Madeleine McCann - New Information Appeal over "Australian" Woman
A witness has come forward to give the investigators currently searching for Madeleine McCann new information about a suspicious incident that took place in Barcelona in the early hours of May 7th 2007 - just over 72 hours after Madeleine was abducted whilst on holiday in Praia da Luz in Portugal.
The 41-year-old British witness was attending a party with a group of other men in the area of the Port Olimpic Marina in Barcelona. It is a busy location that is popular with both tourists and local people. The group had been visiting a number of bars and restaurants in the marina area on the evening of the May 6th 2007 and into the early hours of May 7th 2007.
At around 2.00am on May 7th, the witness became aware of a well-dressed woman, who he describes as appearing agitated. She was seen in the area of the El Rey De La Gamba restaurant-bar for some ten minutes, walking up and down.
The witness got up and walked towards the woman and had a short conversation with her. This conversation was potentially significant to the investigation. However, for strict operational reasons, the investigators will not be divulging any details of what was said to the witness.
It is as a result of this conversation that the investigators now want to trace the woman, who they believe to be possibly Australian.
Following the conversation the woman sat down in another nearby bar. A further person from the same party group also saw her there. At this bar the woman had a heated discussion with someone in what seemed to be fluent Spanish.
The woman was last seen walking away in the direction of a local hospital and the more distant ferry and cruise ship terminals.
The woman is described by the principal witness as follows:
Aged 30 to 35 years
Short brown hair
Approximately 5"2 tall
Wearing expensive looking blue jeans and a jersey top, possibly pastel colour
Her build equated to a size 10 dress size.
The witness described her as "a bit of a Victoria Beckham look-a-like". She spoke English with what the witness has described as "possibly an Australian" accent. The investigators now hope the international media, in particular Australian and Spanish broadcasters, will help to distribute the attached e-fit of the woman, which has been prepared by a police artist, as widely as possible.
The British witness does not wish to be identified publicly. The investigators have already conducted some preliminary inquiries in the vicinity of the Port Olimpic Marina and are continuing to liaise with relevant police forces where necessary.
Anyone who may know the woman should contact the Madeleine McCann investigation team on +44 845 838 4699 or via the Madeleine McCann investigation email address: email@example.com.
General Update - 19th June 2009
There has been much reported in the media recently about Raymond Hewlett. As far as our investigators are aware, there is no evidence to link him to Madeleine –he is a person of interest to the inquiry rather than a suspect. Following the sensationalised reporting in certain sections of the media with regards to Mr Hewlett, our investigators wished to interview him in order to eliminate him from the inquiry. Despite our investigators requests via Mr Hewlett's lawyer, their attempts to conduct an interview were unsuccessful as we were simply unwilling to pay. It is very disappointing that certain elements of the media felt it appropriate to pay a convicted paedophile (whether that be directly or indirectly) in order to obtain a 'story', whilst those people who are qualified to carry out such enquiries and who are genuinely looking for Madeleine were unable to do so.
On a more positive note, we have recently been planning a summer campaign in the hope that holiday-makers, travel companies and transport agencies will help us again in our search for Madeleine. So far, things are looking promising and we will soon have 'travel packs' available via the website for anyone willing to help in this way. We greatly appreciate the continued help and support we are receiving from the general public. It's incredibly reassuring and uplifting that over two years down the line so many people still want to help. Without doubt, it will increase our chance of finding Madeleine.
On Tuesday evening, we took part in the Rothley & Soar Valley Lions 10K road race here in the village. Twenty of us (family and friends) wore our Madeleine t-shirts and that together with cheers of encouragement from spectators, made it all worthwhile. It was a really enjoyable evening and a fantastically well-supported event. We're already talking about next years run! Hopefully we wont be needing to wear our t-shirts for that one.
General Update May 2009
General Update May 2009
May is obviously a difficult month for us now, with the anniversary of Madeleine's abduction as well as Madeleine's birthday. Despite this, it has also been a positive month in several ways, with many people once again offering their support and showing great kindness.
On May 3rd, there were special church services for Madeleine - here in Rothley, in Liverpool and in Praia da Luz. Each of these services was very well attended and described by those there as being very beautiful. In addition many other masses and prayers were offered for Madeleine on this day throughout the UK and beyond. It is a great comfort for us as a family to know that Madeleine remains so strongly in people's thoughts and prayers.
On May 8th, Bishop Ellis Primary School ('Madeleine's school') held an 'Auction of Promises'. This was a well supported and really fun night, with over £6000 being raised for Madeleine's Fund. Well done and many thanks to everyone who helped make this evening a success! During the same weekend, many runners taking part in a 10K race in Liverpool wore Madeleine 'Don't Give Up On Me' T-shirts and again a substantial amount of money was raised for the fund. Thank you! Keep going everyone - it all helps.
Following on from the Cutting Edge documentary and reconstruction -'Madeleine was here' - shown initially in the UK on May 7th, we have had many calls and emails coming in to our investigative team. We are really pleased with the response and currently all pieces of information are being prioritised and followed up as necessary. Again, thank you to everyone who has had the courage and compassion to come forward and pass on their information. It may only take one call or one email to unravel this 'puzzle', end the nightmare and hopefully bring our Madeleine home.
On Tuesday May 12th it was Madeleine's birthday. She is now 6 years old. We had a small birthday party with close family and a few of Madeleine's friends. She deserves to be celebrated. Hopefully next year she'll be here to blow out her birthday cake candles herself. Madeleine's grandma and grandad, and great aunt and uncle spent a few days at the shrine in Fatima over the period of Madeleine's birthday and the feast of Our Lady of Fatima. They described it as a very moving experience and a good and comforting place to be at such an emotional time.
Thank you again to everyone for continuing to support us during these difficult times- for all the 'well-wisher' cards, letters and flowers, as well as the birthday cards and gifts sent for Madeleine. Despite the sadness of our situation, we are very aware that we are incredibly lucky to have such kind and invaluable support. Thank you.
16 May 2009: Kate and Gerry McCann and their children to sue Goncalo Amaral
Kate and Gerry McCann - together with their three children - are to sue the former Portuguese police officer Goncalo Amaral over his continuing, grossly defamatory claims that Madeleine is dead and that her parents were somehow involved in concealing their own daughter's body.
In a statement, Kate and Gerry McCann said: "We - together with our three children Madeleine, Sean and Amelie - are taking this legal action against Goncalo Amaral over his entirely unfounded and grossly defamatory claims - made in all types of media, both within Portugal and beyond - that Madeleine is not only dead, but that we, her parents, were somehow involved in concealing her body.
"This decision has been taken to prevent any further publication of Goncalo Amaral's deeply offensive book "The Truth Of The Lie", his so-called television 'documentary' and any repetition of his disgraceful thesis that we are somehow involved in the disappearance of our much loved daughter, Madeleine.
"The primary reason for our legal action is simple: to stop any negative effect that these absurd and deeply hurtful claims may be having on the ongoing search for Madeleine. We can no longer stand back and watch as Mr Amaral tries to convince the entire world that Madeleine is dead. Nor can we allow this blatant injustice to Madeleine, with its obvious risk of hindering our attempts to find her, to continue.
"Mr. Amaral's entirely unjustified claims have not only brought indescribable devastation and suffering to our lives, they have hugely compounded the already immense pain and anxiety we have endured since Madeleine's abduction.
"Our three children are joint complainants in this action because of the detrimental effect Mr Amaral's continued assertions will undoubtedly have on their future lives. Sean and Amelie require protection as they prepare to start school this autumn. Madeleine requires protection from those who are obstructing the possibility of her being found."
15th May 2009 Reconstruction update
There has been a huge response to the reconstruction shown on May 7th and we thank you for all the information recieved. Our investigation team are working through all this information and they will recontact where it is necessary to obtain further information.
If you have contacted us through the anonymous message board and are happy to be contacted please pass your information to firstname.lastname@example.org
Once again thank you for not giving up on Madeleine.