Madeleine – Tiago da Silva

Tiago Pires Luz da Silva is number 3 on a list of 11 witnesses to be interviewed by Scotland Yard in Dec 2014.

His sole statement in the PJ Files is dated 7 May 2007, where he is described as an assistant maintenance technician at the Ocean Club. It was his first job since leaving school and he had been doing it for 3 years and 4 months. He made €500 per month doing minor repairs, and he worked throughout the Ocean Club, wherever maintenance was required.

His is another statement that is extremely bland.

Is he related to José da Silva, the Ocean Club driver? Probably not, simply because da Silva is an extremely common surname in Portugal. It is impossible to be certain, as Tiago’s father’s surname is da Silva, and his mother’s maiden surname is also da Silva. There could be a relationship such as uncle or cousin. It is simply not likely.

The only item of interest in his statement is that he says he was never in apartment 5A, but that his colleagues Luis Ferro and Mário Moreira were, in order to repair a shutter and show how to work the washig machine.

Other than this Tiago da Silva appears to drop out of sight until around 9 Feb 2014, when he was identified as one of the men Scotland Yard wished to interview.

The story is about lost keys, but the Sunday Express elevated it to stolen keys. Perhaps this sound more dramatic. Perhaps it explains how the keys would fall into the hands of criminals who then knew where the keys worked.

An older maintenance worker, presumably Luis or Mário, said that in the week that Madeleine went missing, Tiago had lost the whole set of keys for block 5, and had been in tears about this.

Maria da Silva (probably no relation) was the cleaner for block 5, and in her statement she makes it plain that 10 apartments in block 5 were on the Ocean Club books.

If the story is true, it means Tiago managed to lose a total of 10 keys, an unlikely feat.

The older maintenance worker went on to say that he disliked Tiago, to the extent that when things tailed off in the Ocean Club, he decided to leave.

Luis Ferro gave his statement on 7 May 2007. In it he said that he visited apartment 5A between 10am and 11am on Tuesday 1 May 2007, to fix a shutter and to show a woman how to work the washing machine. The woman was Kate McCann, who was there alone. He said he and his colleague were only in the kitchen and the parent’s bedroom.

Mário Mareiro gave his statement on 8 May 2007. In broad terms it tells the same story that was related by Luis Ferro.

Neither of these mentioned missing keys, nor the need to get a spare key before they headed to apartment 5A to repair it on 1 May 2007. If there were lost keys, this seems to limit the timespan in which they were lost to between 11am on 1 May 2007, and Madeleine’s disappearance on 3 May 2007.

No one higher up the chain mentions missing keys for block 5, something which would obviously be very significant.

Luis and Mário both gave permission for a DNA swab on 18 Jun 2007. Mário also gave permission for a hair sample, date unknown. These would be required to eliminate them from hairs found in apartment 5A.

It seems unlikely that Scotland Yard was interviewing Tiago da Silva in respect of missing keys, though the team could have been covering all bases.

The other potential route is the Crimewatch of Oct 2013, with Tiago being matched perhaps to Smithman.

This suffers the same weakness that the programme was not widely aired in Portugal to an audience likely to recognise Tiago. One possible method would be workers at the Ocean Club who were British, and were interested in the case.

Further, if that was the basis, surely Tiago would have been interviewed as an arguido, not a witness.

Judge for yourself whether Tiago da Silva (Feb 2014) resembles the e-fit of Smithman for May 2007.

Tiago da Silva Feb 14

Smithman e-fits


15 thoughts on “Madeleine – Tiago da Silva

  1. I think you’re a wee bit off on your logic on this one.

    You say da Silva would have had to have lost 10 separate keys, which is an unlikely feat. Not if those keys were on a bunch marked Block 5, which is the obvious implication.

    And anyway, the whole point was that this act of managing to lose the bunch of keys might not have been all that accidental, so in that case the man could “lose” pretty much what he wanted. I don’t think anyone is suggesting they slipped out of his pocket, and were happened upon by a wandering gang of burgling paedo minstrels who couldn’t believe their luck.

    Next, you have maintenance coming around to show Kate how to work the washing machine, but with no report of missing keys.

    Firstly, the old boy tells you the keys were replaced with copies held in reception, so finding keys back in the safe wouldn’t mean no keys had gone missing, nor limit the time-line in which they might have gone missing.

    And secondly, if Kate phoned for instruction on how to work the washing machine, she was in the apartment at the time waiting for maintenance to come around and show her how the thing worked. So why on earth would maintenance need a key???

    And nobody higher up let the cat out of the bag on a bunch of missing keys? How odd… can’t imagine why they might want to keep that one quiet. Come on! If the story is true, you can bet instructions from on high in the company were to hush that one right up…

    If those are your reasons for discounting the missing keys, I have to say, they’re very unconvincing.

    • The story is that he ‘lost’ all of the keys for block 5. The papers might well be suggesting this loss is not accidental. I’m stating this leap is weak and sensationalist. If Tiago is up to it in his neck, why did those up the line not simply say – we had to replace the keys for block 5 when a maintenance worker lost them? If it was me, I would be trying to put distance between me and Tiago, not covering up. Unless we are into the conspiracy zone.

      There is nothing in the file to say Kate phoned for anything, or that she waited in the apartment. There is nothing in the hardback version (p57) to suggest she phoned or waited. The statements say the maintenance men were allocated tasks and went off to do them. They got a key, and in they went, whether the renter was there or not.

      Perhaps Kate did phone and perhaps she did wait. There is nothing to support either contention.

      John Hill (manager, Ocean Club) will turn up on the Dec 14 list of witnesses soon enough. At that point I will have to cover why he did not mention the loss of 10 keys, the burglary in 5L and probably a few other points. For the moment, I will simply note that he was interviewed as a witness, not an arguido, therefore he was unlikely to be covering up for Tiago’s loss or theft of keys to block 5.

      • Ah, listen, you’re reaching… the keys were in a bunch, and did not require individual ‘losing’ for a start. That’s point 1. You say it’s sensationalist as point 2… but that’s the whole story! Man responsible for missing keys. You cannot report that in a huge variety of ways regarding this case, because the implication is sensational in itself, whether lost or stolen, whether deliberate or even the highly unlikely accidental.

        You really think MW would say ‘ooh, better mention that to the police and media?’ Remember, for example, the old boy who reported this said he thought it irrelevant… and that’s not unreasonable. Common knowledge was unlocked patio doors… so missing keys become less significant, so they’re not even necessarily covering up vital evidence in their minds.

        Why would the manager of the OC not mention missing keys or a spate of burglaries? Hmmm… that’s a real head-scratcher.

        What they don’t want is ‘dodgy MW employee makes bunch of keys to apartments disappear in mid burglary and paedophile season in Luz’ being a headline. There is no way you can’t see that. All revelations of that ilk are hugely damaging to MW, to Luz and to Portugal. That’s obviously something the would want brushed under the nearest available carpet… it does not come into the realm of conspiracy theory, as it’s just basic common sense. The people lying are motivated by wanting to keep their jobs… it’s not really illuminati plus aliens plus masons killed the child to appease Satan, is it?

        And then… you really question me on Kate needing to be present to receive instruction on how to work the washing machine? Sure… maybe it’s not spelt out… but does it need to be? How do you suggest the maintenance men show her how to work it otherwise??? Come off it.

      • da Silva even specifically says in his own statement that he assumed the apartment was occupied when his co-workers called, for goodness’ sake.

      • “He assumes that the family of Madeleine was already there.”

        It would be difficult, after Madeleine disappeared, to assume that the family was not already there i.e. occupying 5A. This doesn´t tell us whether the men took a key, as was normal practice.

        The statements and Kate’s book put Kate in 5A when the men turned up. None of these suggest the men turned up without a key.

      • I’m sorry, but that’s idiotic. How on earth would you know what normal practice for a maintenance man were, having been asked to explain the functionality of a washing machine? Common practice was to take a key and call round in that case, was it? What’s your source on that, then?

        Because never mind your dubious ‘practice’, common sense suggests that’s not necessary. And then, witness statements all corroborate Kate at least being there (otherwise, how on earth is she going to be any the wiser on working the washer?). You’ve your bloke Tiago assuming it, and Luis, Mario and Kate all confirming it.

        And you even have statements, not that you would need them, explaining the need for maintenance to have keys, specifically along the lines of a plumbing or gas problem, for example, that needed fixing in the absence of the occupants, which was absolutely not the case in that instance.

        You’ve backed yourself into a rather silly corner. There’s a request for a broken blind, but significantly, instruction on the washer. Obviously someone had to be there due to the latter. Therefore, that call would clearly not require maintenance to have a key. It’s a simple and very obvious point, whether you wish to acknowledge it or not.

      • There is nothing in the statements or in Kate’s book to state she made a phone call and stayed in to wait for the men. It may have happened that way, but there is not one iota of evidence to support this.
        “Gerry had also managed to break the window shutter mechanism in our bedroom shortly after we’d arrived…” Arrival Saturday, repair Tuesday.
        Did Kate think the broken shutter was unimportant, but waiting in for the washing machine was?
        If I were those maintenance workers, I would have taken the key whether I was told Kate was in or out, on the basis she might – go to tennis, nip to Baptista, have a drink with a friend, or any of the 101 other things holidaymakers do when on holiday. That way 1) the shutter would get fixed 2) I could check the washing machine was operating. Not rocket science, just job done.
        If you reckon they chose this time to not take a key, kindly provide something, anything, that backs it up. Let’s see – two workers, Kate, reception -someone should be able to shine a light.

      • The maintenance men were instructed to fix a broken shutter.

        If you have anything whatsoever that says Kate PHONED the OC to request a washing machine demo, please provide it. Ditto she stayed in (after her tennis lesson) until they turned up.

  2. (And he’s a great match for chubby-faced Smithman, but not for skinny-faced Smithman… the thing is, the problem with the two e-fits from the Smiths is that they don’t look like one another… perhaps they would have been better all agreeing on which was the more accurate. Because you could have Smithman standing right in front of you, and he’s only ever going to look like 50% of their e-fits.

    Having said that, though, the left-hand one has that visible moustache hair which isn’t all that common, and I think the right kind of suggests the same, maybe? Blokes whose moustache grows quicker than the beard are not the norm… 5 o’clock shadow appears above the lip first. I have one friend that happens to, and that’s it. Hmm….

    da Silva is as close to a perfect match for the one on the right as you can get, I would say. What do you think?)

    • I have been bursting a gut as to why some of these names actually got into the frame.

      Tiago in 2014 seems to be a good match for Smithman in 2007, with the proviso that I don’t know what Tiago looked like in 2007.

      The Crimewatch of Oct 2013 was receivable in Portugal via satellite. Legally, this was naughty, but the fact is it was do-able. Brits watching Brit programmes in Portugal.

      At the moment, that is my best guess as to how SY might have been tipped off, leading to ILOR etc. Someone Brit, who probably worked in the OC, who was familiar with Tiago, watched that Crimewatch prog and thought “that looks like Tiago”. I.e. they tuned into Crimewatch, saw the Smithman e-fit for the first time, picked up the phone, and SY had another name on the list.

      Tiago’s statement puts him in Burgau with his girlfriend at the time of the Smith sighting. This may or may not be possible to verify via phone records. Also, Tiago had a car, so why would he have been wandering through Luz on foot carrying a child?

      Finally, if SY wanted to ascertain where Tiago was at the time of the Smithman sighting, why ask Tiago? Why not ask his girlfriend to confirm?

      • I was wondering if he had a car… that’s probably counting against, but it depends. And, as I’ve always said, that’s got to be crucial if Smithman is the culprit. Where was he living at that stage? Was it known? Local? That direction?

        Girlfriends are great for guilty people to ask for an alibi… are they still together? Because if not, she might change her mind. That’s often been the case… could cite numerous examples. A proper alibi involves being seen in a public place by numerous people… round the missus’s place is the weakest of the weak.

  3. According to his statement, he was living in Burgau. He took a colleague home on 3 May, and next day, using his car, drove into work. complete with girlfriend.

    So he should have been a few miles away (phone traffic if any) and he had no reason to be wandering through Luz on foot.

  4. Where did Tiago park his car when he worked at the OC? Probably not on the OC property, but on a street that connects Luz and the route to Burgau. Like near the hill where SY searched in 2016. Carry Madeleine from OC, past the Smith sightings, to the car.

    • I don’t know where Tiago lived, nor do I know if Tiago went to work in his car, rather than walking or getting a lift.

      The OC is NOT a private complex. I can take anyone around 95% of it because that is how much of it is public.

      I can park my car on most of the ‘Ocean Club’ because most of it is public roads.

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