Met Police Detectives leading enquiries into the 2007 disappearance of Madeleine McCann have made a new public appeal for information.
It is now 13 years since Madeleine was reported missing during a family holiday in Portugal and the team of officers leading the Met’s investigation, known as Operation Grange, are today, Wednesday, 3 June, making a public appeal linked to a significant new line of enquiry.
Met detectives working with German authorities have identified a man currently imprisoned in Germany as a suspect in Madeleine’s disappearance.
This man is white and in 2007 is believed to have had short blond hair, possibly fair. He was about 6ft in height with a slim build. He is 43-years-old, but in 2007 may have looked between 25 to early 30s.
We have established that he lived on and off in the Algarve between 1995 and 2007. He is connected to the area of Praia da Luz and surrounding regions, and spent some short spells in Germany.
This individual, who we will not identify, is currently in prison in Germany for an unrelated matter.
The Operation Grange team is revealing details of two vehicles which the suspect is known to have had access to and used around the time of Madeleine’s disappearance.
The first vehicle is a distinctive VW T3 Westfalia campervan. It is an early 1980s model, with two tone markings, a white upper body and a yellow skirting. It had a Portuguese registration plate.
The suspect had access to this van from at least April 2007 until sometime after May 2007. It was used in and around the area of Praia da Luz.
We believe he was living in this van for days, possibly weeks, and may have been using it on 3 May 2007.
We are appealing for anyone who may have seen it in or around Praia da Luz on 3 May, the night Madeleine went missing, the days before, or weeks following the disappearance.
The second vehicle is a 1993 British Jaguar, model XJR 6, with a German number plate and registered in Germany.
This car is believed to have been in the Praia da Luz and surrounding areas in 2006 and 2007. The car was originally registered in the suspect’s name. On 4 May 2007, the day after Madeleine’s disappearance, the car was re-registered to someone else in Germany.
To re-register the car in Germany you don’t have to have the car in the country or region. We believe the car was still in Portugal and would like information if you saw it.
The Met is asking if anyone saw these cars together or individually during the spring and summer of 2007. Both of these vehicles are now held by the German authorities.
Detectives are also appealing for information about two mobile phone numbers, one of which is believed to have been used by the suspect on the day of Madeleine’s disappearance.
The first number is +351 912 730 680. Extensive enquiries have led investigators to believe the suspect was using this number and received a call, starting at 7.32pm and finishing at 8.02pm on 3 May 2007. This call was received in the area of Praia da Luz.
The second mobile number is +351 916 510 683. This number is the phone number that made this call. We know the person was not in the area of Praia da Luz.
Investigators believe the person who made this call is a highly significant witness and are appealing for them to get in touch.
The Operation Grange team is also asking anyone if they recognise these numbers. Did you ever call them? Do you have them in your phone, an old phone or your electronic contacts?
At 7.15pm UK time on Wednesday, 3 June, the Bundeskriminalamt (BKA) will also broadcast an appeal on German channel ZDF.
There is a £20,000 Met reward for information leading to the conviction of the person or persons responsible for the disappearance of Madeleine McCann
Detective Chief Inspector Mark Cranwell, who leads Operation Grange, said:
“It’s more than 13 years since Madeleine went missing and none of us can imagine what it must be like for her family, not knowing what happened or where she is.
“Following the ten- year anniversary, the Met received information about a German man who was known to have been in and around Praia da Luz. We have been working with colleagues in Germany and Portugal and this man is a suspect in Madeleine’s disappearance.
“The Met conducted a number of enquiries and in November 2017 engaged with the BKA who agreed to work with the Met.
“Since then a huge amount of work has taken place by both the Met, the BKA and the Polícia Judiciária.
“While this male is a suspect we retain an open mind as to his involvement and this remains a missing person inquiry.
“Our job as detectives is to follow the evidence, maintain an open mind and establish what happened on that day in May 2007.
“Please contact us without delay so we can get answers for Madeleine’s family.”
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stuart Cundy said:
“Madeleine’s disappearance has attracted huge international interest. We are appealing for the public to help us establish what happened.
“We are committed to do everything we can to establish what happened and to find Madeleine.”
Speaking in support of today’s appeal, Kate and Gerry McCann said:
“We welcome the appeal today regarding the disappearance of our daughter, Madeleine.
“We would like to thank the police forces involved for their continued efforts in the search for Madeleine.
“All we have ever wanted is to find her, uncover the truth and bring those responsible to justice. We will never give up hope of finding Madeleine alive but whatever the outcome may be, we need to know, as we need to find peace.
“We will be making no further comment regarding the appeal today.
“We would like to thank the general public for their ongoing support and encourage anyone who has information directly related to the appeal, to contact the police. Thank you.”
The Operation Grange incident room can be contacted via 0207 321 9251 or email@example.com