In May 2007 a three-year-old British girl named Madeleine McCann disappeared. She was vacationing with her family in Praia da Luz, Portugal at the time. Her parents had put Madeleine and her siblings to bed one evening and walked to a nearby tapas restaurant to dine with friends. Madeleine's mother discovered that the girl was missing when she later went to check on the children.
McCann's disappearance sparked a manhunt throughout southern Portugal. The girl's parents quickly went to the media for help, leading to the incident becoming one of the most reported-on missing person stories of the new century.
Now, more than ten years on from McCann's disappearance, a new book is raising more questions about what may have happened the night the girl went missing.
According to a Sky News report, the book, titled Looking for Madeleine, is due out in bookstores next week. it was co-written by Anthony Summers, an author well-known for his takes on historical topics popular with conspiracy theorists. His previous works include Official and Confidential: The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover, The Eleventh Day: The Full Story of 9/11 and Osama Bin Laden, and Not in Your Lifetime: The Defining Book on the J.F.K. Assassination.
In Looking for Madeline Summers and co-author Robbyn Swan reveal that a door-to-door charity collector may have had something to do with McCann's disappearance. Such a person was described by a British woman who was staying in an apartment near where the McCann family was vacationing. The woman told Summers and Swan that the man had come to her door begging donations. She later saw the man watching her apartment, then happened upon someone she believed to be the man in her apartment, in a room with her child.
The woman stated that the man ran when he saw her, but that he was dressed suspiciously, She recalls that he was wearing a surgical mask and had clothing wrapped around his feet.
What exactly this incident has to do with the McCann case isn't entirely clear, other than it occurred just hours before the young girl disappeared. According to Sky, Scotland Yard interviewed the woman in the wake of McCann's disappearance. Detectives still looking into the McCann case have stated that burglars or a sexual predator are the most current theories on the case.