Madeleine – Mário Marreiros Dec 14

Mário Marreiros is another of those questioned as witnesses in Dec 2014, so what, if anything, can be gleaned from this?

Mário Marreiros was employed as a laundry worker by the Ocean Club when Madeleine disappeared. I have covered his story before, but there are a couple of points that need to be polished.

Mário has a single statement in the PJ Files, despite the fact that he clearly spoke to them at least twice.

His statement is bland. He appears to have worked within the laundry, as well as picking up and delivering laundry around the Ocean Club. He says his work on 3 May was as per his normal routine, stating at 10am, a break of an hour and a half for lunch, and ending at 6pm. He then went home and stayed with his wife. He went out around 9:30pm to Barão de São João to pick up his step son, returned home and stayed in thereafter. His statement, dated 8 May 2007, says he saw nothing suspicious that could be related to the disappearance.

The ‘nothing suspicious’ is the part that would change.

On 29 Sep 2007 the Mirror published a more interesting tale. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/new-madeleine-suspect-seen-in-stairwell-509604

An Ocean Club worker, who did not want to be named, was picking up linen at around 6pm on 3 May 2007. This was from a stairwell 12m from apartment 5A when he nearly bumped into a British person who appeared to be monitoring the car park, stairs and elevator. The man was stocky, round-faced, wearing two-tone sunglasses and light clothes.

This worker said he had talked of this in the first round of interviews, but the young officer taking the statement seemed uninterested.

The worker further said that detectives had gone to his home, insisted he be interviewed again, that he had gone to Portimão, and that he had picked out one person from photographs he had been shown.

This 29 Sep 2007 article is interesting, particularly as versions dating around 2013 would have morphed.

It has a stairwell 12m from 5A, with an elevator. There is a stairwell around 12m from 5A in block 6, but block 6 does not have elevators. That leaves the block 5 stairwell, and this was confirmed in later versions of the encounter.

Although unnamed at the time, the worker turned out to be Mário Marreiros. There is probably enough in the PJ Files to pick him out using the 29 Sep article, but I don’t see the point.

The person who took Mário’s first statement was Inspector C Domingos. Inspector Domingos took more than one statement in the Madeleine case. Other than that, I cannot find anything about him.

The method by which detectives would have requested a second interview eludes me, unless Mário’s story was already in circulation i.e. they worked out who he was from that. His original statement doesn’t mention block 5 or a suspicious man. If there was something in the Portuguese press at the time, I have not found it.

The method by which the Mirror was able to find Mário also eludes me. It makes no reference to a Portuguese article. However, it is difficult to see how a British newspaper managed to deduce Mário was significant, unless the story was already in circulation.

The second statement, if it was a formal statement, is missing from the published PJ Files.

The only other piece of information in the PJ Files that might relate to Mário, is that someone had seen a laundry van parked near to Fuji Palms, which is part of the Ocean Club.

Whatever the connection to Mário, Neil Berry was interviewed by UK police. Neil mentions two previous statements, neither of them in the PJ Files, while the one in question is dated 23 Apr 2008, so it is part of the review of the case by Paulo Rebelo.

In that statement, Neil Berry is asked is he was in the stairwell of block 5 at 6pm on 3 May 2007, and nearly bumped into a laundry worker, by the stairs and lift. Neil could not remember precisely where he was, but did not remember an encounter with a laundry worker. Further, he could not remember a lift. Neil was in block 6, which does not have lifts.

The PJ requested a DNA swab and a hair sample. It was noted in the April 2008 interview that Neil had already provided these.

By this point, it is likely that Mário Marreiros had picked out Neil Berry as the man seen in block 5 at 6pm on 3 May 2007.

Neil Berry 2007

Now it is time to ponder why Mário was interviewed in Dec 2014.

First, the laundry van was seen outside Fuji Palms more than once. As Fuji Palms is part of the Ocean Club, the logical place to pick up or deliver laundry in this part is beside Fuji Palms. This makes perfect sense and is totally innocuous.

Second, the newspaper tales of Mario’s encounter had morphed into anything but 6pm on 3 May 2008. I cannot see such newspaper reports as sufficient to haul Mário to Faro for an interview.

Third, the core of Mário’s tale is that he saw a man with two-tone sunglasses in the block 5 stairwell at 6pm on 3 May 2007. Presumably, the PJ used this to pick out Neil Berry from TV footage that was broadcast at the time.

The PJ had on file by 9 May 2007 the statement of Tasmin Sillence, a young resident of Luz. Tasmin’s grandmother had lived in apartment 5A until 2002. On two occasions in the days before Madeleine disappeared, Tasmin saw a man who appeared to be observing 5A.

tasminman

If this is the connection, there is an issue. Tasmin described a man of lean build (see above the e-fit). Mário described a man with a round face and stocky build.

If Mario’s second statement is not in the file to which Scotland Yard has access, it makes sense to ask Mário to provide further information on the man, such as age and height.

Fourth, Mário’s statement is that he went out alone at 9:30pm on 3 May 2007, to pick up his step son from Barão de São João. One analyst has pointed out that the distance from Mário’s home to apartment 5A is one quarter of the distance from his home to Barão de São João. This puts Mário, who knew the Ocean Club layout, alone in a car, only a couple of minutes away from 5A, around the time Madeleine disappeared.

Unless Mário’s statement has been verified in some way, we only have Mario’s word as to his whereabouts from 6pm on. Verification would require a statement by his wife, or proof via phone records.

As Mario was interviewed as a witness, it does not appear that Scotland Yard was in pursuit of any information that might incriminate him.

This leaves clarifying re the man in the stairwell and trying to get a more accurate description of him.

If so, it suggests that Scotland Yard is significantly closer to the start of the investigation than it is to the end.

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