Above: the McCanns arriving back in the UK soon after being made arguidos.
I'm still on a mission to find the McCanns searching for their daughter. While in Portugal, they traveled a great deal, they probably did a little shopping, but did they search? Even when they eventually reached Morocco, in spite of reported sightings there, which were thought to have been interesting, the McCanns never went to investigate the relevant areas for themselves.
Back to The McCann Files for a detailed diary of events leading up to and following Madeleine's disappearance. Nigel Moore, what would we do without you and your meticulously maintained site?
We are finally approaching some searching folks....well, I think we are, ye know, well, really...
October 2007 saw a great tsunami of activity in the UK press, based on articles in Portuguese journals for the most part.
At the beginning of the month Carlos Anjos, head of Portugal's Police Federation ridiculed Gerry's theory that an abductor had been hiding in the apartment when he went to check on the children. Gonçalo Amaral was removed from the investigation following an outburst about his English colleagues.
Eileen McCann, Madeleine's grandmother who lives in Scotland, stated that any of Madeleine's DNA that was found in the hired car could be explained by the fact that Amelie was wearing Madeleine's sandals and her tops. (Daily Mail 2/10/09)
I find it quite strange that Amelie was wearing her sister's clothes. If one of my children had disappeared, there is no way that their clothes would have been worn by another child in the family. At some point I may have given some to a charity shop, just some, but I would not have immediately been dressing another child in those clothes. This seems like another clue that Kate and Gerry were not expecting Madeleine to turn up any time soon.
It emerged that the McCanns were carrying out their own 'secret investigation,' and their legal team was interviewing all witnesses to the events of May 3rd, the McCanns being confident that they would be cleared by Christmas. (Daily Mail)
A friend of the McCann couple said that evidence gathered would be presented to the Portuguese prosecutor. They would say, 'This is what we have got. We advise you not to go any further.' (Daily Mail)
A very worrying way to address a public prosecutor, I would say. If that really was how they would have worded it, there is a hint of threat there, in my opinion.
On October 18th, Channel 4 broadcast their Dispatches programme about Madeleine, in which it was claimed that entry via the shuttered window would have been almost impossible.
On October 25th, the McCanns released an artist's impression (another one!) of the man Jane Tanner had seen, carrying a child in the vicinity of the McCanns' holiday apartment. The McCanns went into reverse about their claim that an abductor had broken in through the window of apartment 5A and reveal that they believe the window was opened from the inside as a means of escape. Clarence Mitchell said he couldn't go into detail about the matter.
And here we come to the first mention of Metodo 3, Spanish detective agency hired by the McCanns. They are quoted as saying that they are convinced that Madeleine is being held in Morocco.
Into November and there is another alleged sighting of Madeleine in Morocco, which turns out to be old news as the event took place on August 21st.
On November 22nd, Portugal's top law officer, Pinto Monteiro, is quoted as saying that the huge publicity surrounding Madeleine's disappearance would have turned her into a liability if she had been abducted and 'There's a greater possibility of the girl being dead than alive.' (In an interview with current affairs publication Visao)
Searching folks! It is confirmed that Spanish detective agency, Metodo 3, is being paid £50,000 a month by the Find Madeleine Fund, for a 6 month contract. Metodo 3 is said to have up to 40 operatives working on the ground in the hunt for Madeleine, in at least 3 countries.
So, let's have a wee shufftie here at the search for Madeleine by this detective agency.
SOS Madeleine McCann 24/10/2007
By Duarte Levy and Paulo Reis
Levy and Reis present a run-down on the previous work undertaken by this agency. They have no previous experience of dealing with cases of missing children, their work having been focused on clients from the commercial and industrial sectors, dealing with such issues as money-laundering and security. Based in Barcelona, Metodo 3 was responsible for the new phone line set up after the latest appeal for information from the McCanns. The Portuguese police had not been consulted about this phone line.
SOS Madeleine McCann 31/10/2007
By Duarte Levy and Paulo Reis
A top-ranking Moroccan police officer stated that most of the children taken to Morocco were children who were involved in custody disputes, between a Moroccan and a non-Moroccan parent. There was paedophile activity in Morocco, but it was usually Moroccan children being abducted by foreigners for the prostitution trade in other countries, like Italy.
Metodo 3 claimed to know that Madeleine was being held in the Rif area of Morocco, but a Moroccan organisation against paedophilia, 'Touche pas a mon enfant," was quoted as saying there were hundreds of blonde children in the Rif area and also they did not believe that Madeleine would have been taken there by a paedophile ring, as claimed by Metodo 3, who state that they have a number of leads to follow up and know precisely where Madeleine is being held.
SOS Madeleine McCann 5/11/2007
Another blonde Moroccan child who isn't Madeleine McCann. A Spanish woman contacted the Metodo 3 help line to say that she had reported to the Spanish police in August having seen a blonde child whom she was 100% sure was Madeleine McCann. The Moroccan police were obliged to follow up every sighting and this child was not Madeleine. Metodo 3 insist that they have witness statements from lots of people who have seen Madeleine in Morocco.
SOS Madeleine McCann 10/11/2007
An Irish citizen on holiday in Bosnia contacted Metodo 3 to report that he had seen Madeleine in a Bosnian city. Clarence Mitchell said this sighting was being taken very seriously.
And so it goes on:
November 18th 2007: Francisco Marco states that he knows who kidnapped Madeleine.
November 20th 2007: A woman gives a witness statement to Metodo 3, stating that she had seen Michaela Walczuch, Robert Murat's friend, in Morocco, close to where Madeleine had been sighted.
Miss a few! See SOS Maddie blog for all posts on this subject.
December 22nd 2007: Metodo 3 admits never having known where Madeleine was, although they had assured that they would have Madeleine home by Christmas.
December 28th 2007: Metodo 3 comes up with two witnesses who say they had seen Robert Murat in the vicinity of the McCanns' apartment on the night she disappeared.
If they can't find Madeleine, it's that fall-back technique, once again, finger a patsy!
February 23rd 2008: Metodo 3 detective who had been involved in their hunt for Madeleine, is arrested for theft of cocaine from a police warehouse in Barcelona.
March 13th 2008: A detective working for Metodo 3 in Morocco is alleged to have paid witnesses to say they had seen Madeleine, according to a senior Moroccan police officer.
February 2nd 2009: Metodo 3 under investigation for money-laundering.
The Metodo 3 contract was not renewed on the same basis, but the agency was kept on a retainer and would raise its head again!
First of all, a very unlikely detective agency to be hired to hunt for a missing child, one that had no experience in this area of detective work and one that had previously been under suspicion for illegal phone tapping (The McCann Files day 206)
And what a shower they turned out to be: theft of cocaine, suspected of paying witnesses, suspected of money-laundering and admitting that they had never actually known where Madeleine was.
Metodo 3 didn't seem to do a great deal of actual searching for Madeleine. Their mission appeared to be to find as many witnesses as possible to alleged sightings, none of which turned out to have any basis in truth.
Hey ho! Next!