This is the man British police are desperate to interview in relation to the kidnapping of Madeleine McCann in Portugal. He was seen near the McCann’s holiday accommodation carrying a young child.
Although the two faces look different, police are convinced it is the same – German speaking – man, seen in and around the resort before Madeleine vanished on May 3rd 2007.
Her disappearance sparked a global search that gripped the world’s media but, despite extensive appeals, her fate remains a mystery and a Portuguese police inquiry (which erroneously targeted the McCann’s themselves) closed five years ago.
On Monday a British team of detectives, who began a new investigation in July, said they pieced together a new sequence of events suggesting Madeleine was targeted by abductors.
They said they wanted to trace a number of men, including some thought to be either Scandinavian or German, while another line of inquiry is she was taken after disturbing burglars.
“Madeleine McCann’s disappearance does, on one reading of the evidence, have the hallmarks of a pre-planned abduction,” Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood told BBC’s “Crimewatch” programme which broadcast a new reconstruction of the events.
British police have also reportedly arrested a man after he boasted at a party of having recently seen Madeleine on a Mediterranean island.
However, it appears the man was arrested for reasons unrelated to the child’s disappearance from her family’s holiday apartment.
Britain’s Sunday Mirror newspaper reported a week ago that a barrister had given a detailed statement to police after attending a party in Manchester where the man made the extraordinary claim.
The man boasted that he had been introduced to Madeleine on the island this summer. She was in the company of another adult.
The barrister said he took the claim seriously because of the level of detail.
The Sunday Mirror reported that the man making the claims was arrested during the week and computers were seized.
In a statement, Greater Manchester Police told the paper “a man was arrested … on suspicion of possession of drugs and conspiracy to distribute indecent images of children”.
He was bailed pending further inquiries.
Madeleine McCann’s parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, are interviewed on the BBC for a program that will air on Monday night in Britain.
Police in August released this image of how Madeleine McCann might loom today. If alive, Maddy is today 9 years old.