Madeleine McCann: Portugal Police Agree To Help New Investigation

The new Madeleine McCann investigation by the UK’s Scotland Yard will be joined by a team of Portuguese detectives.

ABC News announced late Wednesday that Portugal has agreed to help question witnesses on behalf of the British investigators who have re-opened the search for Madeleine McCann. She was three when she vanished without a trace in Portugal.

If she is still alive, Madeleine turned ten on May 12.

When Madeleine McCann first vanished in 2007, Portuguese authorities suspected the parents, Kate and Gerry McCann. They were cleared in 2008.

But the trail had gone cold, and the Portuguese police closed the case without a solution in July 2008.

After the parents went all the way to the top, appealing to British prime minister David Cameron for help, Scotland Yard agreed to take another look — and they found a total of 38 persons of interest that they would like to question in the case.

The McCanns don’t know any of the new persons of interest. It’s possible that the early focus on the parents, who were eating dinner at the time of Madeleine’s disappearance, distracted the earlier investigation away from other suspects.

In the recent review of the case, British detectives made 16 trips to Portugal in addition to gathering over 30,000 documents. British and Portuguese police, as well as seven private detective firms, supplied information.

When I reported on the new developments in the Madeleine McCann case in early July, I noted that Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood had asked Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service to reach out to Portugal to assist with the new investigation.

“[T]here is no clear definitive proof that Madeleine McCann is dead. So on that basis I still genuinely believe that there is a possibility that she is alive,” Redwood explained at the time.

According to the Express, the Algarve, Portugal police have already received a list of more than 30 people that the British authorities want questioned. One of them is a now 73-year-old taxi driver who believes he transported a young girl matching Madeleine McCann’s description to a hotel near the Spanish border.

Antonio Castela said he gave a statement to the Portuguese authorities at the time of Madeleine McCann’s original disappearance. Yet they never got back to him about what he saw.

[Madeleine McCann missing photo by Waerfelu via Wikimedia]