|Hélène Guinepied - Chien|
Le second chien a été soumis à la même opération. Lui aussi a montré de l'intérêt devant la porte du 5J. Il s'est dressé sur ses pattes de derrière et a tendu la tête pour capter l'odeur. Cet intérêt peut être dû à divers facteurs, mais il est certain qu'à cet endroit il a senti une odeur intense. Une fois à l'extérieur le pisteur a immédiatement pris la piste du 4 mai menant au parking près du G6 où il a perdu la trace.
The members of the GNR advised that the tracker dogs are trained to search mainly in rural areas, given the fact that the best capability of the animal is to identify a different and strong smell in a wide, open area, it being sure that in terms of timing they said that after 48 hours from the event it is difficult to obtain positive results. Concerning urban areas, or areas with identical characteristics, they advised that due to the fact of there being a large number of odours in the air, it becomes impossible for the tracker dog to manage to identify/locate the "target smell", because it is diffuse [dispersed; broken up], [the dog] ending up becoming confused and indicating its disinterest in continuing the search.
- le fait que le chien s'intéresse aux appartements ne signifie pas qu'il a détecté l'odeur de l'enfant disparue, mais seulement qu'il y a des odeurs plus fortes à ces endroits-là.
According to the GNR team this situation could be due to the fact that the strongest concentration of smells on that path, due to it being a little more preserved from the wind and "protected" between walls, it being certain that when it arrived at the main street and turned to the right, there was a major dispersal of odours, causing the dog to lose interest in continuing the search.
- The second dog was submitted to the same operation, also showing interest at door of 5J, namely it scratched with it front paws at the veranda parapet and lifted its head to sniff the air to find a scent. As noted above, this interest was conditioned by various things, it being certain that the dog sensed a strong odour in that place and wanted to check that [if] he had found the intended scent there.
- After the first search the two rubbish bags were removed from 5H so that during the second one there was no smell of rubbish, and the [second] dog showed no interest at the door of that apartment.
Donc pas d'odeur résiduelle.
- Outside, the dog immediately followed the same path as the first, taking itself to the car park next to Block 6 where it also lost interest in the search.
- It is true to say that the dogs effectively showed interest in the above-mentioned apartments, without giving an indication needed to their handler that they had [found] the presence of the trail of the missing child. It is also certain that the course that they made to the car park next to Block 6 was done without hesitation and in a most convincing manner.
- To better understand the routes taken by the dogs, there are attached four images/maps of the area of the Ocean Club resort, the route taken by the dogs from Block 5 to the car park being marked in red and yellow.
- Further, in an informal conversation with the GNR team, they advised that on the 4 May they had done the same work, with no control over the direction taken by the dogs, i.e. they were not directed into the buildings, it being certain that they took the same route described above, with the same attitude, losing the trail next to the car park of Block 6.
- According to the GNR team and after the work was finished, they gave their opinion about what had happened, saying it is difficult the be precise about the dogs' achievement given the conditioning factors involved - smells, time of day, area concerned - adding still more the degree of uncertainty, because the clues revealed by the dogs can only be significant by confirming if in an area of intense odour, the intended [hunted; sought after] smell is found.
- Laid bare, in their understanding, the interest demonstrated by the dog at the doors of some apartments can not signify that the scent of the missing child was detected, but solely a mere confirmation and going off track [straying], because it never showed the handler that it had found the intended scent.
Rapport général sur les opérations K9 du Ccordinateur de toutes les opérations de la GNR
1. Methods used
The sniffer dog search and rescue team of the GNR was sent to Vila da Luz in the attempt of locating Madeleine McCann, aged four, of British nationality, who disappeared on the night of 3rd May, from apartment 5 A, Block 5 of the OC resort, the team was composed as follows:
Sargeant Silva - Dog: Timmy
Officer Cortez - Dog: Sacha
Officer Sousa - Dog: Kolly/Cookie
Officer Rosa - Dog: Oscar
Officer Martins - Dog: Fusco
Officer Fernandes - Dog: Rex/ Zarus
After arriving at the scene, the first three members of the team, the officers gathered some information from the girl's parents about the places they tended to frequent with the children during their stay in P da L up until now, the parents replied that the only areas that their daughter would frequent since their arrival, was Praia da Luz beach, always accompanied by babysitters and resort pool area, where there was also a playground.
After this, at about 08.00 the three search and rescue sniffer dog teams (Silva with Timmy, Cortez with Sacha and Sousa with Kolly and Cookie) who had arrived at the site, began searching, leaving the resort in the direction of the beach.
During the entire morning, searches were made of the beach and rocks, from Rocha Negra to the area of Ponta da Gaviota (an approximate area of 2 km). During the morning searches were also made of the areas surrounding Praia da Luz, with a radius of about 300 metres, as well as some abandoned houses, wells and plots of land inside P da L.
After an evaluation of the situation in the field, it was decided to request two more search and rescue sniffer dogs from the GNR Queluz station, given the extent of the terrain to be searched, whilst the hypothesis that the girl could have left the apartment on foot was not discarded.
During the afternoon of 4th May, more searches were carried out around Vila da Luz and were extended to a radius of approximately 600 metres, including the surroundings of the EN 125 in the stretch closed to PDL.
At about 23.00 the extra teams that had been requested for reinforcement arrived (Officer Rosa with Oscar and Officer Martins with Fusco, both from the search and rescue unit and Officer Fernandes with Rex and Zarus from the tracking team).
After the officers had been updated about facts relating to the disappearance, they tried to reconstruct the route the girl might have taken with the two tracker dogs. For this purpose the dogs were given a blanket (en fait une serviette de bain) to sniff, provided by the parents, which had been used by Madeleine.
Beginning to follow the track using Rex, from the door of apartment 5 A (the place where the girl had been sleeping) he would always head in the direction of Block 4, leaving block 5 the dog would turn to the left, pass by a metal access door to a path existing between the apartments blocks to the leisure area (restaurant, pool and playground). Immediately another attempt at reconstruction was made using the dog Zarus, who, in general terms, ended up following the same route as Rex and having the same behaviour.
It is important to state that this tracking work was carried out in an urban area and more than 24 hours after the girl's disappearance and numerous persons had passed along the path the dogs were tracking. It should also be stated that the path the dogs followed within the resort was practically totally surrounded by walls and the concentration of odours was stronger as they were protected from the wind. The searches finished at about 01.30
On 5th May at about 08.00 after a briefing, two teams consisting of 3 dogs each accompanied by officers from Portimao, again carried out searches in the whole of the Vila da Luz area, with an approximate radius of 2 kilometres, paying special attention to the rocky areas, abandoned houses, wells, drains, road verges etc..including plots of land within P da L.
During part of the afternoon, searches were carried out in the Turiscampo camping site situated next to Espiche on the EN125 and in the Orbitur camping site next to Vila da Luz. This search operation had the objective of checking all the bungalows whose occupants had left on the day of the disappearance or on the following day as well as the adjacent areas.
During the day the searches were extended using the method of searching in file, accompanied by officers from Portimao, from the P da L area following the rocks up to Ponta da Cama da Vaca, taking in all of the northern zone to the EN125 as well as the village of Almadena, the Vale Verde zone and Quatro Estradas, some of the areas had already been searched more than once.
At about 22.00 all the vehicles parked in Vila da Luz parking spaced were checked.
On 6th May at about 08.00 and after another briefing from the Operational Command Post, it was decided that on that day they would again search all the plots of land with thick undergrowth within P da L, but that this time the search sections were divided amongst the teams. For this purpose the same teams of three dogs together with officers from Portimao who had been selected to help using the method of searching in file, carried out searches in all abandoned buildings, wells, rocks, verges of the EN125 and land surrounding P da L, in some cases reaching distances of 2 km.
On 7th May the same searches were continued, being extended to to the entire northern part of Almadena to the site of Espojeiro and the verges of the EN 125 until the Boi valley.
At about 19.. the undersigned officer, accompanied by the Commander, Officer Silva, took part in a meetings with the PJ Directorate, being asked by the PJ about the viability of giving the girl's clothes to the dogs for the dogs to sniff again, and if by means of the odour inhaled, they would be able to mark an identical odour in one of the resort apartments even though its door was closed.
With regard to this task, Officer Silva referred to the fact that the time that had passed would be a crucial condition for the dogs' work in obtaining results and that the entirety of the human odours existing in the apartments and access paths could make the dogs' searches very difficult. However, in spite of not being a normal situation for tracking, it could be attempted, whilst the operation should be carried out as quickly as possible and not directed towards one but to all the apartments in the resort, it being appropriate for the handler not to know which apartment was chosen, so as not the be conditioned.
In this concrete situation, the objective would be for the dogs to carry out a discontinuous search, in other words, to sniff the girl's clothes and immediately search near to the apartments, checking to see if there was any change in the behaviour of the dogs.
At about 23.00 accompanied by a PJ inspector, the searches were begun. After Rex was given the girl's clothing to sniff, he began to search on the ground floor of block 5 and when he passed the door of apartment 5 A (the place the girl had disappeared from) according to his handler, officer Fernandes, the dog altered its behaviour, sniffing with greater intensity than he had done before. Apartment 5J of the same block was also checked as the dog had been more agitated than before as if there were a very strong strange odour there. It was stated that this apartment had been unoccupied for some time. Afterwards, the same kind of search was carried out using the dog Zarus which in general terms showed the same behaviour in the same places as Rex had done.
It was only when all the searches of the apartments in blocks 4 and 5 were complete, that the behaviour described above was registered. It is certain that this kind of work does not correspond to the area that these dogs were trained in, but given that these types of dogs manage to discriminate a specific odour from others, although it could be a remote possibility that they related the odour of the missing girl with a possible location where she could have been.
On 8th May during the morning four teams returned to search all the areas around Vila, following some indications from local people who had frequently gone to the GNR Command post saying they had seen something suspicious related to the disappearance but no sign of her presence was ever found.
During the afternoon searches along the verges of the EN 125 were continued from Boi valley to Figueira and the whole northern part of Budens.
On the following days the strategy adopted was to continue to extend the perimeter of the searches to the villages of Barao de S Miguel and Burgau, Barao de S Joao, Bensafrim and Salema. Searches were carried out in all of these locations, as well as adjacent land, vegetation, abandoned houses, wells and main roads.
On 10th May at about 20.10, upon the request of the PJ, searches were carried out in all of the apartments belonging to blocks 4 and 5 of the OC, two tracker dogs and two search and rescue dogs being used for this operation, adopting the same methods as those used on 7th May, just that this time the apartments were all open and searched one by one, being accompanied by a representative from the resort, who had the keys to all the apartments (apart from those not under her administration) and also with the objective of helping with the searches. The collaboration of all the guests occupying the apartments at that time was requested for this purpose and those apartments that were found to be empty were opened by the administrator.
All the apartments were searched by the dogs and when they arrived at apartment 5 J they began to sniff with intensity at the entrance door. During this behaviour it was noted by the PJ officers that there must be some unusual odour, but which with all certainty did not have anything to do with the odour being searched for, but there must have been something strange inside.
After entering the apartment, it was observed that the odour came from close to the fridge, which was open and contained some rotting meat and vegetables.
During the searches carried out in the apartments no sign of the girl was found by the dogs.
On 11th May in the morning, the team went to Odiaxere to visit a forest near the Boavista golf course. The whole forest was searched using the in file method, including some abandoned houses, wells and rail track.
After lunch the team was told that the searches were concluded but that their presence in P da L would continue to be necessary according to the requirements of the PJ for any other situations that might occur.
On 15th May three search and rescue dogs returned to Lisbon (Officer Cortes with Sacha, Officer Rosa with Oscar and Officer Martins with Fusco) considering that there was no longer any need for them.
The other dogs and their handlers remained on site until 18th May when at about 19.00 they returned to Cino/EPG as their presence was no longer require in P da L, although it was determined that if their use were required in the future, they would return.