It was May 3, 2007, when little Madeleine McCann from Leicester, England disappeared from her bed in a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, a resort in the Algarve region of Portugal. Her parents Kate and Gerry are still hoping that their daughter will come back home safe and sound, even after more than 10 years of investigation and wait. Detectives who are searching for Madeleine have reportedly traveled to Bulgaria to talk to the wife of a convicted pedophile. This is supposed to be a new lead into the process and the family is eager to wait for more news.
Maddie disappeared while her parents dined with friends at a restaurant just 60 yards away. Her disappearance became the most reported missing-person case in history. However, investigators couldn’t find her trace for more than ten years. Now, according to reports, detectives at the Metropolitan Police have re-examined witness statements taken at the time Maddie disappeared. This is a new lead in the process as they will try to speak to the wife of a man who allegedly tried to meet with underage girls. This man was actually working with his wife as a domestic helper close to the apartment where the McCanns were staying in Portugal.
After the police started the investigation, the man and the wife disappeared. The police continued searching for the woman as the husband died in 2007, but couldn’t find her for years. Now, they believe she may be in Bulgaria.
A source told The Sun:
“There is no evidence they were involved but it would be good to eliminate them from the investigation.”
After years of investigation and a lack of evidence, Scotland Yard launched an investigative review in 2011 called Operation Grange. This was done so as to investigate any leads into her disseverance.
After it started, the Operation Grange has investigated over 8,000 potential sightings. Also, they have taken 1,338 statements, collected 1,027 exhibits, investigated 650 sex offenders and 60 persons of interest. One of the most important lead was a Northern Irish man who had been imprisoned for the sexual assault of his four daughters and had moved to Carvoeiro, Portugal after his release. The place is not that far from Praia da Luz. As a matter of fact, he was there when Madeleine went missing.
The operation also investigated a deceased Swiss man called Urs Hans von Aesch. He was believed to have killed a five-year-old Ylenia Lenhard in Appenzell, Switzerland.
The man was also believed to be close to Praia da Luz when Madeleine McCann disappeared. Also, a van with the same number plates as his was parked in front of the McCann’s apartment at that time. Despite all this information, the police didn’t find any more links that prove he took the then-three-year-old girl.
Operation Grange also interviewed an alleged victim of the famous deceased British broadcaster and writer, Clement Freud who was accused of child abuse in 2016, seven years after he died. In the interview in June last year, one of Freud’s victims said that they had a home in Praia da Luz at that time and have reportedly befriended the McCanns in the weeks following Maddie’s disappearance.
Here’s more on the investigation.