A brief summary of the activities of Scotland Yard in 2014 paints a clear picture of where Operation Grange stands today.
March 2014. An appeal was made for information on a man who entered holiday homes in the Western Algarve in 12 incidents. On 4 of these the man sexually assaulted a total of 5 white girls, aged 7-10.
June 2014. Scotland Yard systematically examined one large area of ground in the centre of Luz, and two smaller areas just to the east of Luz.
July 2014. Four men were made arguidos and questioned by Scotland Yard. Sergey Malinka was known to Robert Murat. Malinka appears to have been cleared. Three others are thought to be implicated by a small number of phone calls made in the period leading up to Madeleine’s disappearance, and two of these may have been of interest re possible burglaries. The three men are José da Silva, Paulo Ribeiro and Ricardo Rodrigues. To date, the media has not reported a change in their status.
October 2014. Andy Redwood and a team of forensic specialists visited the INML in Coimbra. This appeared to be to assess what forensic evidence had been retained and to determine whether new tests were in order.
December 2014. 10 men and women were interviewed in Faro, seemingly as witnesses. A further woman may have been interviewed in the UK.
Joaquim Marques – sex offence in Luz in 1995.
John Hill – management of the Ocean Club, arrived quickly at apartment 5A.
Donna Hill – management of the Ocean Club crèche facilities.
Sílvia Batista – manager of Maintenance and Services, went to 5A and translated.
Robert Murat – arguido in 2007, subsequently cleared. He helped with translation in the early days.
Michaela Walczuch – then Robert’s girlfriend and business associate.
Luis Antonio – then Michaela Walczuch’s husband
Michael Green – investigated and cleared. He appears in the closing report only, with the details section expunged from the released files.
Mario Morreiros – laundry worker. He reported seeing a man acting suspiciously in the stairwell of 5A around 6pm on 3 May 2007.
Tiago da Silva – maintenance worker. A story emerged that he had lost all the Ocean Club keys for block 5 shortly before Madeleine disappeared, though no-one mentioned this in the original investigation.
The list above covers everything that is in the remit of Operation Grange. There is no indication that the investigation is in its end-phase, nor that it is precisely targeted. Quite the opposite appears to be the case. It has all the hallmarks of being wide-spread and in a still early phase of the operation.
Towards the end of December 2014, DCI Andy Redwood retired and DCI Nicola Wall took over. The standard procedure for the new head of Operation Grange would be to assess the status of each line of enquiry, and to re-prioritise accordingly. The evidence in 2015 suggests that is what Nicola Wall did.