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Croydon There's going to be 18 days of guaranteed snow in Croydon town centre We don't have long to wait for the flurries to begin. Heathrow Airport Ambulance "hazardous area" crew sent to Heathrow amid reports of Budapest passengers detained London Ambulance Service assessed five people at the scene. Hillingdon First pictures from Uxbridge stabbing scene after teenager killed and another injured The year-old man was pronounced dead at a West London hospital. The pyjamas his daughter had been wearing also matched Tanner's report.

Operation Grange's lead detective, DCI Andy Redwood, said they were "almost certain" the Tanner sighting was not related to the abduction. The rejection of the Tanner sighting as crucial to the timeline allowed investigators to focus on another sighting of a man carrying a child that night, this one reported to the Portuguese police on 26 May by Martin and Mary Smith, who had been in Praia da Luz on holiday from Ireland.

He was carrying a girl aged 3—4 years. She had blonde hair and pale skin, was wearing light-coloured pyjamas, and had bare feet. He did not look like a tourist, according to the Smiths, and had seemed uncomfortable carrying the child. Madeleine's mother had intended to check on the children at , but Matthew Oldfield, one of the Tapas Seven, offered to do it when he checked on his own children in the apartment next door to 5A.

He noticed that the McCanns' children's bedroom door was wide open, but after hearing no noise, he left 5A without looking far enough into the bedroom to see whether Madeleine was there. He could not recall whether the bedroom window and its exterior shutter were open at this point. Early on in the investigation, the Portuguese police accused Oldfield of involvement because he had volunteered to do the check, suggesting to him that he had handed Madeleine to someone through the bedroom window.

Kate made her own check of 5A at around Scotland Yard said in that Madeleine was probably taken moments before this. When she tried to close the door, it slammed shut as though there was a draught, which is when she saw that the bedroom window and its shutter were open. Madeleine's Cuddle Cat and pink blanket were still on the bed, but Madeleine was gone. After briefly searching the apartment, Kate ran back towards the restaurant, screaming "Madeleine's gone! Someone's taken her! At around Madeleine's father sent Matthew Oldfield to ask the resort's reception desk to call the police, and at the resort activated its missing-child search protocol.

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One of them told Channel 4's Dispatches that, from one end of Luz to the other, you could hear people calling her name. Kate McCann said the PJ arrived just after It was widely acknowledged that mistakes were made during the so-called "golden hours" soon after the disappearance. Neither border nor marine police were given descriptions of Madeleine for many hours, and officers did not make house-to-house searches.

Euroscut, the company that monitors the road, said they were not approached for information. Not everyone in the resort at the time was interviewed; holidaymakers later contacted the British police to say no one had spoken to them. Police took samples from Madeleine's bedroom, which were sent to three forensic labs in Portugal. A crowd gathered by the front door of 5A, including next to the children's bedroom window—through which an abductor may have entered or left—trampling on evidence.

In the UK it was agreed that Madeleine's home force, Leicestershire police —led by Chief Constable Matt Baggott —would coordinate the British response, although it remained a Portuguese inquiry. The PJ gave a team from the UK a room in which to work, but apparently resented their presence. In Portugal, the information was collected in boxes. In addition the PJ had less autonomy than police in the UK, often having to wait for magistrates' decisions, which slowed things down.

A PJ officer acknowledged in that the Portuguese police had been suspicious of the McCanns from the start, because of the "media circus".

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To that end, a string of public-relations people arrived in Praia da Luz, deeply resented by the local police, who saw the media attention as counterproductive. This was apparently unprecedented. The first government press officer was Sheree Dodd, a former Daily Mirror journalist, who was followed by Clarence Mitchell, director of media monitoring for the Central Office of Information.

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When she left, Hanover Communications took over briefly, headed by Charles Lewington, formerly John Major 's private secretary. Mitchell resigned from his government position and started working for the McCanns full-time; he was later paid by Madeleine's Fund. Twelve days after the disappearance, Robert Murat, a year-old British-Portuguese property consultant, became the first arguido. The PJ had briefly signed him up as an official interpreter; he said he had wanted to help because he had a daughter in England around Madeleine's age.

This would not have been surprising considering how close Murat lived to 5A, but he and his mother said he had been at home all evening. There was nothing to link Murat or his friends to the disappearance, and Murat's arguido status was lifted on 21 July when the case was archived. She also said she had seen a small brown rental car speeding toward the apartment, driving the wrong way down a one-way street.

In statements to the PJ, witnesses described men behaving oddly near apartment 5A in the days before the disappearance and on the day itself.


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  • Scotland Yard came to believe that these men may have been engaged in reconnaissance for an abduction or burglary. There had been a fourfold increase in burglaries between January and May , including two in the McCanns' block in the 17 days before the disappearance, during which burglars had entered through windows. On 20 April, a bedraggled-looking man asked a tourist in her apartment near 5A for money for an orphanage in nearby Espiche ; apparently there were no orphanages or similar in or near Espiche at the time.

    The witness described the man as pushy and intimidating. An "ugly" blonde-haired man was seen on 2 May across the road from 5A, apparently watching it; he had also been seen on 29 April near the Ocean Club. On 30 April the granddaughter of 5A's former owners saw a blonde-haired man leaning against a wall behind the apartments, and saw him again on 2 May near the tapas restaurant, looking at 5A. She described him as Caucasian , mids, short cropped hair, and "ugly" with spots.

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    At — a blonde-haired man was seen near 5A. At the same or another blonde-haired man was seen in the stairwell of the McCanns' block. At , after the disappearance, two blonde-haired men were seen in a nearby street speaking in raised voices. When they realized they had been noticed, they reportedly lowered their voices and walked away. The first indication that the media were turning against the McCanns was on 6 June , when a German journalist asked them during a Berlin press conference whether they were involved in the disappearance.

    This and later articles in the Portuguese press, invariably followed up in the UK, made several allegations, based on no evidence, that would engulf the McCanns for years on social media. They included that the McCanns and Tapas Seven were " swingers ", that the McCanns had been sedating their children, and that the group had formed a "pact of silence" regarding what had happened the night of the disappearance.


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    • The police had asked the group questions in Portuguese, and an interpreter had translated the replies. According to Kate McCann, the statements were then typed up in Portuguese, and verbally translated back into English for the interviewees to sign. Among the inconsistencies was whether the McCanns had entered the apartment by the front or back door when checking on the children.

      According to the PJ case file, Gerry stated during his first interview, on 4 May , that the couple had entered 5A through the locked front door for his and her checks, and in a second interview, on 10 May, that he had entered through the unlocked patio doors at the back. Another issue was whether the exterior shutter over Madeleine's bedroom window could be opened from outside.

      According to journalist Danny Collins, the shutter was made of non-ferrous metal slats on a roller blind that was housed in a box at the top of the inside window, controlled by pulling on a strap. Once rolled down, the slats locked in place outside the window and could be raised only by using the strap on the inside.

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      Gerry told the PJ that, when he was first alerted to the disappearance, he had lowered the shutter, then had gone outside and discovered that it could be raised only from the outside. The apparent discrepancies contributed to the view of the PJ that there had been no abduction. On 28 June , the McCanns suggested to the PJ that the police request help from Danie Krugel, a South African former police officer who had developed a "matter orientation system", a handheld device that he claimed could locate missing people using DNA and satellites.

      In the second week of June they sent him hair and eyelashes from Madeleine collected from the family home by relatives in the UK. Krugel arrived in Praia da Luz on 15 July, and told the McCanns his equipment had picked up a "static signal" in an area of the beach near the Rocha Negra cliff. By this point he believed the McCanns were involved in the disappearance, and that Kate was using Krugel—she had also considered using psychics—to "disclose the location of her daughter's body" without compromising herself. In response, Mark Harrison, the national search adviser for the British National Policing Improvement Agency , arrived in Praia da Luz, walked around the search areas, and flew over them by helicopter.

      Search dogs had been used, but after five days instead of within two days as the handlers recommend. Harrison suggested searching the beach and shoreline, an open area near the village, Robert Murat's property, apartment 5A, the Tapas Seven's apartments, and any hired vehicles.

      He recommended using ground-penetrating radar and bringing in Keela and Eddie, two Springer spaniel sniffer dogs from South Yorkshire. Keela was a crime-scene-investigation CSI dog trained to give her handler, Martin Grime, a "passive alert" to the scent of human blood by placing her nose close to the spot, then freezing in that position.

      Eddie was an enhanced-victim-recovery dog EVRD, or cadaver dog who gave a "bark alert" to the scent of human cadavers , including shortly after the death of the subject, even if the remains were buried, incinerated, or in water.

      Disappearance of Madeleine McCann - Wikipedia

      He was trained to bark only in response to that scent and not for any other reason. The dogs arrived in Praia da Luz on 31 July , and were taken to apartment 5A, nearby wasteland, and the beach. Both dogs alerted behind the sofa in the living room of 5A, and Eddie gave an alert near the wardrobe in the main bedroom. The house and grounds were searched on 2 August.

      The only alert was from Eddie when he encountered Cuddle Cat, which was lying in the living room; Keela did not give an alert. A passage the Bible's owner had marked from 2 Samuel , about the death of a child, was copied into the police case file along with a Portuguese translation.

      When the key ring was hidden underneath sand in a fire bucket, she alerted again, as she did when the bucket was moved to a different floor of the car park. Used when only a few cells are available, the test is controversial because it is vulnerable to contamination and misinterpretation. Lowe told Prior that a sample from the car boot contained 15 out of 19 of Madeleine's DNA components, and that the result was "too complex for meaningful interpretation":.

      A complex LCN [low copy number] DNA result which appeared to have originated from at least three people was obtained from cellular material recovered from the luggage compartment section Of these 19 components 15 are present within the result from this item; there are 37 components in total. There are 37 components because there are at least 3 contributors; but there could be up to five contributors.

      John Lowe's email was translated into Portuguese on 4 September The next day, according to Kate, the PJ proposed that, if she were to admit that Madeleine had died in an accident in the apartment, and that she had hidden the body, she might only serve a two-year sentence. Her husband would not be charged and would be free to leave.