10:57 14 October 2013
Madeline McCann is the three-year-old girl who disappeared in May 3, 2007 while on a holiday with her parents in Praia Da Luz, a resort in the Algarve region of Portugal. After six years and numerous investigations, the police are yet to find her abductors. However, UK police may have a new lead. They have recently released two e-fits of a man that witnesses placed in the area.
The clues are deemed as a “massive step forward” in the ongoing investigation that has gripped international headlines for years and even saw the little girl’s parents in the frame as suspects themselves.
Police say that although the man “may or may not be the key” to solve the crime, “tracing and speaking to him is of vital importance to us.”
Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, the senior investigating officer, said: "Whilst this man may or may not be the key to unlocking this investigation, tracing and speaking to him is of vital importance to us.
"We have witnesses placing him in the resort area around the time of Madeleine's disappearance.
"This is far from our only line of enquiry, and there will be e-fits released of other sightings as well, who we are equally keen to trace. These people were seen on the day of Madeleine's disappearance and the days leading up to it.
"We continue to put Madeleine at the heart of our investigation and I would urge people to watch Crimewatch tonight and if you can help identify this man or have any information about our new appeal points please contact us.
"Praia da Luz is a popular holiday destination for many nationalities so our requests for help need to be repeated in many different countries. I will be travelling to Holland, Germany and Ireland to seek the support of the public there.
"If you were in and around the Praia da Luz resort on Thursday, May 3, 2007, but you have not yet spoken to police, and you think you may have information, please pass it on.
"I would also like to ask for the help of the local community in Praia da Luz. Portugal is a key country for us to trace any outstanding witnesses and our appeals will be repeated there.
"We still have a lot of material to investigate and much work to do. Your information could be the vital piece we need to finally answer what happened to Madeleine."
The witnesses said the man was white, 20 to 40 years old, of medium build, had short brown hair, was clean-shaven and of medium height.
The BBC’s Crimewatch programme is to air a “fresh version of the events” by way of a dramatization.