19:06 DCI Andy Redwood
Please come in.
DCI Andy Redwood is leading the investigation.
Primarily what we sought to do from the beginning is trying to draw everything back to, to zero if you like, try and sort of take everything back to the beginning and then reanalyse and reassess everything, accepting nothing.
The work of detectives in re-examining thousands of documents paid off when they were finally given the green light to launch a full-blown inquiry.
19:42 Outside apartment 5A
What follows is the result of this painstaking new investigation by Scotland Yard’s elite detectives. The truest account yet of what really happened that night.
20:01 Apartment 5A
Tell me now about the crime scene itself.
Yes, I mean the family with their three children were in apartment G five A. This was on the edge of a sort of contained area which was known as the Ocean Club, within which there was a Tapas bar and swimming pools and tennis court. But the actual apartments where they were staying was outside that perimeter area and it was, effectively, from front and back, accessible to the public. The front door was accessed by a car park and then the rear entrance was a side set of steps that lead up and into a rear balcony area that go into and through patio doors.
Madeleine and her siblings, Sean and Amelie, were staying in the front bedroom which looked out onto the front car park. Errm, Madeleine was in a bed and the two children were in travel cots and between, between Madeleine’s bed and the bed that was nearest to the window.
20:55 The time line
The careful and critical analysis of the time line has been absolutely key. Primarily, we’re focussed on the area between 8:30 and 10. We know that at 8 thirty, that was the time that Mr and Mrs McCann went down to the Tapas area for their dinner and we know that around 10pm, that was when Mrs McCann found that Madeleine was missing.
21:18 The Tanner sighting
One of the most pivotal events on the time line was Jane Tanner’s sighting of a man carrying a child. He was walking in this spot just meters from where Madeleine had been sleeping. This man was widely thought to be Madeleine’s abductor but the team was taking nothing for granted
21:42 The Ocean Club night crèche
One of the things that we picked up very quickly was the fact that there was a night crèche that was operating from the main Ocean Club reception, and 8 families had left eleven children in there and one particular family we spoke to gave us information that was really interesting and exciting.
In fact I would say it was a, it was a revelation moment when having discussed with them what they were doing on the night they themselves believed that they could be the Tanner sighting.
22:12 Crèche dad 1
The British father had collected his two-year-old daughter from the crèche. He had been walking near the McCanns apartment: This is the actual photograph taken by Metropolitan Police officers of the man dressed in the kind of clothes he wore on holiday. This image was compared to the artist’s impression.
It is uncannily similar, and we know that the pyjamas that their child was wearing that it is again is uncannily striking, the similarity.
22:48 Crèche dad 2
So, what you’re saying is, that the timing that everyone was working on for years in this case was wrong.
We are almost certain now that this sighting is not the abductor but very importantly what it says is that from 9:15, we were able to allow the clock to continue to move forward. And in doing so things that have not been quite as significant, or received quite the same degree of attention, are now the centre of our focus.
This was an enormous discovery for the team, an innocent explanation for the suspect who’d been at the centre the case the six years.
23:27 The Smith sighting
Their attention quickly turned to another sighting which could now be the key to the entire mystery.
It was here at 10pm that an Irish family witnessed another man carrying a child. They saw him come down the hill from the direction of the Ocean Club heading that way towards the beach.
Could this have been Madeleine and her abductor?
He was a white man with brown hair. And the child that he had in his arms was described as being about three to four years and with blonde hair possibly wearing pyjamas, a description very close to that of Madeleine McCann.
24:08 The Smith e-fits
Two of the witnesses helped create e-fits of the man they saw.
Today for the first time we can reveal the true significance of these images.
This could be the man that took Madeleine, but very importantly there could be an innocent explanation.
The e-fits are clear and I’d ask the public to look very carefully at them. If they know who this person is, please come forward.
24:36 Other sightings of interest
As part of their exhaustive investigation, the detectives are particularly interested in a number of blond-haired men who were seen near the McCanns apartment.
Do they hold the answer to her disappearance?
24:55 Other sightings of interest
One witness saw a fair-haired man near the McCanns apartment twice. On the first occasion, she saw him standing on the path that runs behind the block. The second time, near the entrance to the Tapas restaurant looking towards apartment G 5 A.
On the day Madeleine disappeared, two men were seen on the balcony of a nearby empty apartment, believed to be 5C, two doors down from the McCanns.
A man was also seen in the same area two hours later.
At 6pm, a man was seen in the stairwell in the McCanns apartment block.
And an hour after Madeleine was reported missing, two men were seen speaking with raised voices. When they saw the witness, they walked away talking in hushed tones.
25:55 The importance of the sightings
How important are these sightings, do you think?
Madeleine McCann’s disappearance does, on one reading of the evidence, have the hallmarks of a pre-planned abduction. That would undoubtedly have involved reconnaissance, and so we’re really keen to understand who these people were.
They may all be separate. So it’s really important this evening to say to the public that if you recognize yourself then please have the courage to come forward, because it’s really important for us to eliminate any sightings that are innocent and nothing to do with Madeleine’s disappearance.
26:28 The burglaries
As well as that line of inquiry, and the sighting by the Irish family of a man carrying a child, the police are also looking at a third important strand of their investigation.
We have noticed that there was, between January and the time Madeleine went missing, a four-fold increase in the number of burglaries that were taking place in the vicinity.
In the three weeks prior to her disappearance, two incidents took place in the very block when Madeleine slept. In both, windows were used to gain access.
Possibly, there is a scenario where Madeleine could have possibly disturbed somebody trying to commit a burglary.
To date, nobody has been caught for these crimes.