Phone records could help Madeline McCann case
Parents of missing girl to make TV appeal after ‘fresh, substantive’ material found
Three-year-old Madeline McCann went missing in 2007
Kate and Gerry McCann are to make a significant television appeal in light of “fresh, substantive” material unearthed as part of a British police investigation into their daughter’s disappearance.
Scotland Yard is for the first time trawling through a vast log of mobile phone traffic identified in Praia da Luz, in Portugal, at the time of Madeleine’s disappearance.
In a process detectives say could be key to discovering what happened to the then three-year-old, any person who was present in the Algarve town on or about May 3rd 2007 could receive a phone-call from the Metropolitan Police.
The McCanns will appear live in the studio during an episode of BBC Crimewatch on Monday October 14th, which will also feature a reconstruction and pre-recorded interviews with the couple.
Describing the programme, assistant commissioner Mark Rowley, of the Metropolitan Police, said: “It’s substantially different. It’s not just a bland ‘can you help us’ appeal, there is some different material and a different understanding to be presented.”
Scotland Yard has said that since launching its own investigation, 41 people of interest have been identified, including 15 UK nationals, up from 38 people of interest including 12 UK nationals established in July.
Detectives have issued 31 international letters of request to mostly European countries in relation to some of the persons of interest as well as accessing phone records.
A large but “manageable” list of phone numbers identified as being present in Praia da Luz, though not necessarily used to make phone calls,has been drawn up by detectives with a “significant” number unattributed to any named person.
Police officers are now able to create a log showing calls being made at the time of Madeleine’s disappearance.
Asked if this move could be key to the investigation, detective chief inspector Andy Redwood, the senior investigating officer on the inquiry, said: “It could be.”
“We’ve got a data set of phone traffic. Within that phone traffic you can see we’ve got some of those numbers we can attribute to people, but a large number of them we can’t,” he added.
“So in a targeted way, we’re trying to say in a particular moment in time, that is around the moment of opportunity, who’s there. It’s really as simple as that.”
“A lot of the focus is not necessarily to find a suspect, but also witnesses. We’re trying to understand who was there for a range of reasons,” he said.