The papers are reporting each other along much the same lines.
A man was interviewed in Faro last week. He was a gardener who worked near 5A. Some go a bit farther and imply he was working near 5A on 3rd May 2007. Then they put him in a bar that is sometimes in Luz and sometimes in the Ocean Club. They have him drinking there until 7 PM, then a mysterious missing 2 and a half hours. Then he returned to the bar at 9:30 PM. Finally, he gave a DNA swab in 2007.
The gardener’s statement is on file, along with other evidence relating to him.
He was interviewed on 12 May 2007, and as yet, I cannot find exactly why the PJ was so interested.
He worked in the Ocean Club precisely one afternoon per week, always a Wednesday afternoon. He looked after the garden in front of block 4 (not the pool side). He would work for 2 hours or less. The last time he was in the Ocean Club was Wednesday 2nd May 2007.
On 3rd May 2007, he worked in 2 other gardens in Luz, not connected the Ocean Club.
Then he left Luz and went to his village of residence, Espiche, and entered a local bar, one where he is well known, called the Arco Iris. The pub looks to be quite small.
At 7 PM, he left the pub and went to his residence in Espiche, the address of which is on file. There he had a wash, then he cooked a meal and ate it. Then he returned to the Arco Iris at 9:30, and chatted to someone he knew who was from the Espiche campsite.
Gerry’s final check was around 9:05 PM, which doesn’t leave a great deal of time, if the gardener really was back in the pub 25 minutes later. However, Espiche is only a 15 minute walk from Luz, therefore it can be done, and the gardener had a Citroen C15, so unlike Tannerman and Smithman he didn’t have to walk around Luz with a kidnapped child in his arms.
He gave his consent for a DNA test on 12 May 2007, and you can make your own mind up as to whether that was checked or not. He gave his consent for a search of his accommodation, and that was carried out. He gave his consent for a search of his Citroen, and that was carried out.
So what actually links him to the case?
He would park his Citroen in front of block 5 when he was working on block 4, out of habit. I doubt if Scotland Yard recalled him for that, though you never know.
The only thing I can scrape up so far is that Espiche is served by two cellphone towers. These are almost equidistant from Espiche. Perhaps in the Arco Iris you connect to the one near the N125. Perhaps in his home the signal goes through the cellphone tower in the north of Luz, therefore appearing to make him back in Luz. Perhaps it is something quite different, whether in the phone records or otherwise.
The gardener has had 7 years to quietly slip out of the Algarve and locate himself elsewhere, and he did not take the opportunity. He got official notice that Scotland Yard wanted him to be re-interviewed, and he did not flee. His DNA is already on file, and his home and car have been searched.
So far, I am failing to be impressed by this line of enquiry. It appears to be on a par with the quality of reporting on the story. Hopefully I will be proved to be wrong.