from Liverpool with Michael Wright.
Kate and Gerry move items to new apartment
Kate and Gerry move items to new apartment
22:00pm
At 10.00pm, as the search for Madeleine continues, Gerry reads a prepared statement to the waiting media.
 
Transcript of statement read by Gerry McCann:
 
‘Words cannot describe the anguish and despair that we are feeling as the parents of our beautiful daughter Madeleine. We request that anyone who may have any information related to Madeleine’s disappearance, no matter how trivial, contact the Portuguese police and help us get her back safely. Please, if you have Madeleine, let her come home to her mummy, daddy, brother and sister. As everyone can understand how distressing the current situation is, we ask that our privacy is respected to allow us to continue assisting the police in their current investigation.’
 

 
Friday 04 May 2007
 
Many thanks to ‘KazLux’ for putting the information in this section together, which draws from recent reports taken from the PJ case files and the book by Gonçalo Amaral.
 
(GA) = Gonçalo Amaral, (PR) = Paulo Reis

 
00.00 am Goncalo Amaral is informed about the case around midnight of the night of the 3rd. (Before he gets home he confirms that the police have already alerted the Faro Airport police authorities as well as those at the Guadiana River on the Spanish border.)

Between 00.00 and 1.00 am the response team that is on duty is informed, goes to Luz to take care of the situation, photographs the scene, but fails to take pictures of what they really saw, for example there are no persons on the photos but the place was full of people. The twins’ cots are empty on the photos, without bedsheets or covers – nothing at all except for the bare cots – but the officers report that the twins were sleeping in the cots. (GA)

Sometime between midnight and 0.30 am Gerry calls Kate’s parents: “Gerry rang me and said how desperate the situation was. He said it was a disaster. And at first I thought there had been a car accident. And then he said no, and when he told me that Madeleine had been abducted from her bed in the hotel, I just said ‘No’. He said ‘I’m serious, Sue’. He said everyone in the complex was searching for Madeleine. He was really, really upset. (Link)

Sometime between 0.30 and 1 a.m Kate calls her parents (sol 18/8) “I had a phone call from Kate asking me to contact Fr Paul Seddon. He’s a friend of Kate and Gerry’s. Paul married Kate and Gerry and baptised Madeleine and she needed to speak to him”.

Felícia Cabrita said (on tv, 10/9) that kate called her parents at midnight complaining that they were all alone. That is strange, because all the staff and holliday makers were with them looking. The GNR was already there and PJ was on the way.

Sometime between 0.30 and 1 am, Aurelio Guerreiro, the owner of a bar at the marina in Vilamoura got a phonecall from an old customer: Pat Perkins, the human resources director from a public English organism. She calls him, upset: “She told me the daughter of British friends of her, who were vacationing close to Lagos, had disappeared over 3 hours ago, that they were completely alone and that nobody was helping them to search for her”. Pat confirms she was at Kate’s parents house at the time (sol 18/8)

Sometime between 0.30 and 1 am Gerry asks for the priest from the Luz parish to be called for him – but the Ocean Club staff members refused, given the time it was. (sol 18/8)

ca. 2.00 am Antonio Duarte, a commander for the GNR in Lagos, got the mysterious pictures. Four equal images, in sets of two, printed in photographic paper, 15,3 cm x 10,3 cm. The military declared to the PJ that he got the pics at 2 am on the 4th of May – four hours after the disappearance was reported. Antonio Duarte said he got the pictures when he was sitting in a vehicle when trying to get identification data of the McCanns, but that he cannot recall who gave him the pics.

 
Gerry declared that he was not the one that had given the pics to the GNR. But the dossier contains also declarations from Sílvia Baptista, responsible for the Ocean Club who says she saw the father of Madeleine give the pics, on a poster-type paper to one of the militaries of the GNR. “They were practically all similar” said Baptista. The PJ made a research of the printers available in Luz, but the sort of paper the pics of Maddie were printed on, could not be found anywhere. Nelson Costa, one of the militaries in the GNR who was called on the night of 3 May, was perplex. He told the PJ he saw several pictures of Maddie, some A4 size and others with the size of a poster, that ‘couldn’t have been made’ in the reception of the Ocean Club. (Link)

PJ report says that the pictures were printed by nanny Amy Tierney.

Pictures were printed on a personal printer from a British staff member of Ocean Club. It was Russell O’Brien who brought a memory card and that member of staff brought the printer from her room. PJ asked for the printer, but she said her boyfriend took it with him to France.(Paulo Reis)

 
At 4.00 pm in the morning, Jane was asking a member of GNR: “Have you cut off all the roads already?”. Minutes later, Gerry, given the fact that the priest didn’t appear, asked another element of GNR to show him the way to the church. (sol 18/8)

Gerry went out at about 4.00am with David Payne, another of their group, hoping to find something. (Link)

Madeleine’s father was also seen, in the early hours of May 4, near the temple with another British man who was with him on vacation. (CM 12/9)

The searches continued until around 4.30 am, when a shattered Mr and Mrs McCann were ushered back into their apartment, which, despite it being a crime scene, had not been sealed off at that stage. (Link)

 
Later, at about 6.00 am, the McCanns went out alone and walked around the scrubland on the outskirts of the village, holding hands and calling Madeleine’s name. There was nobody else around and they felt utterly alone.

Early hours of May, 4th “Close family friend Jon Corner, of Liverpool, told how tearful Kate sobbed down the phone early yesterday: “Someone has taken my little girl.” Jon, godparent to the McCanns’ twins, said: “She was in an absolutely hysterical state – very, very distressed. She blurted out Madeleine had been abducted. “Kate said the shutters of the room were smashed. Madeleine was missing It looks as though someone had gone straight past the twins to get to her.”

 
Jill Renwick has known the couple since they all worked together at a Glasgow hospital more than a decade ago. She spoke to Kate at 7am on the morning after Madeleine vanished: “She just said, ‘Help me, please help me’. She said, ‘We’ve been searching all night until 4.30am, and then everybody left us’. At that stage there was only one police officer at the door. They didn’t know what to do. So I phoned GMTV.”

Jill Renwick, told GMTV: “They were just watching the hotel room and going back every half-hour and the shutters had been broken open and they had gone into the room and taken Madeleine. They went out about eight, went back in at nine, they were fine, went back in at 10 and she was gone.”

Jill Renwick “phoned the McCanns’ wider circle of friends, who mobilised to phone anyone they could think of to beg for help. Renwick’s sister called someone she knew in CID, someone had a connection with Des Browne, the defence secretary”, according to The Guardian, on its June 2 edition. Contacts start rolling on, and BBC Newsnight presenter Kirsty Wark and Gordon Brown’s brother were alerted about Madeleine’s disappearance, in the following 24 hours.

4 MAY, 7.00 am, the village of Sargaçal, near Luz
=================================

– Yvone Martin, 52 years old, British manager of Social Services, Protection of Minors, with 28 yrs of experience in the area of children at risk, is on holiday in the Algarve. Sees Luz/Madeleine news on the TV. Decides to go help.

9:30am-ish, with the help of police at the scene, she finds Madeleine’s parents. They are with someone introduced as a “close friend” of the family.

– The parents are very upset, but only the mother is crying intensely.

– Yvone Martin begins to ask questions; how often were they checking (response: once an hour), is Gerry the biological father of Madeleine (to eliminate the possibility of abduction by bio father).

– Kate becomes unnerved by the questions. They should come from the police. According to Kate, there should have been a lot more police there trying to find her daughter who had been taken “by a couple.”

– Yvone Martin, thinking the McCanns were doubting her qualifications, produced her official documents emitted by the police and the British government.

– Gerry shows the documents to the close friend, who says the docs are authentic. But this does not make them supportive of the help offered by Yvone Martin.

– So Yvone Martin tries a desperate move: she tries to separate Kate from the other two, inviting her to another place to clarify this story of the “couple” that according to Kate had taken her child.

– Kate reacts agressively and refuses to leave her two companions.

– Yvone Martin is concerned about Kate’s agitation, and verifies that Kate hasn’t received any medical support, which she is needing.

– At 10.00 am, Kate told Yvone Martin that Madeleine had been missing for 13 hours. (That would mean the disappearance was at 9pm and not 10pm.)

 
– Yvone Martin, before the “close friend” rejoined them and told Yvone Martin that the McCanns didn’t want to talk to her anymore, took the time to alert the McCanns to the fact that they should be careful with the media, advising them to remain silent.

– Yvone Martin, from the moment she met the McCanns and the friend, thought his face seemed familiar. She thought she knew him from work, perhaps having been involved in some case that passed through her hands, in the area of protection of minors.

– Later Yvone Martin would identify this close friend as David Payne, the organizer of the holidays, and the one who was also independently pointed out to the British police (by SG and KG), for his questionable behaviour during the Mallorca holiday.

– With the English police, the Portuguese investigators tried to find out if David Payne had any judicial or police reports, but nothing was found in his records.

– The only information known is that David Payne is a close friend of Gerry McCann, since university.

***************

9.00 am Mr Amaral arrives at the CID in Portimão and meets with Chief Inspector Tavares de Almeida (it’s supposed to be the first day of his holidays) to check on what has already been done and what needs to be done next; interpol already contacted, all Portuguese police forces are alerted; initial searches by locals and GNR done that night, to be continued/enlarged.

– apt to be fully inspected, even though the arriving officers said the apt was full of people when they arrived and most likely contaminated

– it must be considered if the contamination was conscious or an accident

It is urgent to know who this couple is, as well as their friends, what do they do, what problems do they have in the UK, have they ever mistreated their children, has a neighbour, family, friend or anyone else noted any inappropriate behaviour? What is their profession? Full time? Has anyone suffered depression? Is the marriage relationship healthy? Are they involved in any serious litigation? Does anyone hold a grudge against them? Why?…

These questions were delivered to the UK-Portuguese police liaison [on 4 May] who GA has worked with for years, Glen Power, asking him to forward the request, which the team considered “essential to the investigation” and waited for the response.

– searches include garbage bins and sewers; parents/friends must be formally interviewed (these first are almost always the most important), employees, nannies, other tourists; must ask English authorities if any of those guests have any criminal background; CCTV collected from all hotels, farmacies, markets, banks, gas stations, etc.
– Spanish border police are asked to watch ports to Morocco, Tarifa, Algeciras, via their CCTV; maritime police to collect any Algarve port data and do coastline searches

– crisis room is set up

– photos from the group and other tourists are necessary. the group deliver them but they have no photos, unfortunately, of that night; at least, none were delivered by the McCanns nor their friends

– apartment has no signs of a break in, as opposed to what the parents say and what “Sky News” reports

– still all break-ins in the area are reviewed, as ridiculous as it would be for a robber to take a child with them

– report must be filed with the Public Ministry… but what to call it? decision is made to record as an “Abduction??” with two question marks to indicate that there are doubts about this theory. (you can see this first form with the “??” in the process files)

– Mr Amaral reads the “first arrival” report. all hypotheses are open: woke and wandered, accident/eventual death/hidden cadaver, bodily injuries resulting in death, negligent or intentional homicide, vingenace, kidnap for eventual ransom, sexual pedator, robber who came to steal but was surprised by the child…

– the abduction theory permits the widest investigation and means otherwise unable to justify, including bringing in teams from outside the Algarve, and all possible means are important in the first 72 hours. in peace and silence, the team can advance with a efficient and effective investigation avoiding suspicions on the family/friends while still collecting all necessary evidence to determine what happened

10.00 am, 12 hours after the disappearance, the British Consul from Portimão arrives. PJ tell him all that is going on. He is not satisfied and is heard talking on the phone saying the “PJ are doing nothing. ” Strange!

– And the information about the friends/family requested so urgently from the UK still hasn’t arrived…- one urgent question is whether or not M was the biological child of the McCanns, if not, this could be an abduction by the biological parents

– the urgent request still has not received a response from the UK… but here comes the Ambassador, from Lisbon [debk-3 hr drive]. This is not normal. Who is this couple? Who are these friends? We don’t need diplomats, we need detailed responses to our questions, given urgently to the English-Portuguese liaison, Glen Power

– the searches continue, a helicoptor arrives, time is of the essence, highlighted by the fact that most of these witnesses are tourists who will return home on Saturday/tomorrow

– also concerns arise about M’s parents and friends and their plans to return home; there is no way to legally oblige them to stay

– mid-morning, the Sub-National PJ Director arrives from Faro; he and GA go to the Ocean Club… to find all the journalists.

– best to separate everyone and take all statements at once, important to question everyone, in case M’s abduction were a mistake and one of the other children were the true target

– logistically, all can’t be heard at once; someone has to stay with the children (debk – why not use the creche?)

– the morning of 4 May, only Gerry, Jane Tanner and Matthew Oldfield are interviewed… and inconsistencies already arise (Jane sees possible abductor; Gerry doesn’t see abductor though he’s there at the same time with Jeremy); the rest of the group is interviewed the afternoon of 4 May, giving too much time for the others to learn the questions/answers of the first.

– translation slows things down, giving too much time to think

– the parents insist upon abduction and force this, and only this, idea

– Gerry says he left the front door locked and the apt was secure; Kate says she entered via the back door. She confirms that the bedroom window was wide upon and the blinds up.

The checking was defined as follows:

21h05 – GM checks, all is fine with the children
21h10/21h15- JT sees alleged abductor carrying child
21h30 – MO, enters apt 5A but not the bedroom, sees only the twins
22h00 – Kate raises alarm, M missing

– BUT if the window was wide open when MO checked, how did he not notice?

– MO says the bedroom door was half open, Kate says it was wide open

– Unexpectedly, other inconsistencies arise: Kate, when she talks about the person who allegedly took Madeleine, she refers to info that Jane has provided. Yet Kate describes someone completely different that Jane’s person. (Jane = light trousers and shoulder length hair; Kate = long hair and jeans)

– Jane makes herself completely available and testifies several times

– to the police, Gerry says Jane told him, about midnight 4 May, that she saw an unknown individual, 30-40 yo, light trousers, dark hair, going up the street

– the GNR affirms that the parents immediately raised the abduction theory because Jane saw this man carrying a child; the GNR statements have this description: man, light trousers, 1,78m, dark shirt and carrying a child that appeared to be wearing pyjamas. Nothing else about the child, the pyjamas nor the man.

– by 11.30 am, 4 May, Jane gives another description, more detailed: a dark skinned man, 35-40yo, thin, 1,7m, dark, thick shoulderlength hair, linen pants of beige or gold color, a “Duffy” type jacket though not as thick, with classic black shoes: walking quickly and carrying a child laying across his two arms in front of his chest; by his dress, he didn’t look like a tourist and didn’t seem like a tourist because he was so bundled up (“encasacado”?). the child appeared to be sleeping, though she only saw the legs, the feet were bare and the pyjamas looked like cotton, a light color, maybe white or pink, with a design, perhaps, though she wasn’t sure, perhaps with flowers.

– Jane says she would recognize the man from the back and by the way he walked. (later we’ll understand the importance of this statement!)

– Jane’s testimony surprised everyone. she says she didn’t know what M was wearing. how could she not? 14 hrs had passed since the disappearance and Jane’s version had been heard by many. Gerald even mentioned her testimony. but Jane says she only talked the Gerald without giving details, and only after she had talked to the police.

– but Kate had immediately, on the night of 3 May, given a description of what M was wearing. how could Jane, the next day, not know this when she talked to the police? everyone that night, who helped in the searches, was looking for a 3-4yo girl, barefoot, dressed in PJs with a top and light-colored bottoms, with a pink animal design. it’s very surprising that Jane says she didn’t have this information when she spoke to the police the next day, especially as she was making herself the most important witness in this phase of the investigation

FIRST SIGHTING/KATE’S REACTION
– still 4 May, the parents are returning to Luz when a video is located at a gas station on the road from Lagos to Spain. A girl who looks like M is shown with two adults.. We ask the McCanns to return to Portimão, the afternoon is ending, we want to see if they can identify the girl in the video.

– Kate shows herself to be a bit irritated at being required to return to the police station and upset at the speed reached by the police car that was taking them back to Portimão. We were surprised that she showed no hope that her daughter might be recovered. (the video was not of M)

TANNER’S TESTIMONY WEAKENS
20.00 – 22.00 pm, 4 May, Gonçalo Amaral/team in Praia da Luz. It is obvious that there is very poor visibility in the area where Jane saw this possible abductor, undoubtedly making her detailed description difficult.

– Other witnesses say that on 3 May, in that area, at 21h58, there was no one around.

– The investigative teams continue to review Jane’s statement: something doesn’t make sense. Why would someone walk towards the most open area, even though there was not enough lighting to allow Jane to see anything in detail? A planned abduction would mean studying the area, the people. A car would have been parked away from the streetlights, in the opposite direction that Jane saw her abductor walking. Did she see someone going the opposite direction? If the abductor was using a car, he would have had to have driven through the center of Luz, passing in front of the parent’s restaurant…. all options are reviewed. It’s decided that the beach is the easiest place to reach for anyone who didn’t have a car and did not know the area well.

– in the few bars, restaurants and cafés open at that time, no one saw anything unusual on the night of 3 May. (most closed at 21h00)

****************************

on 4 May, the parents authorized the police to look at their cellphones to check for calls made and received:

Kate’s phone: no calls made from 27April to 4 May; she received no calls from 11h22 on 2 May until 23h17 on 3 May

Gerry’s phone: nothing prior to 00h15 on 4 May

However, inside Kate’s phone there is a record of a call received from Gerry at 11h17, 3 May. But no record of the call on Gerry’s phone. It had been erased.

*********************************

The McCanns later make a (televised) plea, directly addressing their daughter’s abductors, and speak of their “anguish and despair”.

 
Sky News: Breaking News – 07:48am, 04 May 2007
 

Sky News: Breaking News – 07:48am

Sky News: Breaking News, 04 May 2007, 07:48am
Sky News: Breaking News, 04 May 2007, 07:48am

Transcript

By Nigel Moore

Presenter: Some more breaking news for you this morning. Errr… We’re just hearing that a search is underway for a 3-year-old British girl who’s gone missing in the Algarve area of Portugal; and she went missing last night. Hundreds of people have been searching for the girl; and that search continuing this morning. So we will try to get as much on that as for… for you as soon as we can; errr… that, errr… missing girl in Luz and we will bring it to you as soon as we get further detail.

 
‘At around quarter-to-ten last night, her mother, Kate McCann, discovered her daughter wasn’t there’, 04 May 2007
 
‘At around quarter-to-ten last night, her mother, Kate McCann, discovered her daughter wasn’t there’ BBC Radio 4 – Today Programme
 
 
0845. Police in Portugal are investigating claims that a three year old British girl has been abducted.
 
*
 
Transcript
 
By Nigel Moore
 
John Humphrys: A 3-year-old British girl has disappeared while she was on a family holiday in Portugal. Our reporter, Yunus Mulla, is with me. What else can you tell us about this?
 
Yunus Mulla: Well, what we understand is that, errm… 3-year-old Madeleine McCann, errr… was part of a group, which included 9 adults and 8 children, who were staying at the Mark Warner Ocean Club summer resort, near the village of Praia da Luz, in the Algarve.
 
Now, the family, errr… her parents, in particular, were having dinner just a few hundred yards away and had left her with her brother and sister in the family apartment. Errr… they were keeping check, errr… on the children, every half hour, but, errr… at around, errr… quarter-to-ten last night, errm… her mother, errr… Kate McCann, discovered her daughter wasn’t there; the.. the window and the doors, errr… to the apartment were wide open and she immediately, errr… alerted, errr… the police there.
 
Now, what we’ve seen so far overnight and, errr… continuing this morning is a search operation which has included, errr… local, errr… police and, errr… local people, who are obviously extremely concerned. Errr… many of the… of the airports and ports are on standby as well. Errr… and the family themselves are… are trying to find out this morning what more can be done. The British Embassy, errr… over there and, errr… also the Foreign Office have confirmed that, errr… the girl is missing and everyone’s doing what they can to try and locate her whereabouts.
 
John Humphrys: Well, let’s hope. Yunus, thank you very much. It’s fourteen minutes… thirteen minutes to nine.

 
Three year-old feared abducted in Portugal, 04 May 2007
 
Three year-old feared abducted in Portugal Telegraph

By staff and agencies
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 04/05/2007

A three-year-old British girl has gone missing while on a family holiday in Portugal, the Foreign Office said today.

Portuguese police are investigating the disappearance from a holiday complex in Praia da Luz in the western Algarve.

A Foreign Office spokesman said that he understood the girl’s parents had gone to have dinner once their children were asleep last night, but returned to check on them only to find the girl had gone missing.

“They reported it straight away,” he said, adding that consular assistance was being offered.



Comment:
On the surface, this would appear to be the earliest written media report of Madeleine’s disappearance. What is curious about it is that it is timed at 12.01am on 04 May 2007. That is just 2 hours after Kate is reported to have discovered Madeleine missing and at a time when, according to a number of reports, the Policia Judiciaria had not even arrived at the scene.

However, it seems almost certain that this particular article originated from the Press Association (PA) at a time later than that quoted. It can be seen that the opening paragraphs of the article in The Sun are virtually identical – merely adding a few lines of update – as is customary with releases from the PA.

A search on the Telegraph’s website reveals that all reports show 12:01am until the actual article is downloaded, at which point the correct time is shown. It seems to be merely a default time for ‘breaking news’ reports.

 
Toddler missing in Algarve, 04 May 2007
 
Toddler missing in Algarve The Sun

By ONLINE REPORTERS
Published: 04 May 2007

A THREE-YEAR-OLD British girl has gone missing while on holiday in the Algarve, Portugal.

Portuguese police are investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann who went missing last night in the seaside village of Praia da Luz in south-west Portugal where the girl was staying.

The parents of the three-year-old were “distraught” when they discovered she had disappeared from their rented apartment while they dined nearby.

Sniffer dogs were brought in by detectives today to comb the area.

A Foreign Office spokesman said that he understood the girl’s parents had gone to have dinner once their children were asleep last night, but returned to check on them only to find the girl had gone missing.

He said: “They reported it straight away,” adding that consular assistance was being offered.

And a family friend was reported to have said the parents were certain that the girl had been abducted – but this was unconfirmed.

She said: “They were just watching the hotel room and going back every half-hour and the shutters had been broken open and they had gone into the room and taken Madeleine.

“They went out about eight, went back in at nine, they were fine, went back in at 10 and she was gone.”

She added: “This is the first time they have done this. They are very, very anxious parents and very careful and they chose Mark Warner because it is a family-friendly resort.”

She said the couple, from Leicester, also had twins.

Today the manager at the Mark Warner resort, John Hill, confirmed the missing girl as Madeleine McCann and her parents as Gerry and Katie.

He said around 60 staff and guests at the purpose-built complex had searched until 4.30am while police notified border police, Spanish police and airports.

“It was a very emotional and very frantic night and everyone did a fantastic job of getting involved and trying to search the area,” he said.

“As you can imagine, Madeleine’s parents are distraught and not doing very well at all.”

He said there was no physical evidence that the girl had been abducted from the family’s rented apartment while they ate at the tapas restaurant 200 yards away.

“It’s still questionable as to whether it’s an abduction,” he said.

“We are hoping that Madeleine is found as soon as possible and safe and well.

“Everybody here is just wishing that she is found as soon as possible.”

 
Holiday Girl Kidnap Fear; Maddy, 3, vanishes from bedroom at Mark Warner resort, 04 May 2007
 
Holiday Girl Kidnap Fear; Maddy, 3, vanishes from bedroom at Mark Warner resort Evening Standard (online link no longer available)
 
Additional reporting: Rob Singh, Chris Millar and Valentine Low
May 4, 2007
 
A MASSIVE hunt is under way today for a three-year-old British girl feared kidnapped from a Mark Warner holiday complex in Portugal.
 
Madeleine McCann vanished from her bedroom in the Algarve’s Praia da Luz resort as her parents ate in a restaurant only yards away.
 
A rear window of the ground-floor apartment had been partly opened and the shutters appeared to have been lifted. One report suggested they had been broken.
 
Police in the Algarve alerted airports, ports and border posts as they launched a criminal investigation.
 
A police source in Portugal said today: “The fear is she has been abducted.”
 
Her distraught parents Gerald and Kate McCann, both doctors who live in Leicester, released photographs of their daughter.
 
Madeleine, known as Maddy, is due to have her fourth birthday next Friday. Her parents discovered she was missing at 10pm last night after they returned to their apartment to check on her and her two younger twin siblings, who are safe and well.
 
Madeleine’s uncle Michael Healy, speaking from her grandparents’ home in Liverpool, said: “They are all in a hell of a state. Everyone has been up all night. I spoke to Gerry and he wants as much publicity as possible if it helps.”
 
The McCanns were on holiday with fellow doctors and their families and were eating with them at a tapas restaurant in the Mark Warner Ocean Club complex but had been checking on their children every 30 minutes. The restaurant is within sight of their apartment.
 
The bedroom was sealed off today while more than 200 locals helped police, who brought in sniffer dogs, with the search. Fingerprints were taken from a window sill outside her room. Portuguese detectives are interviewing her parents today.
 
Mrs McCann’s father Brian Healy and his wife the missing girl’s grandparents were on their way to the Algarve today.
 
Family friend Jill Renwick, from Glasgow, told the Evening Standard: “It is just awful, we are waiting for news. We heard about it on the news this morning and immediately phoned Kate at 7.30am. She is awful, just devastated.
 
“Maddy is gorgeous. She has white blonde hair. She is active and chatty and intelligent, not shy. She is four next week and starts school this year. Kate and Gerald are rushing about looking for her.”
 
Mrs Renwick said she feared Madeleine had been abducted: “[Her parents] were watching the hotel room and going back every half- hour. The shutters had been broken open and they had gone into the room and taken Madeleine. [The parents] went out about eight, went back in at nine the [children] were fine went back in at 10 and she was gone.”
 
Mrs Renwick said the McCanns had chosen the resort because it was family friendly. “This is the first time they have done this. They are very, very anxious parents and very careful,” she said.
 
Madeleine’s parents have been married for eight years and recently moved into a £500,000 detached house in Rothley, a suburb of Leicester.
 
Mrs McCann, 39, is a GP in the city and Mr McCann is a senior cardiologist at Leicester’s Glenfield General Hospital. They also have twins Sean and Amelie, aged two.
 
It is understood the family were due to fly home tomorrow.
 
Mrs McCann raised the alarm as soon as she realised her daughter was missed, prompting a frantic search.
 
Silvia Batista, head of administration at the Mark Warner complex, said today: “Everyone in this small village has been looking for her. There’s only about 500 people living here, and all the village has been searched. There have been police using dogs and all the staff have been trying to find her. I understand the police are searching the rest of the Algarve and checking airports, and checks have also been made in Spain.”
 
He added: “We don’t know if the child opened the window and walked out or if someone else came in. We sent notes to 200 guests staying at theresort asking them if they have seen anything. The whole thing is now a crime scene.
 
“We have knocked on all the doors and searched in all the rooms. You cannot imagine what her parents are going through. Her parents are desperate.”
 
A Foreign Office spokesman said: “Our people were rung up about it fairly quickly.”
 
A consular official is with the family.
 
Speaking from his home in Formby, near Liverpool, Madeleine’s great uncle Jack Healy said he was told the news two hours after she went missing. “We are all devastated,” the 70-year-old said.
 
“I am a father myself and all the traumas and fears have gone through my mind. The hope is she is hiding under a bed somewhere and we are keeping optimistic.
 
“My brother is very sad and distressed by what has happened.”
 
He described the family as extremely close-knit and said they had recently come back from a break in Ireland before going to Portugal. “Kate and Gerald are intelligent people and will deal with it the best they can,” he said. Describing Madeleine, he said: “She is a very bright and outgoing little girl.
 
She had a personality at a young age and knew her own mind at a very early age.” Michael Healy, the missing girl’s uncle, added: “There has been some negative spin put on this, with people criticising them for leaving the kids and going on the tear.
 
“But it’s nonsense, they were close by and were eating within sight of where the children were and checking on them. Other members of the group were checking on her as well. No one was rip-roaring drunk.”
 
Pat Perkins, 61, a close friend of Madeleine’s grandmother Susan, added: “We are all absolutely out of our minds with worry. It seems Madeleine was taken from in between the twins and whoever did this left by the main entrance. We’re all going through hell.”
 
The McCanns’ neighbours in Leicester spoke of their shock. Penny Noble said: “We are absolutely devastated. They are a really nice family and good neighbours. “They are delightful. We see them take their bikes up and down and going for walks. Madeleine is avery happy-go- lucky little girl.”
 
A Mark Warner spokesman said counsellors were being flown out to the resort, which the firm has run for two years, to support the McCanns. He said: “Our priority is to find the girl and to make sure that the parents are OK, and there are masses of people working on that.
 
“Our staff are looking after them at the moment in whatever way they can but we can only imagine how awful it is for them. We are all hoping that she is asleep under a bush somewhere and we will find her soon.”
 
He said the apartment the family were staying in was surrounded by other apartments, all of which have “quite sophisticated” locks on the doors. He added that Mark Warner has never had cases of missing or abducted children before.
 
The girl’s disappearance will cause huge concern to tens of thousands of British families flying out to the Algarve this bank holiday weekend. Praia da Luz is a smart resort about 80 miles from Faro airport in the western Algarve.
 
The fishing village has been overtaken by tourism and many venues cater specifically for British visitors.

 
Three year-old feared abducted in Portugal, 04 May 2007
 
Three year-old feared abducted in Portugal Telegraph
 
By staff and agencies
Last Updated: 12:37am BST 07/05/2007 (Main body of article written 04/05/2007)
 
The parents of a British toddler who has gone missing while on holiday in Portugal say they fear she has been abducted.
 
Three-year-old Madeline McCann disappeared last night from her parent’s rented apartment in the Western Algarve, while they dined nearby.
 
Sniffer dogs have been brought in by Portuguese detectives to comb the Mark Warner resort where the girl was staying and the nearby seaside village of Praia da Luz.
 
A family friend said the child’s parents, Gerald and Kate McCann, were certain she had been kidnapped.
 
Jill Renwick, told GMTV: “They were just watching the hotel room and going back every half-hour and the shutters had been broken open and they had gone into the room and taken Madeleine. They went out about eight, went back in at nine, they were fine, went back in at 10 and she was gone.”
 
She described the missing girl as a “very pretty, very blonde three-year-old” and said the couple, from Leicester, also had twins.
 
Ms Renwick said of the holiday: “This is the first time they have done this. They are very, very anxious parents and very careful and they chose Mark Warner because it is a family-friendly resort.”
 
The manager of the resort, John Hill said around 60 staff and guests at the complex had searched until 4.30am while local police notified border police, Spanish police and airports.
 
“It was a very emotional and very frantic night and everyone did a fantastic job of getting involved and trying to search the area,” he said. “As you can imagine, Madeleine’s parents are distraught and not doing very well at all.”
 
He said there was no physical evidence that the girl had been abducted from the apartment while they ate at the tapas restaurant 200 yards away.
 
“It’s still questionable as to whether it’s an abduction,” he said. “We are hoping that Madeleine is found as soon as possible and safe and well. Everybody here is just wishing that she is found as soon as possible.”
 
A Mark Warner spokesman said counsellors are being flown out to the resort, which the firm has run for two years, to support the McCanns.
 
Members of their family would also be flown out if required.
 
He said: “Our priority is to find the girl and to make sure that the parents are OK and there are masses of people working on that.
 
“Our staff are looking after them at the moment in whatever way they can but we can only imagine how awful it is for them.
 
“We are all hoping that she is asleep under a bush somewhere and we will find her soon.”
 
He said the apartment the family were staying in was surrounded by other apartments, all of which have “quite sophisticated” locks on the doors.
 
Guests are being asked if they saw anyone acting suspiciously in the area, he said, adding that Mark Warner has never had cases of missing or abducted children before.
 
“We are hoping it’s not that, though,” he said. “It’s the last thing we want but we have to investigate all avenues.”
 
He said Mark Warner offers families a baby-sitting service where they can drop off their children for the night. 
 
“Those facilities were available but for whatever reason they were not being used,” he said.
 
Madeleine lives with her parents, Gerald, a doctor, and Kate McCann, and younger sibling twins in Rothley, Leicestershire.
 
Neighbour Penny Noble said: “We are absolutely devastated. They are a really nice family and good neighbours.
 
“They are delightful. We see them take their bikes up and down and going for walks.
 
“Madeleine is a very happy-go-lucky little girl”.
 
It is understood Madeleine is due to start at school in September.

 
Toddler ‘abducted’ during holiday, 04 May 2007
 
Toddler ‘abducted’ during holiday BBC News
 
Last Updated: Friday, 4 May 2007, 16:33 GMT 17:33 UK
 
Sniffer dogs have been brought in to help search for a three-year-old from Britain who may have been abducted on holiday with her family in Portugal.
 
Madeleine McCann’s parents, from Leicestershire, were at a restaurant near the Mark Warner Ocean Summer Club in Praia da Luz when she went missing.
 
Kate and Gerry McCann returned at about 2145 GMT to find an empty bed and the apartment door and window wide open.
 
The apartment has been cordoned off and local people are helping with a search.
 
‘Devoted family’
 
Gill Renwick, a friend of the family, said Madeleine’s parents – both doctors – had been having a meal in a tapas restaurant a few hundred yards from the apartment and had been checking on the little girl and her younger brother and sister (two-year-old twins) every half hour.
 
“They’re a devoted family and love their children to bits. They live for their children.”
 
Madeleine was reported missing at about 2200 BST on Thursday and tourists joined the police in an all-night search.

The McCann family had been holidaying with a larger group
The McCann family had been holidaying with a larger group

Her aunt Trish Cameron, who lives in Glasgow, said she felt certain her niece had been abducted.

“They last checked at half past nine and they were all sound asleep, sleeping, windows shut, shutters shut.

“Kate went back at 10 o’clock to check. The front door was lying open, the window had been tampered with, the shutters had been jemmied open or whatever you call it and Madeleine was missing…

“She’s an absolutely beautiful, wee blonde girl, blue-green eyes – one distinguishing feature is that one of her pupils runs into the iris of her right eyes. She’s an absolutely gorgeous wee girl.”

She added: “We feel that what’s been going on in Portugal has been ineffectual.

“My brother and sister-in-law are absolutely distraught.”

But the manager of the Mark Warner resort in Portugal, John Hill, said about 60 staff and guests at the complex had searched until 0430 GMT while police notified border police, Spanish police and airports.

Officers sealed off the area of the apartment for forensic checks and extra police teams were brought in from Lisbon.

‘Sensitive case’

“As you can imagine Madeleine’s parents are distraught and not doing very well at all,” Mr Hill said.

“It’s still questionable as to whether it’s abduction,” he said.

“We are hoping that Madeleine is found as soon as possible and safe and well.”

The holiday firm has offered to fly other family members out to the resort.

A spokeswoman from the Portuguese police said they were being careful with the information being released.

“It is a sensitive case, it involves a child and we cannot give more information for now.”

The British Embassy confirmed it had been informed about the toddler’s disappearance.

The family was on holiday with a group of nine adults and eight children.

The toddler’s father is a consultant cardiologist at Leicester’s Glenfield Hospital.

Doug Skehan, another consultant cardiologist there, said: “(Dr McGann) is a popular hard working colleague, for whom we have great affection.

“The mood in the hospital is one of great concern and we hope that Kate and Gerry will have their daughter back very soon.”

 
British girl, 3, ‘abducted’ from resort in Algarve, 04 May 2007
 
British girl, 3, ‘abducted’ from resort in Algarve Timesonline
 
Sam Knight and agencies
May 4, 2007
 
Police are searching for a 3-year-old British girl who went missing on a family holiday in Portugal last night and may have been abducted.
 
Madeleine McCann disappeared from her family’s hotel room at the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz, in the Algarve, while her parents were eating tapas just 50 metres away.
 
According to friends and relatives, her mother, Kate McCann, came back to check on her three children and found Madeleine’s 18-month-old brother and sister asleep in cots on either side of her empty bed. The window had been forced open and the door left ajar.
 
“They were all sound asleep, windows shut, shutters shut,” said Trish Cameron, Madeleine’s aunt. “Kate went back at 10pm to check, the front door was lying open, the window had been tampered with, the shutters had been jammied open, and Madeleine was missing.”
 
“It looks as if somebody has come in the window, that’s either been watching or they’ve targeted her.”
 
The McCanns, from Rothley, Leicestershire, are on holiday with eight other couples and their young children. Madeleine, described by Ms Cameron, as an “absolutely gorgeous, wee girl”, is almost four and due to start school in September.
 
“Everybody has been praying all night,” Ms Cameron told BBC News 24. “Everybody’s just… We can’t believe this has happened.”
 
John Hill, the manager at the British-run Mark Warner resort, said Madeleine’s parents and twin siblings were distraught and that sniffer dogs had been brought in to comb the resort, while border police in Portugal and Spain had been alerted to her disappearance.
 
He denied reports that the windows to the apartment had been forced open, while another spokesman said a set of French windows had been left unlocked.
 
“It was a very emotional and very frantic night and everyone did a fantastic job of getting involved and trying to search the area,” said Mr Hill, who added that residents of the Portuguese village joined hotel guests and staff to trawl along the beach and local roads, looking for signs of the girl.
 
“As you can imagine, Madeleine’s parents are distraught and not doing very well at all.”
 
Mr Hill said there was no physical evidence as yet that the girl had been abducted and that the staff at the Ocean Club, a holiday resort of villa-style rooms, boutiques and restaurants, were still hoping to find her nearby.
 
“It’s still questionable as to whether it’s an abduction,” he said. “We are hoping that Madeleine is found as soon as possible and safe and well. Everybody here is just wishing that she is found as soon as possible.”
 
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said that the alarm had been raised immediately by the girl’s parents and that the British Consul in Portimao, Bill Henderson, had gone to the resort to offer what support he could.
 
A spokesman for Mark Warner, which has run the Ocean Club for two years, said that a drop-in creche was available to look after children while parents ate their dinner between 7 and 11.30pm at the resort but that Mrs McCann and her husband, Gerry, chose not to use it. Instead they ate very close to their room and went back to check on their children every half an hour.
 
The spokesman said that the holiday company was willing to fly out members of the McCann family to help with the search.
 
“Our priority is to find the girl and to make sure that the parents are OK and there are masses of people working on that,” he said. “Our staff are looking after them at the moment in whatever way they can but we can only imagine how awful it is for them. We are all hoping that she is asleep under a bush somewhere and we will find her soon.”
 
The spokesman said that apartment the family were staying in was surrounded by other villas, all of which have “quite sophisticated” locks on the doors. Guests are being asked if they saw anyone acting suspiciously in the area, he said, adding that Mark Warner, which has a reputation for running family-friendly holidays, has never had cases of missing or abducted children before.
 
“We are hoping it’s not that, though,” he said. “It’s the last thing we want but we have to investigate all avenues.”
 
Neighbours in Leicestershire, where Mr McCann works as a cardiologist and his wife is also believed to be a doctor, described the family as “delightful”.
 
“We are absolutely devastated. They are a really nice family and good neighbours,” said Penny Noble. “They are delightful. We see them take their bikes up and down and going for walks. Madeleine is a very happy-go-lucky little girl.”
 
Tracey Horsfield, a nurse, said: “They seem a really lovely family, protective of their children. I see them going up and down the crescent. They are a protective family who idolise their kids. I am hoping and praying that she has not been abducted and that she has wandered off. They would not let her out of their sight.”

 
British girl missing on Algarve holiday, 04 May 2007
 
British girl missing on Algarve holiday Independent
 
PA
Friday, 4 May 2007
 
Holidaymakers and police were desperately searching today for a young British girl who went missing while on holiday in Portugal.
 
Three-year-old Madeleine McCann vanished from her parents’ rented apartment in the Algarve last night as they dined nearby.
 
Tourists joined resort staff in a “frantic” all-night search for the little girl, who was described by a neighbour as “happy-go-lucky” and idolised by her “protective” parents, Gerry and Kate.
 
Today the manager at the Ocean Club – a holiday resort run by British travel firm Mark Warner in the south west seaside village of Praia Da Luz – said the couple, both doctors from Leicester, were “distraught”.
 
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.”
 
Around 60 staff and guests at the purpose-built complex searched until 4.30am while police notified border police, Spanish police and airports.
 
Sniffer dogs were brought in by Portuguese detectives to comb the area but as the hours went by, hopes that Madeleine merely wandered off were fading.
 
A spokesman for the Policia Judiciaria – the Portuguese CID – said they would not comment on the investigation.
 
British consul in Portugal Bill Henderson was with the couple and their twins, a boy and a girl, and Mark Warner said it was flying out counsellors to help them through the ordeal.
 
Mr Hill said that despite the report by a family friend that the shutters to the couple’s apartment were broken, there was no sign that anyone had forced their way in while the McCanns ate at the tapas restaurant 200 yards away.
 
He said: “We are hoping that Madeleine is found as soon as possible and safe and well. Everybody here is just wishing that she is found as soon as possible.”
 
But family friend Jill Renwick told GMTV the McCanns were certain that Madeleine has been abducted.
 
“They were just watching the hotel room and going back every half-hour and the shutters had been broken open and they had gone into the room and taken Madeleine,” she said.
 
“They went out about eight, went back in at nine, they were fine, went back in at 10 and she was gone.”
 
She described the missing girl as a “very pretty, very blonde three-year-old”.
 
Ms Renwick said of the holiday: “This is the first time they have done this. They are very, very anxious parents and very careful and they chose Mark Warner because it is a family-friendly resort.”
 
A Mark Warner spokesman said looking after the McCanns was their “first priority”, along with finding their daughter, and added that if necessary it would fly other family members out to the Ocean Club, which it has run for two years.
 
He said: “Our staff are looking after them at the moment in whatever way they can but we can only imagine how awful it is for them.
 
“We are all hoping that she is asleep under a bush somewhere and we will find her soon.”
 
He said the apartment the family were staying in was surrounded by other apartments, all of which have “quite sophisticated” locks on the doors.
 
Guests are being asked if they saw anyone acting suspiciously in the area, he said, adding that Mark Warner has never had cases of missing or abducted children before.
 
“We are hoping it’s not that, though,” he said. “It’s the last thing we want but we have to investigate all avenues.”
 
He said Mark Warner offers families a baby-sitting service where they can drop off their children for the night.
 
“Those facilities were available but, for whatever reason, they were not being used,” he said.
 
Today neighbours near the family home in Rothley, Leicestershire, to which they are thought to have moved from Queniborough last summer, said they were “devastated” by the news.
 
Neighbour Penny Noble said she believed Madeleine was due to start at school in September.
 
She said: “They are a really nice family and good neighbours.
 
“They are delightful. We see them take their bikes up and down and going for walks.
 
“Madeleine is a very happy-go-lucky little girl.”
 
Neighbour Tracey Horsfield, a nurse, said: “They seem a really lovely family, protective of their children.
 
“I see them going up and down the crescent. They are a protective family who idolise their kids.
 
“I am hoping and praying that she has not been abducted and that she has wandered off. They would not let her out of their sight.”
 
And colleagues of Dr McCann, who is a consultant cardiologist at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester, said they were still hoping for the best.
 
Doug Skehan, also a consultant cardiologist at the hospital, said: “Gerry is a popular, hardworking colleague for whom we have great affection.
 
“The mood in the hospital is one of great concern and we hope that Kate and Gerry will have their daughter back very soon.”
 
Speaking to the BBC later, Ms Renwick said the McCanns, holidaying with three other British families, had felt let down by police in Portugal.
 
“I spoke to them this morning and they said the police had done nothing overnight and they felt as if they’d been left on their own.
 
“They just don’t know where to turn.”
 
But resort manager Mr Hill said this was not true, and that police had been searching with dogs overnight and continued to search today.
 
He said: “The police have their dogs in and have been conducting sweeps of the beach and rocky areas very close to the village.
 
“There is a criminal investigator here in charge of the situation and around 20 officers but unfortunately there is still no information.
 
“If I was in the McCanns’ situation, I would be frustrated as hell if there were 100 police here – I would still be frustrated and want more.
 
“I can’t put myself in their position but the police were here with their dogs through the night.”
 
He said detectives had not found a forced entry into the apartment but said the shutters had been slid up and the bedroom window opened since the McCanns left.
 
As to whether the police were now looking at an abduction, he said: “We just can’t speculate at this stage. I hope not.”
 
He said the couple and their twins, who are two years old, were being comforted by friends.
 
“The mood is not as frantic as it was last night but there is a big police presence and we just have to keep searching,” he said.

 
Concern grows for missing child in Algarve, 04 May 2007
 
Concern grows for missing child in Algarve Portugal Resident
 
Updated 17:41 May 4, 2007
 
Madeleine McCann, who will be four-years-old on May 12, along with her parents Katie and Gerry from Rothley, north Leicester in the UK, were staying in one of the Mark Warner holiday apartments in the Ocean Club complex which is in the Praia da Luz area near Lagos in the western Algarve.
 
The Resident spoke to John Hill – Operations Manager for Mark Warner, who told us the parents went for dinner at a tapas restaurant in the resort while the children Madeleine and 2-year-old twins, Amelie and Sean, were asleep.

John Hill said “They had not requested the ‘dining out’ service – a child minding service which allows parents to enjoy a meal while their children are being looked after by qualified personnel.” While this service is available at the resort, the parents decided to check on the children at regular half hourly intervals themselves.

It has been rumoured that the parents did request the baby-sitting service available at the resort until 5pm on Thursday afternoon.

The parents left at 8pm for dinner and apparently when they returned during one of their half hourly checks at 10pm, fair haired Madeleine was gone.

 
There were no signs of forced entry, and the door to the apartment was undamaged and closed, although it is believed that one of the windows was open.

John Hill said to the PA news agency that around 60 staff and guests at the purpose-built complex had searched until 4.30am while police notified border police, Spanish police and airports. “It was a very emotional and very frantic night and everyone did a fantastic job of getting involved and trying to search the area,” he said. “As you can imagine, Madeleine’s parents are distraught and not doing very well at all.”

He said there was no physical evidence that the girl had been abducted from the family’s rented apartment while they ate at the tapas restaurant 200 yards away. “It’s still questionable as to whether it’s an abduction,” he said. “We are hoping that Madeleine is found as soon as possible and safe and well.”

But Jill Renwick, a family friend, told GMTV that the parents were certain that Madeleine has been abducted. Ms Renwick said of the holiday: “This is the first time they have done this. They are very, very anxious parents and very careful and they chose Mark Warner because it is a family-friendly resort.”

A hunt by a number of visitors and local residents was carried out throughout the night looking for the pretty, fair haired girl, and an appeal has been made for volunteers to join the search – see Appeal for help to find missing Madeleine.

The Resident spoke to the GNR who told us that police tracker dogs were dispatched from Lisbon this morning to help in the search. Apparently,the Algarve does not have sniffer dogs that are trained to pick up human scent, but only to detect drugs. As soon as the dogs arrived, they are reported to have picked up Madeleine’s scent from the apartment and followed it to Supermercado Baptista, where apparently the scent disappears.

The Resident spoke to an employee at Supermercado Baptista who told us that the PJ were in the premises to check the supermarket’s surveillance cameras in case they had registered images of Madeleine. However, the employee told us that the two cameras are unable to record images and are only used by staff to check the aisles for any suspicious customer behaviour.

The Resident has been informed that the Bombeiros, Maritime Police and a team from Lagos Câmara are also involved in the search operations in Praia da Luz. A special criminal investigation team from the Polícia Judiciária (PJ) is also travelling down from Lisbon to assist local police.

Police are currently concentrating their efforts in the centre of the village, but The Resident has been told that search teams will be covering a wider area around Praia da Luz. Helicopters are also flying over the area.

Manuela Romano de Castro, from the British Embassy in Lisbon, told The Resident that “we cannot give out details about the family at this time”. However, according to Leicester Mercury newspaper, the mother was a GP from Liverpool and the father is a top medical consultant from Glasgow. Manuela Romano de Castro informed us that “British Consul, Bill Henderson, has been in close contact with the family and visited them this morning. He has also been to police headquarters this morning.”

A source informed us that the child’s grandparents, as well as counsellors from Mark Warner in England, are flying to the Algarve tonight.

 
Channel 4 News, 04 May 2007
 

Channel 4 News

Transcript

By Nigel Moore

Krishnan Guru Murthy: …on them before she vanished. Her parents were having dinner at a nearby restaurant; they say she’s been abducted. Police have spent the day searching around the Praia da Luz resort in the Algarve. Madeleine has now been missing for almost 24 hours, as Katy Razzall reports.

Katy Razzall: Three-year-old Madeleine McCann, a little girl from Leicester on her first ever foreign holiday. As the hours pass, the agony grows. This, a major investigation into what the Portuguese police are still referring to as a missing persons enquiry; ‘Abduction’ the word being used by Madeleine’s family. Last night this was just a holiday resort. Today, the McCann’s apartment in Mark Warner’s Praia da Luz is sealed off. Madeleine’s parents had been eating at a Tapas bar within sight of here but at ten last night Madeleine’s mother found her little girl gone. The younger twin brother and sister still asleep in cots either side of Madeleine’s bed. Her distraught father rang his sister.

Trish Cameron: He said that Madeleine had been abducted. She’s not the type of wee girl to wander off and Kate went back to check her half an hour after Gerry had checked; Madeleine was missing; the window was open; the shutters were up. None of that had been left like that and they’d been interfered with, the windows.

Katy Razzall: Those shutters being checked for fingerprints today as the search continued. Maps of the area and photographs of Madeleine given out to ensure every corner of the resort is checked in the hope the little girl will be found. Many local residents and holidaymakers stayed up all night.

John Hill (Resort Manager): When I arrived here, errm… gue… more guests, more local residents were getting involved in the search and we tried to do a strategic search from the right hand side of the village across through to the left. We sent people down to the beach and came up through the… the alleyways.

Katy Razzall: The police talking to anyone who may have noticed anything unusual. The hope that Madeleine woke up and went in search of her parents fading perhaps. If this is an abduction the police will need to know who may have entered or left the resort, to identify why Madeleine’s room was targeted, whether this was an opportunistic kidnap or something planned? Such a crime so rare here it’s new territory for the Portuguese authorities.

Paul Luckman (Publisher, ‘Portugal News’): I cannot recall a child abduction on the foreign community. It’s virtually unheard of in this country. This is taken very, very seriously. Now we know that they had the borders closed in very, very short time. The airport security is very high on children which are not travelling with their parents. So I think they’ve done very, very well.

Katy Razzall: Gerry and Kate McCann are described as totally devoted to their children. The horror of it all too imaginable. The pain and shock etched on their faces today. A close-knit family shattered.

Eileen McCann: She’s a doctor. He’s a cardiologist consultant; saves people’s lives and this, this is how he gets repaid.

Katy Razzall: Madeleine’s parents chose this resort for its family-friendly atmosphere. This afternoon, they said they believed their daughter, who’ll be four next week, is still alive.

Trish Cameron (Gerry's sister) and Eileen McCann (Gerry's mother)
Trish Cameron (Gerry’s sister) and Eileen McCann (Gerry’s mother)
 
Family’s despair over missing tot, 04 May 2007
 
Family’s despair over missing tot ITN News
 
Updated 23.22 Fri May 04 2007
 
The family of a three-year-old British girl feared to have been kidnapped while on holiday in Portugal have not lost hope for her “safe return”.
 
Little Madeleine McCann, from Rothley, Leicestershire, disappeared on Thursday night from a hotel room in a Mark Warner holiday village in Praia da Luz in the western Algarve.
 
Her parents, Gerald and Kate McCann, released an official statement saying: “This is a particularly difficult time for the family and we are all comforting  each other.
 
“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.”
 
Both parents were dining nearby but found Madeleine missing during one of their half-hourly checks on the room where she and her two-year-old twin brother and sister were sleeping.
 
Between their 9.30pm and 10pm checks at the Ocean Club resort, Mr and Mrs McCann found the apartment had been broken into through a window and Madeleine gone, according to the young girl’s aunt.
 
The anti-kidnap unit of Britain’s Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) is in contact with the McCann family’s local police force in Leicestershire. A SOCA liaison officer based in Lisbon is also in contact with Portugal’s chief of police.
 
A spokesman for holiday firm Mark Warner said: “Our priority is to find the girl and to make sure that the parents are OK and there are masses of people working on that.
 
“Our staff are looking after them at the moment in whatever way they can but we can only imagine how awful it is for them. We are all hoping that she is asleep under a bush somewhere and we will find her soon.”
 
He said the apartment the family were staying in was surrounded by other apartments, all of which have “quite sophisticated” locks on the doors.
 
Guests are being asked if they saw anyone acting suspiciously in the area, he said, adding that Mark Warner has never had cases of missing or abducted children before.
 
“We are hoping it’s not that, though,” he said. “It’s the last thing we want but we have to investigate all avenues.”
 
He said Mark Warner offers families a baby-sitting service where they can drop off their children for the night. “Those facilities were available but for whatever reason they were not being used,” he added.
 
It is “too early to tell” if guests would be leaving early or prospective visitors were cancelling their holidays as a result of the incident.
 
“They need comforting as much as anyone, depending on how close they were to the these particular guests,” he said.

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