Madeleine McCann’s Disappearance May Have Been Connected To A Sex Trafficking Ring, Per New Docu-Series

Handout photo of Madeleine McCann following her disappearance.
Handout / Getty Images

Yesterday, true crime buffs were able to get their hands The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann. The eight-part Netflix series directed by Fyre‘s Chris Smith takes a deeper look into the mystery surrounding what truly could have happened to the toddler who vanished from her family’s vacation villa in Portugal and rekindled some theories that they hope will explain what happened to the little girl on that devastating night 12 years ago.

The docu-series dives into what happened when McCann’s parents, Kate and Gerry, left Madeleine sleeping in the vacation home just 80 yards away from where they were dining with friends at a tapas restaurant. The couple took turns checking in on Madeleine and her twin siblings, Sean and Amelie, and when Kate went in during one round of these checks, at around 9:30 p.m., she noticed her daughter’s window was open and the young child was missing.

As People Magazine shared, the series takes a look into one of the more popular theories surrounding Madeleine’s disappearance, which alleges that she had been abducted with the purpose of being sold into a sex trafficking ring.

Witnesses who were scattered around the resort that evening remembered seeing a man who had been carrying a young child in pajamas who was heading toward the beach. People further stated that Portugal’s location may have been optimal for access to other countries, making it easier for Madeleine to be transported quickly, had trafficking been the motive.

“Though it’s a disturbing idea, it’s one whose credibility is bolstered by the fact that Madeleine’s body was never found and there is scant evidence pointing elsewhere,” People reported.

heir daughter during a news conference to mark the 5th anniversary of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.
  Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

Julian Peribanez, a private investigator that was interviewed for the docu-series, added that had Madeleine been abducted, and ultimately trafficked, she would likely still be alive. Perinbanez cites that Madeleine’s middle-class, British lineage would have made her a target for the type of trafficking that is sadly spread across the globe, but that the “value” of a young person such as Madeleine is quite high.

“The value that Madeleine had was really high … If they took her it’s because they were going to get a lot of money.” Peribanez stated.

In an update on the case in 2016, BBC News shared that there had been, at the time, over 8,000 potential sightings of Madeleine since her disappearance. Authorities have also collected over 1,000 statements and interviewed over 60 persons of interest.

The McCann family opted out of participating in the latest series, saying that they did not understand how the film would be helpful in finding their child. The family took to their Find Madeleine website to give a statement regarding the Netflix program and added that they had some concerns over whether or not the series would hinder any active investigations currently being led by authorities.