New twist in Maddie McCann saga

By Almari Wessels
07 December 2016

After nine years of sensational headlines, speculation and false leads, a new lead has blown new life into the investigation of the disappearance of little Madeleine McCann.

The Portuguese police and British detectives are considering the possibility that European human traffickers abducted the child.

“Maddie” disappeared a week before her fourth birthday in 2007 while she was on holiday with her British parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, in Portugal’s Algarve region.

Read more: The internet is convinced the mystery girl ‘living rough’ on the streets of Rome is actually Maddie McCann

Her abduction captured the attention of people all over the world. On the night she vanished her parents were having dinner with friends at a restaurant about 50 m from their holiday flat. During the night Kate repeatedly popped back to the flat to see if her daughter and her younger twins were all right. At about 10 pm Maddie was found to be missing.

Read more: ‘There’s still hope for Maddie’: detectives

Since that night Maddie’s parents and Britain’s leading detective unit, Scotland Yard, have ceaselessly tried to find out how the child vanished and what became of her.

Now authorities and investigators believe that a new lead – that human traffickers took photographs of Maddie on the beach the day before her disappearance – may be their last hope of obtaining answers to the mystery.

Read more: Body of ‘fair-haired girl’ found in suitcase believed to be Maddie McCann finally identified

In October 2015 the number of investigators working on Operation Grange – the investigation of Maddie’s disappearance since 2007 – was reduced from 29 to four. But now the authorities have bound themselves to make additional funding available to follow the last usable lead.


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