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Entries in Madeleine McCann (4)

Wednesday
May092012

Photo of Missing Girl Madeleine McCann Used to Sell Travel?

Metropolitan Police Service(LONDON) -- An advertisement for travel deals in Portugal featured a photo of the missing little girl Madeleine McCann. The website, VoucherDigg.co.uk, used a photograph of Madeleine taken before she disappeared five years ago, when she was 4-years-old, a family spokesman told Sky News.

The ad read, “£20 off: Great discount on holiday bookings.” Clarence Mitchell, the McCann family’s spokesman, told Sky News, “The misuse of Madeleine’s picture in this way is utterly appalling and frankly unforgivable. Kate and Gerry [Madeleine's parents] were horrified when they found out about it. It is offensive in the extreme. Whether it’s a mistake or hacking it’s an utter disgrace.”

VoucherDigg was promoting travel deals for another website, lowcostholidays.com. Lawrence Hunt, chief operating officer of  lowcostholidays.com, called the ad “vile” and said his site had broken all links to VoucherDigg.  He also said his company had contacted its lawyers.

“We have no contract with VoucherDigg to advertise our holidays, and we are doing all that we can to contact the website and get the picture removed. We apologize for any distress this may have caused, which is completely beyond our control and are disgusted by the use of this image,” Hunt said in a statement.

As of now, VoucherDigg.co.uk’s website loads no more than a blank white page.

Madeleine McCann disappeared while her family was on vacation in Algarve, Portugal, on May 3, 2007.  She would have turned 9-years-old this week.  An age-enhanced image of what Madeleine would look like today was released on the five-year anniversary of her disappearance.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May022012

Madeleine McCann’s Parents Find New Hope

A computer generated photograph of what Madeleine McCann might look like today. Metropolitan Police Service(LONDON) -- Kate and Gerry McCann clutched a small poster with an age-enhanced image of their missing daughter. The words below the photo read: “HAVE YOU SEEN ME?” as the face of 9-year-old Madeleine stares out.

No one has seen Madeleine since she disappeared five years ago, on May 3, 2007, during a family vacation in Portugal.  If she is alive, she will turn nine next week.

Yet for the first time in years the McCanns are allowing themselves to hope. That’s because Scotland Yard has agreed to review the case.

“Comparing to this time last year at that point we didn’t have the review in place, and now we do," said Kate McCann at a news conference in London on Wednesday afternoon. "Such progress has been made, that’s definitely given us a lift and makes things more hopeful.”

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Scotland Yard detectives have identified 1,995 potential new leads after sifting through 40,000 pieces of information. Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, who is leading the review, said last week he believes it is possible that Madeleine was abducted from the vacation rental apartment where the family was staying while her parents had dinner at a restaurant nearby.

But Portugal shelved the investigation barely a year after the girl disappeared and while a team of detectives has been appointed to re-examine the case, Portuguese authorities are showing no interest in re-opening it.

“I have no doubt about that. It will get reopened,” said Gerry McCann on Wednesday. “I think the most important thing is that a lot of the investigation opportunities are in Portugal. I think it’s fairly clear that the case will have to be reopened for those to be pursued adequately. We weren’t expecting a knee-jerk reaction by any means. This is an ongoing dialogue, and I am sure the investigation will get opened again in due course.”

When the couple looks at the photo that shows what Madeleine might look like today, they each see a little of themselves her age-enhanced face.

“I think the most important thing is challenging the assumption that Madeleine is a three or four year old,” said Gerry McCann. “She’s nearly nine now. People around us certainly see Madeleine in it, and see elements of us in it, and I think that’s a good thing. It’s certainly a useful tool, and we’re pleased with the image.”

The parents briefly were suspects in their daughter’s disappearance, but they were exonerated.  They sued the Portuguese detective who published a book accusing them of faking Madeleine’s abduction.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Apr252012

Madeleine McCann: Police Believe Missing British Girl Is Alive

Metropolitan Police Service(LONDON) -- Investigators still searching for Madeleine McCann, the British toddler who went missing from a Portuguese holiday rental home five years ago this week, say they believe the girl is still alive and they now have the "best opportunity" yet to solve the case.

McCann was 3-years-old when she vanished on vacation with her parents Kate and Gerry McCann and twin siblings in the Algarve region of Portugal.  The girl's parents say they found Madeleine missing after having left the children in the home unsupervised while having dinner less than 500 feet away.

"[We are] seeking to bring closure to the case," Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood told the BBC.

Detectives for the first time since the investigation into McCann's disappearance, dubbed Operation Grange by U.K. police, say that as a result of evidence uncovered during their latest review they now believe there is a possibility Madeleine is still alive and are appealing for direct information concerning her whereabouts.

Police didn't specify what clues led them to believe the girl may still be still alive.

"I am satisfied that the systems and processes that we are bringing to this set of circumstances will give us the best opportunity to find those investigative opportunities that we can then present to our colleagues in Portugal," Redwood said.

Investigators released an age progression image of McCann on Wednesday as her ninth birthday approaches on May 12.  The image was created in close collaboration with the family, according to a statement from the U.K.'s Metropolitan police.

British police on Wednesday called on Portugal to reopen the case, saying they have close to 200 leads that could help find the missing girl alive.  But in Portugal there is much less support for reopening the investigation, and the McCann's own Portuguese lawyer says it is hard to find people who sympathize with the couple.

"Everyone believes I am defending a father and mother that killed the daughter and got rid of the corpse," the McCann's Portuguese lawyer Isabel Duarte said.

With 28 detectives and seven civilian support staff, the Operation Grange team is handling the massive trove of reports and documents on the case.  Hundreds of reported sightings of Madeleine have come in since she disappeared, but they have all led nowhere.

After her reported disappearance on May 3, 2007, the Polícia Judiciária, the Portuguese investigative police, initially decided that the girl had been abducted, but soon stated that they hypothesized that she died in the rented house. 

An Algarve resident named Robert Murat was named a suspect on May 17, 2007.  In September of 2007, Kate and Gerry McCann were also named as suspects in the mystery surrounding what happened to their daughter, but they were cleared, along with Murat, in July of 2008.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May122011

Parents of Missing British Girl Call for Independent Review of Case

Denis Doyle/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The parents of Madeleine McCann, the British toddler missing since 2007, are celebrating her eighth birthday Thursday by releasing a book about their daughter, hoping it will reinvigorate the search and fund an independent review of the case.

"There will still be a little tea party at home, balloons and cake...I comfort myself by knowing that what we're doing today could be very positive in the search for our daughter," said Kate McCann on ABC’s Good Morning America.

Kate and Gerry McCann hope the book, Madeleine, will jump-start the search for their daughter. Maddie, as she was known, disappeared from the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz where the family was staying in 2007. The couple had left their three children and gone to dinner. When they returned, Maddie was missing.

During the international search for the girls, Kate and Gerry McCann were considered suspects by Portuguese authorities, but eventually cleared. The search for the girl ended officially in 2008.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio