3rd May 2014 - Seventh Anniversary Since Madeleine's Abduction
Seven years without our daughter, seven years without a big sister for Sean and Amelie. Sometimes we feel totally stuck for words. A lot of the time there are no words. Our situation seems as unbelievable as it did that very first night without Madeleine.
Whenever I find myself becoming paralysed with disbelief, unease, frustration or sadness, I have to refocus my mind on the positives, of which there are many.
The Metropolitan Police force continue to make encouraging progress in their investigation with new evidence being uncovered, fresh information coming in to the inquiry following appeals and subsequently, links being made between people and events. We are hugely grateful to the general public for continuing to support the investigation, especially those who have found the courage to come forward with information despite difficult circumstances. Whilst the MPS are cautiously optimistic of beginning enquiries on the ground in Portugal in the near future, we really hope that this will turn into a concerted effort from the Portuguese authorities as we know there is still a lot to do. Working together is key to the progress of the investigation and a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) could provide a more streamlined way of working with less bureaucracy. It may be seven years since we last saw Madeleine but the passing of further weeks and months as a result of unnecessary delays and barriers are not only frustrating, they are incredibly distressing. Each day without Madeleine and each day of not knowing is another day too many, regardless of how much time has already gone by.
May is an important month for all missing children and their families worldwide with May 25th being International Missing Children's Day. This May is particularly special in the UK as a new enhanced Child Rescue Alert (CRA) system (to help find abducted and missing children in serious danger) is to be launched by the charity Missing People and the National Crime Agency. This system (based on the highly effective 'Amber Alert' in the USA) I believe, will help to save the lives of abducted children and ease the suffering faced by their families. It’s a very exciting step forward.
Throughout the whole month, the charity Missing People are running a 'Forget-Me-Not' campaign with several different ways for the public to get involved to help find missing children. One really important and simple way you can get on board is by signing up to the Child Rescue Alert. By registering, you will receive an alert with relevant information, by text or email, when a child is abducted in your area. This way you can join the search immediately and play a vital role in helping to find a child in danger. Please take a minute to visit http://www.childrescuealert.org.uk/ and sign up today. There are several other ways to help too – Take a look on http://www.missingpeople.org.uk/.
It goes without saying, but needs to be said....We are grateful beyond words for the continued and unwavering commitment, help and love from all our faithful supporters. Thank you SO much for keeping Madeleine in your hearts.
05.05.2014 - Marisa Rodrigues
Traduit par Joana Morais
Marisa Rodrigues : It's the most important of the steps that were requested in the third rogatory letter. The British police want the searches to be carried out on sites in Praia da Luz where they suspect Madeleine's body might be buried. Searches will be made with a radar that will allow the analysis below ground.
In the locations map there are areas signalled near the apartment where the child disappeared 7 years ago and a road, which at the time was undergoing repairs. This are the places that the English detectives argue the PJ did not explore thoroughly.
This letter rogatory, like the preceding ones, has been assessed by the Public Prosecutor of Portimão.
TVI knows that the searches, which already foresee the possibility of excavations, were already authorized by the prosecutor. What remains now is to set the dates and how they will be performed.
The British police also asked to be present at the time that those actions are carried out by the Portuguese inspectors, but that decision lies with the National Direction of the PJ and has not yet been taken.
Last March the Metropolitan Police announced they were looking for a sexual predator, connected to the abduction theory, which they have always advocated.
With this new path and although it is not officially confirmed, they are admitting, for the first time the possibility of Madeleine being dead.
Reportage Sky News
Transcrit par Nigel Moore
Martin Brun t: [by telephone] This is something that, errr... Scotland Yard have been waiting on, errr... for several weeks. Errm... Over the last two years they've been asking all sorts of things of the Portuguese authorities because that's the way they have to go about it, errr... but the last, errr... letter of request included a number of, well, a couple of hundred, errm... specific requests but, errr... perhaps the most important is permission to launch a digging operation, errr... around the resort of Praia da Luz, where Madeleine vanished 7 years ago... just over 7 years ago.
Now, this is, errr... an operation that's now been approved; errm... we don't know exactly where, errr... the digging will take place and it's not an operation that's being launched on new information. Errr... errr... much of what Scotland Yard has been doing, errm... is to review, errm... information contained in the original Portuguese police files and it appears that there is information that was given to the Portuguese, over the past 7 years, that indicated there might be evidence to be found at, errr... certain locations.
We don't know where but we think one of them may be, errr... the beach area and another may be around the apartments where Madeleine, errr... was last seen, errm... and it's not Scotland Yard who are going to be doing the digging - again, this is the way things operate, errr... they'll rely on the Portuguese authorities to do it. Scotland Yard will be there to observe and may have their own forensic, errm... staff there as well and may supply some of this, errm... ground penetrating radar that they will have to use.
But it is a breakthrough and it really does, errm... I think, launch, or will launch, a new phase in the investigation because this will be the first time that we will see Scotland Yard officers on the ground actually not just talking to Portuguese police but working with them in a... in the search for perhaps more tangible evidence.
Now, I'm told the McCanns have been informed, errr... of this development, errm... but they're trying to put a positive spin on it. Errm... They have been told that it doesn't specifically mean that, errr... the explorer... exploration will be the search for a body, but it is difficult to draw any other conclusion.
A judge has ruled that Scotland Yard will not be allowed to search those ex-workers homes. Officers also wanted to interview those three suspects. It's not clear whether permission to do that has been granted but nonetheless Scotland Yard is cheered by what has been agreed and this is the searching of three - at least three we think - potential sites where Scotland Yard believe there could still be clues to Madeleine's disappearance.
One of them is here, just across the road from the Ocean Club complex. This is a bit of wasteland. It covers, what, perhaps as much as two or three football pitches. The relevance of this is that soon after Madeleine disappeared, witnesses came forward and said that they saw a man walking down this road, past this site, carrying a child. Could this bit of wasteland hold a clue to Madeleine's disappearance?
Scotland Yard have also, we understand, been given permission to search two other sites. One is a road, a bit further down here, where there were trenches dug around the time Madeleine vanished. Those trenches were filled in; we don't know whether they were ever excavated - we think they probably weren't. Scotland Yard still believe there could be clues there. And also, the beach; the man was carrying a child towards the beach - others have spoken of activity on the beach. Scotland Yard, we also believe, has been given permission to search the beach at some stage.
Martin Brunt : It's, errr.. become clear this week even though, errr... a judge here has given Scotland Yard permission to start searches and certain excavations around the site, errr... it's become clear that relations haven't really improved between the two sides. There's... there's a good deal of tension and it really springs from the publicity that, errr... has been generated. The Portuguese are used to doing their criminal investigations behind the scenes, there's this rule of judicial secrecy and the Portuguese have got very fed up with Scotland Yard, errr... occasionally briefing the media about what's happened and what is going to happen.
So, everything that is happening now is set against that rather uneasy backdrop but certainly last night, errr... a team of Scotland Yard detectives, led by Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, who's in charge of the Madeleine investigation for Scotland Yard, arrived here, errr... we're expecting them to meet their Portuguese colleagues here in Faro this morning at some stage.
In the last few minutes we saw the arrival of the, errr... Chief Detective on the Portuguese side. He went into the office, half an hour or so ago, so it may be that Scotland Yard detectives are on their way here. It's very difficult to get any idea of exactly what's going on but we do know that, errr... sometime soon there will be the start of a... a new phase in this investigation; this will principally be, errm... the exploration of a number of sites around Praia da Luz, around the apartment where Madeleine disappeared seven years ago, errm... sites that Scotland Yard feel weren't properly explored at the time.
And there are three principle sites: A road just below the apartment block, where trenches were... were dug, errr... before Madeleine disappeared, errr... that were filled in the day after she vanished, errm... possibility that, errr... there might be clues to her whereabouts there. There's a waste ground to the side of the apartment block, where a man was seen carrying a child, according to some witnesses, errr... soon after Madeleine disappeared. And also the beach area, where again, over the years, there have been reports of, errr... of activity there, of, errr... people seen there acting suspiciously.
Those are, we think, principally the sites that Scotland Yard want to survey, perhaps dig, excavate, errr... over the coming weeks. What we don't know is exactly when that's going to start but Scotland Yard detectives here this morning, errr... we think, will be talking with their colleagues, working out a plan of how, where and when that excavation will start.
Martin Brunt : First, over coffee, the Scotland Yard team discuss their strategy before meeting their Portuguese colleagues. A habit established in more than twenty visits to the Algarve. On their way towards police headquarters, they made it clear they would not reveal their plans.
DCI Andy Redwood: Sorry, I've no comment for you today. Thank you. Thank you, very much.
Martin Brunt: [voice over] The Portuguese authorities have threatened to hold up cooperation if British police talk about the new phase of the investigation. Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood wasn't about to scupper the already fragile relationship.
[to DCI Andy Redwood] What will you be doing today, Mr Redwood? [no response]
[voice over] There's a lot to discuss inside police headquarters, not just the ground searches that are expected to start soon.
Martin Brunt [to camera] British detectives also want to interview 8 witnesses they believe can provide new clues to Madeleine's disappearance.
[voice over] The British police arrival heralds a dynamic turn in the search for Madeleine McCann, who vanished without trace during a family holiday seven years ago.
The ground searches are likely to begin as the resort of Praia da Luz gets ready to welcome summer tourists.
Carlos Rodrigues (restaurant owner) : [I hope they found what they're looking for but I'm a businessman and, errr... business is bad and this is going to make it all over again.
Martin Brunt: Okay.
Carlos Rodrigues: It's, errr... I don't know. I wish all the best for what they're doing and they found something, errr... useful and put all our minds at rest but, errm... it's damage.
Ana Faria : [Trader] I think everyone is a little bit upset about that but, at the same time, everyone wants to know the truth. That's it.
Martin Brunt: [voice over] The authorities will be keen to keep disruption to a minimum but there will be inevitably some intrusion in this popular holiday resort.