Madeleine McCann vanished without a trace in 2007. More than seven years later, authorities believe a convicted pedophile may have information about the abduction.
Scotland Yard is currently exploring claims that a pedophile gang operated in and around the resort where Madeleine disappeared. According to official reports, guests of the Praia da Luz resort in Algarve reported nearly 20 break-ins between 2004 and 2010.
Authorities believe the break-ins may have been committed by a pedophile gang. As reported by Get Hampshire, Roderick MacDonald, 76, is suspected of having connections with the gang.
In 2010, MacDonald was arrested in Algarve for his suspected activities within the gang. He was later extradited to Australia on an outstanding warrant for sexually assaulting an 8-year-old girl. Following his conviction, he was sentenced to six months in prison.
Upon his release, MacDonald moved to Thailand. However, he was later forced to move back to Britain, where he was born.
In 2012, Roderick MacDonald was charged with sexually assaulting two Brighton girls ages 5 and 7. Although he was convicted and sentenced to one year in prison, he fled the UK.
Two years later, the convicted sex offender was located in Malta. Upon his positive identification and arrest, MacDonald was extradited back to the UK. Authorities hope he will provide some useful information about Madeleine McCann’s 2010 disappearance.
Officials have also announced that a new prosecutor will be covering the investigation in Praia de Luz. Chief State Prosecutor Ines Sequeira has vowed to make Madeleine McCann’s case a top priority.
As reported by Express, Ines will work closely with Criminal Coordinator Ana Paulo Rito, and Portuguese detective Helen Monteiro.
With the appointment of the new prosecutor, officials have noted “clear evidence of the new spirit of cooperation” in the investigation. Last week, the three women met to discuss DNA evidence which was recovered from the McCanns’ vacation villa.
According to reports, authorities recovered several hairs from inside the villa. However, the samples were not checked against any known suspects. Following last week’s meeting, the women said the samples will checked in the coming months. In addition to the hairs, authorities collected fabric samples which will also be tested for DNA.
Although Madeleine McCann has been missing for over seven years, her family is not willing to give up. Thankfully, authorities in Britain and Portugal are equally determined to find out what happened to the missing girl.
[Image via Mirror]