By Calvin Palmer
On the second anniversary of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, the family has hired two British police detectives to help solve the mystery after details of a second possible sighting of her with her abductor emerged.
Two retired British police detectives hired by Kate and Gerry McCann will concentrate their efforts on the close-knit community of Praia da Luz in Portugal, believing that the “answer” lies within nine miles of the town.
Madeleine’s disappeared during a family holiday on the Algarve on May 3, 2007, and despite a worldwide appeal to track down her whereabouts, she has never been found.
Retired Cheshire Police and RUC detective Dave Edgar and Arthur Cowley, who spent 30 years with police forces in the north west of England, are reviewing 30,000 files released by the Portuguese authorities after the investigation was shelved last year.
They have uncovered a statement from a family who said that they saw a man carrying a small blonde child near the McCanns’ apartment on the night of May 3.
It corroborates the account of Jane Tanner, one of the couple’s friends, who also said that she saw what she is now convinced was Madeleine being carried away by her abductor.
She gave a description to the Portuguese police at the time but they were initially reluctant to make it public because of judicial secrecy laws and only did so after the threat of legal action.
In the weeks after Madeleine’s disappearance her parents travelled as far as Morocco in hope of information on what happened to her.
But the detectives now believe the answer is much closer to where she went missing.
Edgar said: “There’s someone local who has the answer to this, and not much wider than six to nine miles away from Praia da Luz.
“So you don’t start an investigation in Morocco or Spain or France or even Lisbon.
“This offence happened in Praia de Luz. It’s a very self-contained resort, and that’s where we’ve started and that’s where I think the answer is.”
[Based on a report by The Daily Telegraph.]