Processo NUIPC – 201. 070.0 GALGS
Pages 3948 to 3964
With the aim of comprehending and linking the circumstantialities found in the process files in a better way, this intercalary report was elaborated.
The case refers to the disappearance of an English girl, Madeleine Beth McCann, the daughter of Gerald Patrick McCann and Kate Marie Healy, who would have been 4 years old on 12th May 2007.
With regard to place and time, the events occurred on 3rd May 2007 during the time period, according to witnesses, between 21.05 and 22.00 at the Ocean Club resort, in Luz, Lagos, where the girl’s family, together with seven other people, who were friends of theirs, were spending their holiday.
The group’s arrival in Portugal, via Faro airport, took place on 28th April, arriving from the UK. They travelled in two different groups, given that they live in different areas of the country. The journey from the airport to the resort in Luz was made in a small vehicle provided by the Mark Warner company which was responsible for the management of the resort.
During check in they were allocated different apartments, all of them in block G5, close to each other and this had been an imposition or at least a suggestion made by the whole group.
The McCann family occupied apartment G5A, located at the left corner of the residential block, which can be said to be the most accessible apartment and with visibility from the outside.
This was a group that was in certain way homogenous, given that seven of the members were doctors, trained in various specialties, added to which they all had young children with them. The McCann family consisted of the parents as well as Madeleine and the twins, Sean and Amelie, aged two years old.
This holiday trip was organised by the Payne family, namely by David Payne who had previous experience of Mark Warner tourist resorts.
This group shared, concomitantly, a friendship that dated from before the holiday, based upon professional relations and other leisure trips.
With regard to the disappearance, the intervention of this police force occurred at about 00.10, by means of a communication received from the Lagos GNR, informing of the disappearance of a girl, which led to the immediate departure of the police to the scene (pages 2 and ss). Jointly with various diligences carried out to establish the facts, a photographic report was made of the scene (pages 12 to 23) as well as the diffusion of the disappearances, with photographs and a description of the girl, both to the authorities and to the press, after authorisation from the Public Ministry (pages 32 – 33B and 459).
During this night and the during the early morning intensive searches were carried out by this police force, GNR officers equipped with sniffer dogs and by local people organised in groups and employees of the resort. These searches were extended over the following days over a radius of 15 km2 by GNR officers and tracker dogs, locals, marines (page 821 marine control Portimão), civil protection officers, the use of a helicopter as is documented in the report on pages ??? (sic) In spite of titanic efforts, time and methods used, the search for the girl was fruitless.
As the investigation was oriented in two initial objectives, the location of Madeleine and the discovery of the truth of the facts, we proceeded to the questioning of the parents and the whole group of friends (page 34) as follows:
Gerald Patrick McCann – Apartment 5A
Kate Marie Healy – Apartment 5 A
David Anthony Payne – Apartment 5 H (1st floor)
Fiona Elaine Payne – Apartment 5H
Dianne Webster – Apartment 5 H
Russell James O’Brien – Apartment 5D
Jane Michelle Tanner – Apartment 5D
Matthew David Oldfield – Apartment 5B
Rachel Mariamma Jean Mampilly – Apartment 5 B
In synopsis, from the witness accounts obtained, it is important to emphasise the statements of Gerald and Kate as well as those of Jane Tanner and Matthew Oldfield.
With regard to the former, their daily routine was marked by normality, nothing strange or of any relevance was detected during the days before the disappearance. After leaving the children at the crèche, the twins near to the Tapas restaurant (inside the resort) and Madeleine at the main reception, they dedicated themselves to ludical and sporting activities.
With the exception of the first day, all day time meals were taken in the apartment.
At night the group would dine in the Tapas restaurant, leaving the children asleep in their respective bedrooms, without an effective control, although the Payne family had baby monitors.
The children’s supper, described as high tea, took place as a group, regardless of age, at a recreation area next to the Tapas restaurant between 17.30 and 18.00. Once this meal was over, they were taken to the apartments, where they were bathed and prepared for bed, at about 19.30.
On 3rd May, the daily routine was followed as normal, the McCanns returned to the apartment at about 17.30/18.00 accompanied by their children. After this time and until 19.00, they bathed the children, fed them again, giving them light products, they played a bit and then went to bed, the parents stating that the three of them were asleep at 19.30. Gerald remained at the tennis courts until about 19.00.
The parents then consumed some drinks and got ready for dinner, leaving at about 20.30 in the direction of the Tapas restaurant (a journey on foot of a little more than one minute). Upon leaving, as usual, they left by the patio doors, which could not be locked from the outside and which was just pushed to, the reason being that it was the shortest route to go to the restaurant and for consequent return, whether to check on the children or for definite return. The checking of the children by that route was a daily practice and which seems to us to have been carried out daily, carried out at half hourly intervals, although as the case files show, in truth these were extended to periods that were superior to one hour.
The McCann couple was the first to arrive at the restaurant table and engaged in a casual conversation with a couple who were not part of the group, but who were also British, whose surname was Carpenter. As time passed, all of the other members of the group arrived.
At about 21.00 Matthew and Russell went to check on the children, having first listened outside the window of Madeleine’s bedroom, located at the front of the residential block on the ground floor. Upon his return, Matthew did not report having noticed anything unusual. Russell stayed in the apartment as his daughter was ill.
At 21.05, given that Matthew’s check did not involve him entering, Gerald went to the apartment. He left through the second reception area, headed up the road for twenty, thirty meterS and entered through the metal gate, next to the bedroom, which leads to the garden/patio. He entered the apartment through the sliding patio door, which according to what was mentioned earlier, was not locked. He walked through the living room and headed for the children’s bedroom, noticing that the bedroom door was wider open than normal, as it was normally left pushed to. He presumed that Madeleine had got up for some physiological need. He entered the bedroom and saw his three children sleeping calmly. He went to the WC and left by the same means. Upon coming out of the gate he met Jeremy Wilkins, known to him from tennis practice, also British, who was pushing his son in a push chair and who was also on holiday at the Ocean Club. He conversed with him for a few instants and returned to the Tapas restaurant at about 21.15.
At about 21.10 Jane Tanner, Russell’s wife, given his absence went to check on the state of her daughter. She left by the reception and went up the road that runs along the entrance to the block. She was not seen either by Gerald or Jeremy although she did see them, she saw Gerald from the side, however Wilkins was facing the place that Tanner passed.
At the exact moment that she passed them, she perceived, at the top of the street, an individual on foot who was carrying a prostrate child, barefoot and in pyjamas, heading in the opposite direction to the entrance to the apartments. She thought it was a father carrying his child.
She only told of this situation sometime after the discovery of the disappearance and made the association, saying it was Madeleine, as the pyjamas were identical. A photo fit was made without facial features, the description and clothes of the individual were also spread by the media, to see if anyone could clarify what was happening there (page 1592) – no response was obtained.
Coming back to the narrative, at about 21.35, half an hour having passed, Kate decided to go and check on the children, but Matthew volunteered to this as he was also going to his own apartment to do the same. He took the normal route and entered by the patio door of the McCann’s apartment which was open. When he was in the middle of the living room, which had a slight light, he saw the twins in their respective cots, given that the door was ajar, however he did not enter the bedroom and therefore could not confirm whether Madeleine was sleeping in her bed.
Upon his return he said that everything was fine. When he was questioned at police HQ he added that the children’s bedroom had more light than would be probable if the windows were closed and the lights off. He cannot clarify the state of the window nor the existing luminosity.
Half an hour later (22.00) according to their reports, Kate went to the apartment to check on the children. She entered by the patio door which she closed upon entering and she saw that the door to the children’s bedroom was open wider than the way she had left it when she went to dinner. Upon closing the bedroom door, she felt a current of air which led her to observe the bedroom with greater care and this is when she noticed that her daughter Madeleine was missing. The bedroom window was wide open as were the curtains. The bed was practically intact, her daughter’s soft toy was at the head of the bed.
In a state of alert and with waves of panic, she searched the entire apartment, not managing to find the girl, which led her to go, in an upset state, to the Tapas restaurant, saying that her daughter had been taken. Clear allusion to an abduction, justified by the fact that the window was open, they said. During this time, the twins were in the bedroom, alone and sleeping. Furthermore, they never woke up during this night, in spite of all the commotion.
Informed about the disappearance, the whole group went to the McCann’s apartment, accompanied by Ocean Club employees, who searched the apartment and the adjacent area several times, without results. The call to the GNR took place at 22.41, according to the list in page 3051.
With the arrival of the GNR, the officers of that force again searched the whole apartment including the electrodomestic appliances, no useful results were found inside or outside the apartment. On that night the commander of the Lagos GNR received, supposedly from Gerald, four photographs of the girl, page 2294, poster type, 10 x 15, in two different poses, identical to page 30, their printing/developing must have been done at a moment before the events.
Diligences were carried out to establish the origin of these images, pages 2295 and 2296.
After 00.00 a team from this police force arrived at the scene and immediately began diligencies, namely fingerprint inspection which only revealed the collection of prints from people who had legitimate access to the apartment. The bedroom was also examined by Scientific Police Laboratory, which collected numerous vestiges for continuous examinations, which up until now have not contributed to a full clarification of the facts.
During the course of the collection of elements, on the next day a mobile GNR post was placed in front of the residential block with the aim of receiving/treating and channelling information related to the disappearance, all investigated by this police force in a methodical and strict manner, some were added to the inquiry, others were placed in annexes so that it was possible to visualise what was done.
Apart from the information collected by the mobile post, hundreds of other pieces of information from civil society and from the authorities were received by email or telephone and were treated in the same manner.
None of this information to date had attained the required result of locating the girl and clarifying the facts under investigation.
The British media were alerted to the disappearance, on the night of 3rd May, Sky news opened its news report at 07.00 on 4th May with news about this case. A huge media presence without precedence was mobilised, accompanying all the police work, speculating and imagining scenarios, some of them possible, some of them fantasy.
Given this introspective picture, we can be sure that as well as the abduction situation, all other possibilities were open, as they are now.
This thesis – abduction – was exhaustively investigated, all information leading to this in every sense, was examined. No ransom was ever demanded.
We clarified two situations, with the valuable help of the Dutch and Spanish authorities which led to the detention of three persons who were trying to extort money from the family in exchange for false information about the girl and who were proven to be fraudulent. These facts can be found in two Apenso volumes annexed to the files.
We proceeded to question all the Ocean Club employees, pages 848 and 856 whose statements did not reveal anything of any relevance in spite of the parsimonious attention used.
We carried out diligencies in 443 rooms in Praia da Luz, page 198, nothing useful was found.
For the rest, we heard witness accounts relating to incidents with children, which were not possible to link to Madeleine, in particular the case of a Polish couple who were on holiday in Portugal and who were seen taking photographs of a girl who looked like Madeleine. But once again nothing of relevance was found with relation to them as can be seen in pages 213 to 216.
Photo fits were elaborated based on the indications of witnesses who reported situations that they characterised as being “strange, most concretely of individuals who were seen in the proximity of the apartment during the day, but again, nothing that could be related to Madeleine.
Particular attention was paid to individuals connected to the criminal underworld, those connected to crimes against children, diligences, which to date have not enabled the collection of any relevant data.
In order to perceive the Babel of information, we can say that some of the incidences about the disappearance, in particular with relation to sightings, placed the girl at the same time and date in different locations in our country (pages 524 and ss) as well as in places around the world separated by thousands of kilometers, from Japan to the States, passing through Indonesia, Singapore and the African continent. As regards the latter, a sighting was transmitted from Morocco, near to Marrakesh, at a petrol station, by a Norwegian woman. In spite of efforts the images were never obtained, therefore it was partially dismissed.
We had reports of sightings in public transport and on motorways all over Europe, in some of these cases it was possible to confirm that these were girls accompanied by their parents and in some cases, girls with physical similarities.
The images from petrol stations along the main roads of the Algarve were seen, the result was negative, Gerald and Kate were shown stills from these images, such as those in pages 129 – 133, showing a similar looking girl but who did not correspond to the missing girl.
At a determined moment, and because as is known in these cases, it is necessary to have a perfect knowledge of the scene, in order to facilitate procedures and plan actions duly, suspicions fell on an individual who lived meters away from apartment 5 A, Robert Queriol Murat. The suspicions referred to are found in pages 308, 328, 442, 461, 957, 960, 961, and 968 – 1000.
During the initial phase, before the deepening of the investigation, this individual fulfilled the conditions to be made a suspect. The intrinsic elements of his condition as suspect can be analysed in the previously mentioned pages.
In order to confirm or discard the suspicions about Robert Murat, searches were carried out and telephone interceptions were made, pages 995 – 1013 of the suspect and of individuals who interacted directly or indirectly with him, namely those who had daily contact with him or with whom he maintained telephone contact. In spite of an exhaustive and methodological investigation of Murat and the persons close to him, no elements were collected that could connect him to the crime being investigated. Apart from the analysis of communications and forensic examinations of their computers which did not reveal anything useful, various searches of his home were made with the use of sniffer dogs, the subsoil was examined, physically and using detection methodologies, again with no useful results.
The cars of those connected to him were examined, no results were obtained.
The homes and vehicles were minutely inspected by the Police Scientific Laboratory, no relevant vestiges were found.
The analysis of the telephone and electronic communications (attached in annex) and the resulting correlation, gave no results.
At the police HQ the suspect denied any involvement in the events. The inquiries made in relation to the other individuals who had personal or professional relations with Murat did not bring up any data worthy of investigation.
In truth, during the searches various objects were taken for analysis without any incriminating result having been found yet.
As reported on page 1606 and following pages, a new element appeared, brought by an Irish family, who told of a sighting on 3rd May 2007 at about 21.55 of a man carrying a child who was walking down a road that leads to a zone near to Praia da Luz. They did not manage to recognise the man, however Martin Smith, in subsequent information, page 2871, said that judging by the bearing it could have been Gerald McCann, which upon initial analysis did not seem very viable to us given the time period indicated. However, new questioning of Martin Smith by the Irish authorities was requested in order to check the reliability of his information. A reply is awaited.
Concerning the theme of searches referring to the construction work underway in Praia da Luz, page 1650 and ss we collected the statements of the workers, employees and the engineer in charge who did not detect anything unusual and who focused on the impossibility of hiding a body, even a child’s body.
Meanwhile, I come to the knowledge of this police force about the information relating to the use of the dogs, page 1989 and following pages, specialised in the marking of human blood remains and human cadaver odour, from the UK.
This is an inspection technique commonly used in the UK, sometimes with positive results, consisting in the use of two specially trained dogs.
One of the dogs is trained to detect cadaver odour and the other to detect human blood traces.
Opting to use this resource, a large number of objects and places were examined, where, in some cases, the dogs were seen to show the behaviour of identification and signaling, as follows:
1. Apartment 5 A, Ocean Club resort from which the girl disappeared
- Cadaver odour dog
• in the couple’s bedroom on the floor next to the wardrobe.
• In the living room, behind the sofa, next to the lateral window of the apartment.
2. Patio area, in front of apartment 5 A
- Cadaver odour dog
• in one of the flower beds, the dog handler commented upon the weakness (lightness) of the odour detected.
3. Apartments where the rest of the group was staying
• Nothing was found by either dog.
4. Residence of the McCann couple at the time of the date of inspection
• Nothing was found by either dog in the villa.
5. In the locality of Praia da Luz
• Nothing was found by either dog.
6. The clothes and belongings of the McCann family
- Cadaver odour dog
• on two pieces of clothing belonging to Kate Healy.
• On a piece of clothing belonging to Madeleine.
• Possibly, on a soft toy belonging to Madeleine (cadaver odour was detected when the toy was still in the residence (on the date it was occupied by the family)).
• Signaling was confirmed in a scenario outside the villa.
7. In the vehicle used by the McCann family
- cadaver odour dog
• signaled the car key
- blood dog
* signaled the vehicle’s key.
* signaled inside the vehicle’s luggage boot.
8. In a vehicle used by a friend of the family who was staying at the same resort, coinciding for a few days.
• Nothing was found by either dog.
9. In all the cars used by Robert Murat and people close to him
• Nothing was found by either dog.
(Of a total of 10 vehicles the cadaver odour dog and the blood dog only signaled the vehicle hired by the McCann family on 27th May).
The places and objects signaled by the blood dog were tested forensically by the reputed British Laboratory (FSS) whose final results are not yet available. However, there are indications that would show that these will be inconclusive, in other words they do not corroborate the dogs signaling without leaving any doubt.
Based upon the action of the sniffer dog team which reveals the eventual existence of a cadaver in the apartment and in the car used by the McCann family and with the aim of enabling Gerald and Kate to safeguard their position in the process they were constituted arguidos, in the face of the mere possibility of their involvement with the eventual cadaver. During the course off their interrogation as arguidos they denied any responsibility in the disappearance of their daughter.
During the process phase we are in, according to the results of the information already in the case files, we proceeded to elaborate the thematic annexes (apensos) that contain all the information relating to sightings, suspects or suspicious situations, temporary analysis reports and reports on communications and examinations as well as information subject to international cooperation.
The investigation continues in the sense of checking all credible information received in the meantime on a daily basis, with particular relevance to information with regard to paedophiles and the authors of sexual crimes which has already exceeded 150 individuals.
Reports and diligences will always be carried out in a methodical manner, taking into account the investigation actions and conclusions already carried out in the unrenounceable and unforgettable hope of discovering the truth of the facts.
In the wake of what has been mentioned, a proposal was made for the elaboration of a Letter of Request to the British authorities, enunciating the diligences, which are pertinent in our opinion and which could be fruitful for the case.
For your consideration.
Portimão, 31st January 2008
Inspector João Carlos
Processo NUIPC –2010700 GALGS Vol XV pag 3948 a 3964 PDF download
Translation by Ines