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Like a Murder...

The criminal psychologist Paulo Sargento tried to recreate in a virtual setting what happened in the night that Madeleine McCann disappeared. He took as a starting point the chronology of the events made by the Newspaper Public, the Sol, the Times and the BBC.

A study has been launched into the Madeleine McCann case that indicates the original kidnapping theory is inconsistent with the evidence. A minute-by-minute breakdown of events was used to test if the police’s theory is plausible.

Criminal psychologist Paulo Sargento compared times and events of the night to the kidnapping theory. Sargento says the McCann’s arrived at the restaurant at 8 p.m. that night and Kate McCann reported Madeleine’s disappearance at 10 p.m. He found that seven people from the McCann party got up 14 times during the two hours they were at the restaurant.

“There were people passing almost every five minutes. The question is how, in that time, could it be possible with so many people coming and going that no one saw someone coming in through the window without being seen? We have concluded this theory is very inconsistent,” says Dr. Sargento.

Other reports have emerged that police believe there were more than only the three McCann children in the apartment. Police believe Madeleine was left in the apartment with six other children. They say they think the McCann’s and their party lied about the events of the night. Everyone from the McCann party denies they left their children in the same apartment. Police say this theory also makes it “highly unlikely” Madeleine was abducted.

The 3D Model

This 3D model shows seven people in the McCanns' party made 14 separate trips around the Ocean Club resort from 8pm to 10pm - when Kate raised the alarm that the four-year-old had disappeared.

That, the criminal psychologist claims, means someone was within sight of their apartment on average every eight minutes within the crucial period.

Prof Sargento, of Lusofana University, Lisbon, said: "We have used the precise timings to recreate on screen what happened that night. From 8pm when the group sat down for dinner, seven people got up and walked around 14 times.

"That means on average there was somebody with a view of the McCanns' apartment every eight minutes during that period."

Key moments include: 20.30: Kate and Gerry arrive for dinner with friends at the Ocean Club tapas bar after putting the children to bed at the ground floor apartment.

21.00: Gerry leaves to make the first of the half-hourly checks.

21.05: Gerry bumps into TV producer Jeremy Wilkins and has a chat.

21.15: Jane Tanner goes to check on her two daughters. She tells police she spotted a man hurrying away with a bundle that could have been a child.

21.25: Gerry returns as Dr Matthew Oldfield goes to check on his children.

21.55: Russell O'Brien returns 25 minutes after leaving bar.

22.00: Kate goes to check on the children and finds Madeleine has vanished.

The McCanns told police they believed Madeleine was abducted by a paedophile who entered through their unlocked apartment door before possibly fleeing through a back windows.

But Prof Sargento said any abductor would have had to work very quickly to avoid being caught - and would have had to have taken Madeleine in a car.

He said: "This reconstruction shows there were times when somebody could have entered the apartment without being seen and if they had a car they could have escaped.

"But you realise how narrow the margin for error was. If they had struck just a few seconds earlier or later they would have been spotted."

Prof Sargento has offered police the use of his reconstruction.

He added: "The known facts are presented as clearly as possible.

"How they are interpreted is a job for the police - and that is the most difficult job of all."

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