Madeleine McCann’s family is hopeful that new images released by Scotland Yard over the weekend will lead to some new information regarding her whereabouts.
The images are computer-generated sketches of a man who was seen by witnesses on the night Madeleine disappeared, carrying a young blonde girl near the apartment she was taken from in Praia da Luz in 2007. Authorities say the man is white, between 20 and 40 years old, and may have a German accent.
“Whilst this man may or may not be the key to unlocking this investigation, tracing and speaking to him is of vital importance to us. We have witnesses placing him in the resort area around the time of Madeleine’s disappearance,” said Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood. “This is far from our only line of inquiry and there will be e-fits released of other sightings as well, who we are equally keen to trace. These people were seen on the day of Madeleine’s disappearance and the days leading up to it.”
The images were released in conjunction with a BBC Crimewatch reenactment, which portrayed the McCann family and the events leading up to Madeleine’s disappearance. The then-3-year old was taken from the vacation apartment her parents were staying at while they ate dinner not far away; at the time, local police in Portugal conducted their own investigation but found no helpful leads. Earlier this year, Scotland Yard announced that they had been working with Portugal to reopen the case and have found multiple leads in the past two years. However, as six years have gone by since the disappearance, it’s been difficult to follow up on once-hot leads.
Madeleine’s parents, Kate and Gerry, were at one time considered suspects. In an interview, Kate McCann once again claimed innocence and said she and her husband just want their child back.
“We’re not the ones that have done something wrong here. It’s the person who’s gone into that apartment and taken a little girl away from her family,” she said.