herald

Thursday 14 December 2017

Secret police files of ‘Maddie’ in New Zealand

SHOCK: CCTV images withheld from McCanns

This dramatic CCTV footage of a girl remarkably similar to missing Madeleine McCann is part of a secret dossier of files withheld by Portuguese police.

Investigators searching for Madeleine must have access to previously unseen files, a family spokesman said.

The files reportedly comprise hundreds of pages of information, including CCTV images that show a young girl who looks like Madeleine being led into a New Zealand supermarket in 2007.

A security guard was alerted by the girl's striking resemblance to Madeleine and the fact that she spoke with an English accent.

According to a letter sent by Interpol to Portuguese investigators, the girl said her name was Hailey.

Another report mentions a British man called George who saw a small, distressed blonde girl being dragged along a road to Faro airport in Portugal on the night she went missing.

Another details how a young girl who looked like Madeleine was seen being held at gunpoint on a French motorway by a half-naked man in August 2008.

Family spokesman Clarence Mitchell called on the information to be released to the McCann family's investigators.

He said: "Kate and Gerry have made it clear that they were shocked to see the lack of follow-up work done by the Portuguese police since the investigation was shelved.

"All the information in these files must go to the private investigators as they are the only people still looking for Madeleine."

Madeleine was nearly four when she went missing from her family's holiday apartment in the Algarve village of Praia da Luz on May 3 2007 while her parents dined with friends nearby.

Despite a massive police operation and huge publicity worldwide, she has not been found.

Four months after she disappeared, Portuguese police made both Mr and Mrs McCann 'arguidos', or formal suspects, in the case.

Two days later, on September 9, 2007, they returned to Britain with their two other children, twins Sean and Amelie.

In July 2008, the Portuguese attorney general shelved the investigation and lifted the arguido status of Mr and Mrs McCann.

The couple insist they will continue to believe Madeleine is still alive until presented with firm evidence to the contrary and have vowed to keep looking for her for as long as it takes.

hnews@herald.ie

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