The purpose of this site is for information and a record of Gerry McCann's Blog Archives. As most people will appreciate GM deleted all past blogs from the official website. Hopefully this Archive will be helpful to anyone who is interested in Justice for Madeleine Beth McCann. Many Thanks, Pamalam

Note: This site does not belong to the McCanns. It belongs to Pamalam. If you wish to contact the McCanns directly, please use the contact/email details    

Maddie's Body Found? Stephen Birch - 1*


Ground radar scan, taken by Stephen Birch, showing area below the Murat driveway
Ground radar scan, taken by Stephen Birch, showing area below the Murat driveway

Gerry McCann: "...we will leave no stone unturned in the search for our daughter, Madeleine." - 11 May 2007

Clarence Mitchell: "Kate and Gerry have always said that they will do whatever is necessary to find Madeleine and that they will leave no stone unturned in their search for their daughter.

"They will take whatever legal steps are necessary if there is information out there that can assist their private investigation into finding Madeleine. Beyond that I cannot make any comment." - 20 June 2008

Kate McCann [on Stephen Birch]: "...I mean, who is this person at the end of the day, you know, so..." - 10 July 2012

Aerial view of Casa Liliana, date unknown

Aerial view of Casa Liliana where the forensic teams conducted their searches in August 2007, unknown newspaper source

Aerial view of Casa Liliana where the forensic teams conducted their searches in August 2007, unknown newspaper source

Views of the driveway at the rear of Casa Liliana

The rear of Casa Liliana looking towards the driveway in the distance
The rear of Casa Liliana looking towards the driveway in the distance

The driveway beneath which Stephen Birch claims Madeleine is buried
The driveway beneath which Stephen Birch claims Madeleine is buried

The precise location where Stephen Birch claims Madeleine is buried
The precise location where Stephen Birch claims Madeleine is buried

Frames taken from Stephen Birch's video

Frames taken from Stephen Birch's video (click to enlarge)

With thanks to Joana Morais for screenshots

Madeleine McCann-Maddie (possible remains) Stephen Birch (video), 06 July 2012
Madeleine McCann-Maddie (possible remains) Stephen Birch (video) YouTube

Published on 6 Jul 2012 by Stephen Birch

Madeleine McCann: Remains possibly found June 2012

South-African, Stephen Birch conducted a private independent investigation, and believes that on the 23 June 2012 he located the remains of Madeleine McCann, 174 meters from where she went missing, in Praia da Luz Portugal (Algarve).



By Nigel Moore

On screen text disclaimer:

Disclaimer: The manufacturer's of this video, as well as Stephen Birch, do not accuse Robert Murat nor his family of abducting and burying Madeleine McCann in their property known as Casa Lilliana (Praia da Luz, Portugal).

More over, it is the opinion of Stephen Birch, that neither Robert Murat, nor his family was involved in the abduction and buriel of Madeleine McCann.................

The sole objective of this investigation is to locate Madeleine McCann. Once this occurrs, the investigation can be narrowed and the chance of apprehending the suspects responsible for this terrible deed, will be greater.

Stephen Birch [to camera]:

My name is Stephen Birch.

I've conducted my own independent investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann who disappeared from Praia da Luz on the 3rd of May, 2007. I travelled to Praia da Luz with my team and from the 16th of June to the 28th of June conducted surveillance of the property known as Casa Liana [SIC] and owned by Jenny Murat.

Portuguese and British police initially searched the property known as Casa Liana [SIC] but were unsuccessful in finding the infant's remains.

[Video footage of Birch scanning the ground, in the dark]

Entering the property and using a ground-penetrating MALÅ machine I established that the infant was buried approximately 500mm below the surface of the newly-constructed driveway and next to a row of uneven trees.

[Scan appears on computer screen]

This is the most significant scan taken below the Murat driveway. The top left-hand corner of the scan indicates that it was taken at nine minutes past five and six seconds. The horizontal scale indicates the movement of the machine across the ground in metres. Whereas the vertical scale shows the depth at which the objects are located beneath the ground. Clearly evident in this scan are three parabola; 1, 2 and 3 which indicate that a cavity exists below the driveway and an object is located within that cavity. You will note that the horizontal lines are broken up and are not parallel with each other. The entire picture indicates that the ground below surface level was disturbed using a spade. This scan is overwhelming proof that an object lays buried below the Murat driveway and necessitates that the Portuguese Police excavate the driveway immediately.

[Stephen Birch to camera]

Due to the fact that I trespassed on private property and was unable to dig through the driveway having a hard sub-base, I had no option but to release this footage on my return to Cape Town, South Africa. I'm asking the Portuguese Police to immediately obtain a search warrant, excavate the rear driveway and exhume the infant's remains.

Media reports/coverage

"Body of Maddie in Murat's backyard", 05 July 2012
Correio da Manhã, front page: 

Correio da Manhã: Front page, 05 July 2012


South African researcher guarantees to CM that remains are 60cm underground

British police interested in the new leads

PJ analyses and awaits the reopening of the process


"Body of Maddie in Murat's backyard" Correio da Manhã

Maddie was 3 when she disappeared
Maddie was 3 when she disappeared

A South African researcher tells CM what he discovered when he sought to find out what happened to Maddie. Explosive revelations, to be read in CM

By: João Tavares / Joana Domingos Sá / Ana Palma
5 July 2012

After an exhaustive study of the terrain in Praia da Luz, Lagos, and the changes that have taken place over the last five years, using images from Google which he had acquired, the businessman Stephen Birch was led, about two weeks ago, to the residence of the Englishman Robert Murat. The South African, passionate about the mystery of the disappearance of Maddie, and the involvement of her parents or not, decided to mount a surveillance operation there, nearby to the Ocean Club, where the British girl was taken on May 3, 2007. And whenever the Englishman left the house, at daybreak, he invaded the property with a geo-radar machine. He has already informed the Judicial police (PJ) that he thinks he has discovered the body of Madeleine there.

"I am fully convinced that Maddie is buried there" - about 60 centimetres below the ground, "in the area of a cement passageway that was built there after the disappearance of the child" and after the searches of the terrain that were made by the PJ, "in the northeastern corner of the house, behind a line of trees," the businessman said yesterday to CM.

The conviction of Birch, 47 years old, successful in his real estate firm and who has devoted the last year to investigating this case, is based on signals detected by the geo-radar - movements and changes in the subsoil. The detected signals were analyzed by a geologist - who confirmed the likely presence of a human or an animal buried there.

Birch contacted the Polícia Judiciária and Scotland Yard, who have expressed interest in these leads and they have already discussed it together. The British police, moreover, asked the South African for any "more images taken."

The businessman says his only goal is to find the body - without worrying about who deposited it there, although he believes that "Murat and his family are not involved," without commenting on the McCanns - and that's what led him, from 16-28 June, to the Algarve. With two assistants, he watched Murat. When he left the house, he advanced with the geo-radar.


Stephen Birch is defined as a person who is a perfectionist, who does not give up, even when everything is complicated. "I learned this from my father," he said to CM, explaining the fact of wanting to bring the investigation to an end. "I think the child died accidentally and was buried the same evening as was advocated by Gonçalo Amaral," said the manager, explaining, however, that he is motivated by the discovery of the body and not by the contours of the disappearance. "I am convinced that the body is buried there (...), it is essential that the police watch this place, because someone can go there at night to remove the body," advanced Stephen Birch.

After an exhaustive study of the whole Maddie McCann process, the Cape Town manager believes that the case does not involve just one person. "The man who buried Maddie there had help from another person, who was familiar with the house, who knew that the dogs were restrained." Still, Birch is convinced that neither Murat nor his family members are involved in the disappearance. "It was the only house there unprotected, that anyone could access," he explained.


Two days after returning home, to Cape Town, South Africa, Stephen Birch wrote to Scotland Yard and the Polícia Judiciária to give an account of his discoveries - which he did not do before, because in Portugal, he had incurred the crime of housebreaking. He could not have gone into the home of Murat, without his authorization, but believes that the ends justify the means. And he got a response from the elite British police force - asking him for "more images and data" collected by his geo-radar.

Regarding the Judiciária, official sources confirmed to CM yesterday the information concerning the research company.

Know the South African who claims to have found Maddie's mortal remains, 05 July 2012
Know the South African who claims to have found Maddie's mortal remains Expresso

Stephen Birch is the South African businessman who claims to have discovered the mortal remains of Maddie. See the exclusive interview given to Expresso, at Lisbon airport, when he was travelling back to South Africa last week.

by Miguel Martins and André de Atayde
16:45 Thursday, 5 July 2012
With thanks to
Ines for translation

Stephen Birch is 47 years old and is the personality of the day. This South African businessman, claims to have discovered the mortal remains of Maddie, in a property situated a few metres from the Ocean Club resort, from where the girl disappeared on 3rd May 2007.

Stephen based his theory upon what he claims to have been more than one year and 3 months of investigation. The investigation was concluded during the last 15 days, a time at which he went to the Algrave to collect what he considers to be the conclusion of his search.

He inspected with two other South Africans, and in violation of the law, they entered a private property, and carried out a prospection of the area where he judged Maddie's body to be.

Expresso confirmed, with the help of a geologist, that the machine used to make the scan of the terrain is of the most advanced technology that exists for these purposes nowadays. The paper also confirmed with the same specialist that the result of this prospection reveals that something is buried at the scene, although it is not possible to indentify what it is, which means that it could be anything and not necessarily the mortal remains of Madeleine McCann.

See the video and know about Stephen Birch, in an exclusive interview with Expresso, given in Lisbon airport, when he returned to South Africa on 28th June.

The Portuguese police are analysing the data, as they have analysed all data received during five years.

Meanwhile, Scotland Yard has requested more information from Stephen Birch, in order to investigate the South African's theory. Whether Maddie is alive and being held or dead and buried, what is clear is that the case continues to arouse the interest of people from all over the world. As happened in the case of Stephen Birch, the investigation surrounding this has already had a cost of thousands of Euros.



By Nigel Moore

Stephen Birch: Madeleine died on the 3rd of May, 2007 and on that same evening Madeleine went into the ground.

[Portuguese voice over]

Stephen Birch: I became interested in the case about a year ago. Errm... and, errr... started reading about the case and realised that a tremendous effort had been put in by the Portuguese Police and the British Police in trying to solve the case. And, errr... it was then that, errr... I decided that I wanted to see if I could help. And errm... I began reading, errr... all the doc... available documentation about the case, about approximately, about 12,000 pages and it took me about a year, errr... at great financial and emotional cost to myself.

Initially my team was, errr... four people but, errr... when I came to Praia da Luz I had to bring IT people with me, errr... who were specialised, who assisted me with regard to, errm... the technical aspect of undertaking this investigation and also setting up all the machinery required to, errr... be able to do what we did. We brought very sophisitcated machinery in. We brought a MALÅ ground-penetrating radar machine in. Errm... and basically the, errm... the machine, errr.... locates cavities in the ground, errm... where ground has been disturbed, errr... and the machine can then show you, errr..., subsurface condtions of the ground, errr... and it was through the use of this machine that we believe that, errr... we've located the remains of Madeleine.

You know, without the technology, errr... one only has a hypothesis. One of the things that I did do was I undertook a significant amount of mapping of the area to determine the routes and distances and I overlaid those maps, errr... in terms of activities and various things that occurred in that area, errr... and that it... it, errm... it certainly narrowed down the options as to where Madeleine could be buried. But at the end of the day, it was technology that, errm... confirmed my hypothesis and my suspicions.

Our investigation has shown that Madeleine's remains are buried beneath a rear second driveway, errr... of the property known as Casa Liana [SIC] in Praia da Luz. Well Casa Liana [SIC] is a.. is a large property. It's a large villa and it initially... well, it has a very large driveway on the... on the... on the northern side of the property. But this area where Madeleine is actually buried, errr... a new driveway, a secondary less important driveway was constructed over her. I... I personally don't believe that that driveway serves any purpose. It's a small, little driveway, errr... you can hardly turn a vehicle on it and it's covered in errr... pebble stone. And, errm... so, I believe that this second driveway on the property was constructed over her. The property is approximately 174 metres away from where Madeleine went missing and, errr... I certainly believe that, errm... Madeleine's remains lie buried beneath that driveway.

The scans from the machine, errr... presented three hyperbola on, errr... on the scans and they clearly show that something is buried, errr... approximately between four hundred and six hundred and fifty millimetres below ground level. Errm... what happens when a body decomposes is that it shrinks in size, leaving a cavity, errr... which was the original area where the body was. And it's that cavity that... that we are looking for when we use that type of equipment.

Errr... without going into too much detail, my hypothesis is based... and I agree with Mr. Amaral, who put a tremendous effort into this case, that Madeleine's body went, errr... went into the ground that same evening. In other words I don't believe that Madeleine's body was transported in a motor vehicle twenty three days later. Madeleine died on the 3rd of May, 2007 and on that same evening Madeleine went into the ground.

The investigation was made very difficult by various factors. The first factor was that the bulk of the witnesses actually left the crime scene and went back to their respective countries, being England. It makes an investigation very difficult when one has to conduct an investigation and your witnesses evaporate into thin air and go home to their countries. That's the first problem. The second problem was language. Language, errr... the Port... the Portuguese investigators having to interview, errm... English-speaking, errr... witnesses and then also having to rely on British investigators to conduct questions on their behalf made it very difficult for them because in an investigation, errr... an investigator normally would be able to change his, errr... questions at a spur of the moment. When one is undertaking questions over long distance it makes it very, very difficult. And then the third, errr... factor that made it very, very difficult for this investigation was the tremendous international response that occurred world-wide and all the various sightings that occurred. Errr... I believe that this had a... had a, errr... errr... a negative effect on the investigation. Whereas the investigation should have been narrowed down to the Praia da Luz area it spread out and became an international investigation putting pressure on the availability of, errm... resources for the police.

The equipment that I brought, the MALÅ ground-penetrating radar machine, is probably one of the best machines in the world. Errm... I'm... I cannot say whether the Portuguese Police have equipment of that standard or better, or whether this was just a case of them just having missed, errm... errr... a body which is... which is quite easy under the circumstances. Errm... Madeleine was only 90cm tall, weighed 18.5 kilograms and if fold in half she would only be 45 centimetres which is, errr... quite easy to miss, errr... something of that size in a large property.

If tbey decide not to, errr... errr... undertake the, errr... excavation they could, errr... take legal action against me for tre... for illegally trespassing on the property, not once but four times. So I've decided to fly back to South Africa, release the information worldwide on the Internet and, errm... and, errr... then, errr... hope and... and plead that the Portuguese Police will immediately obtain the necessary, errr... warrant, enter the property, excavate the site and, errr... exhume the, errr... the remains. If they are successful, errr... I will have no problem in, errr... returning back to Portugal to assist them further with their investigation.

I've appointed two major legal firms to represent me. Errm... the first is DLA Piper in London. Errm... my, errr... attorney there is Eben Black. And then in South Africa I've appointed DLA Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr, errr... both firms are... and I'm represented there by, errr... Tayob Kamdar. Both firms are very large international legal firms and they will both be acting and, errr... representing me in this matter.

I've been working more than a year on this case. I'm... I'm exhausted. I'm tired. it has cost me a lot of money. Errm... and I'd like to see closure on this case for all parties concerned. Errm... and, errr... yeah, I think I'd like to see closure on behalf of everybody.

Maddie McCann Case: Robert Murat defends himself from the "craziness and stupidity", 05 July 2012
Maddie McCann Case: Robert Murat defends himself against the "craziness and stupidity" PT Jornal

Thursday, July 5, 2012 17:44
With thanks to
Ines for translation

Accused of having the body of Madeleine McCann buried at his residence, the British man Robert Murat lamented the "craziness and stupidity" of the searches made by Stephen Birch, who has said that he has found the body at the house in Praia da Luz,

The British man Robert Murat, owner of the land where the South-African businessman Stephen Birch, alleges to have found the body of Madeleine McCann, laments the attention given to such "craziness and stupidity."

Considered a suspect by the PJ during the investigation phase, Robert Murat defends himself from the accusation that he buried Maddie's body in his residence, in Praia da Luz. "This does not make any sense," said the Brit, rejecting any findings made by Stephen Birch, "he can take everything to the PJ, which is who should investigate, and give them all his information".

Exclusive interview with Robert Murat, 05 July 2012
Exclusive interview with Robert Murat Algarve Resident


'The whole thing is daft. I am so angry'

Robert Murat reacts to a press report claiming Madeleine McCann's body is buried in his backyard

Updated: 05-Jul-2012

Algarve resident Robert Murat says his lawyer is dealing with the matter. Photo: MARK RAWCLIFFE - ALGARVE RESIDENT

In an exclusive interview with the Algarve Resident today (July 5), Robert Murat says he is "very angry" that news is circulating that a South-African researcher claims Madeleine McCann's body is buried in the backyard of the house where his mother lives in Praia da Luz.

According to Correio da Manhã (CM) daily newspaper, Stephen Birch, who says he is "passionate" about the mystery surrounding Madeleine's disappearance, entered the property four times during the night, around two weeks ago, to search its backyard using georadar equipment.

The man claims the machine detected movement and alteration in the subsoil and collected images that he says he has passed on to the UK's Scotland Yard and the Portuguese Polícia Judiciária.

Birch told the Correio da Manhã that images collected detected that "an object" had been buried in the backyard "60 centimetres underground". The data was allegedly analysed by a specialist who confirmed the probable presence of something in that location.

The South-African researcher told the newspaper that he believed that Madeleine was buried there.

However, Robert Murat said: "Every single part of the house, inside and out, was checked in 2007 by more than 20 police officers, who found absolutely nothing. They used Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) equipment, which was brought by a Civil Protection team, to search the grounds of the property and the area surrounding Casa Liliana."

Former PJ inspector Gonçalo Amaral, who was involved in the Madeleine investigation in the beginning, told CM that the PJ's searches of the house had been "thorough".

Murat, who hasn't lived at the house "for years", said his mother Jenny, who is 76 years old, is feeling very uncomfortable in her own home. "Her privacy is being invaded again," he said. "She is distraught and I am very angry. My lawyers are dealing with this."

Referring to the photographs published by Correio da Manhã, which show Birch in Jenny Murat's garden, Robert said he didn't think there was any way the man could have entered the property as his mother has two large Serra da Estrela dogs that are kept outside as guard dogs.

Murat's lawyer, Francisco Pagarete, told the Algarve Resident: "We are unsure as to the veracity of those photographs."

When asked if his client would be suing Stephen Birch for unlawful entry to his mother's property or for his claims, the lawyer said: "We are currently analysing the news report."

Robert Murat concluded: "I don't expect anybody to be on my side, I just want the truth,"

A Civil Protection vehicle exiting Murat's property during police searches of the house in May 2007 Photo: MARK RAWCLIFFE - ALGARVE RESIDENT

Birch told CM that while in Praia da Luz, he monitored the property "24 hours a day", with the help of two "collaborators", and when the house was vacated he would enter and search the backyard with the georadar equipment.

The man says he does not want to "make accusations" as his sole objective is to find the location where the body was buried as it will be "easier to solve the case".

Despite his alleged findings at the property, Birch is quoted in CM as saying that he doesn't believe Murat or his relatives are involved in the disappearance of Madeleine. "Anyone could have had access to the property," he told the newspaper.

In the CM report, Gerry and Kate McCann's lawyer in Portugal, Rogério Alves, is said to be following the latest developments closely and admitted he may request the reopening of the case.

The police authorities have allegedly received the data collected by Stephen Birch.

The background:

Madeleine McCann disappeared from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz on May 3 2007, a few days before turning four.

Robert Murat became the first arguido, or official suspect, in the investigation of the Madeleine McCann case after a British journalist reported to the police that his behaviour during the initial stages of the search was suspicious. Murat, fluent in English and Portuguese, had offered his help as translator to the Portuguese authorities.

In 2008, Murat saw his status of arguido dropped by the Portuguese authorities.

Murat has always claimed to have had no involvement whatsoever in the British toddler's disappearance and that his life has been turned upside down by the case.

In November 2008, the former arguido was awarded undisclosed libel damages from British Sky Broadcasting Ltd following a video and article posted on the Sky News website. Prior to this, Robert Murat had received 600,000 pounds sterling following allegations in more than 100 articles in various publications in the UK.

Once again, the Algarve resident sees his name splashed across the national and international press and all of his hopes of some form of normalcy in his life have now been dashed again.

Police Probe Madeleine 'Grave' Theory, 05 July 2012
Police Probe Madeleine 'Grave' Theory Sky News

A self-styled investigator has sent radar scans to police that he says show a burial site in the resort where she disappeared.

Madeleine McCann disappeared five years ago

By Martin Brunt, Crime Correspondent
11:31pm UK, Thursday 05 July 2012

British detectives are examining an extraordinary claim that Madeleine McCann's body is buried near the holiday apartment from where she vanished.

A self-styled investigator has sent police ground radar scans he claims show a burial site.

Stephen Birch says he took the scans last week in Praia da Luz, the Portuguese holiday resort where Madeleine disappeared five years ago.

He passed them to Scotland Yard detectives who are carrying out an investigative review of the case.

They have asked him for more information to help them interpret the scan results and the "raw data" the machine collected.

He has also sent the material to Portuguese police who abandoned their search for Madeleine 15 months after she disappeared.

Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry McCann believe she is still alive

Mr Birch, a commercial property developer in South Africa, admits he is "obsessed" with the Madeleine mystery.

He claims to have spent £40,000 on buying the ground-penetrating scanner and being trained in its use.

He said: "All I want to do is solve the mystery and bring closure to Madeleine's family. I am convinced she lies where I have scanned.

"I've had the scans analysed and they show digging, a void and what could be human bones."

Scotland Yard said it would always consider any new potential evidence and pass it on to the Portuguese authorities.

Earlier this year the detective in charge of the review said he believed there was a chance Madeleine was still alive.

She was nearly four when she disappeared without trace from the apartment in May 2007.

Despite dozens of potential sightings around the world no credible evidence has emerged to indicate whether she is alive or dead.

Her parents Kate and Gerry McCann believe she is still alive and would not comment on Mr Birch's claims.

Elite of the British police back the new leads, 06 July 2012
Elite of the British police back the new leads Correio da Manhã

Maddie was 3 years old
Maddie was 3 years old

Maddie: Investigator says he has evidence that the PJ failed

British police have met to examine the evidence of the South African researcher, who says he knows where the body of Maddie is. The story can be read in CM.

By: Joana Domingos Sá
06 July 2012

Scotland Yard, the elite British police force which has 37 investigators working on leads that have arisen on the disappearance of Maddie, gathered yesterday afternoon to discuss the case, it has been confirmed to CM - including the data gathered by the South African Stephen Birch in Praia da Luz. The businessman, who undertook the research with a geo-radar in Robert Murat's backyard, believes "the body of Maddie is buried" there - on "a portion of land" that escaped the Judicial Police's search.

"I have photographic evidence, of the comparison between May 2007 [when Maddie disappeared, on the 3rd, and when the PJ raided Murat's house and backyard, on the 14th] and October this year, when the PJ inspectors failed in their searches of that portion of the land" - "in the area of the cement driveway that was built there after the disappearance of the child," said Stephen Birch, in one of the emails he sent to Scotland Yard and the PJ itself.

Birch, as CM revealed yesterday, invaded Murat's backyard four times during the morning, last June, and a geo-radar machine has detected the presence of a human or animal "about 60 centimetres below the soil". "I am fully convinced that it is Madeleine who is buried there," he said, asking the police to do a search of that particular location - and that, in any case, they should watch the ground for anyone making changes.

The PJ, if they decide to advance with some due diligence in this regard, will need to request the opening of the case, filed by prosecutors.

Birch, who has extensively studied the process, said: "The hole was dug in the back of the house from 21.00 to 21.20 [May 3]. The child was buried from 22.05 to 22.15. At 22.20, the McCanns were seen outside Murat's property," after that Kate, the mother of the child, raised the alarm of the disappearance. The businessman, passionate about the case for a year, does not accuse without evidence Kate and Gerry, but refers to the connection that exists between Maddie's father and a British businessman, who was in Praia da Luz on holiday.

For Birch, M.J.S. is "a suspicious figure" whose face is like the photo-fit made by the woman who says she saw a man pass with a child in his arms that night, towards the grounds of Murat.


In one of the emails sent to the PJ, Stephen Birch says that one of the suspects - MJS - is the same as the photo-fit made at the time. "Compare the photo of his passport with the picture. If it [the photo-fit] had a beard and moustache."

Jane, a friend of the McCanns, told Judiciary inspectors at the time that at about 21.15 on the day of May 3, 2007 she had seen a man cradling a child in pjamas. It was through her description that the portrait was done.


Robert Murat, who declared that the Maddie case had ruined his life after he was made a "scapegoat" because the police needed to produce results, was able to remake his life when he received 600,000 pounds (750,000 euros at the current exchange rate) compensation from the British press, who he had sued for libel. The payment resulted from an agreement, on July 17, 2008, between Murat and four British media groups, who also apologised in the High Court in London. And on July 21, the case was archived in Portugal, which his lawyer, Francisco Pagarete, said at the time was "the end of a long nightmare of more than 14 months, for him and his family."

Since then, Murat, 38, has worked on the redevelopment of Villa Luz, married a Portuguese-British woman and gone to the U.S. on honeymoon, and his current material comfort is known in the region.

Ex-chief inspector of the PJ wants to reopen Maddie's process, 06 July 2012
Ex-chief inspector of the PJ wants to reopen Maddie's process Correio da Manhã

Antonio Teixeira was chief inspector of the Homicide Section of the Judicial Police
Antonio Teixeira was chief inspector of the Homicide Section of the Judicial Police

António Teixeira reacts to the private investigation into Robert Murat's backyard

António Teixeira, a former chief inspector of the Homicide Section of the Judicial Police (PJ), argues that prosecutors should reopen the case of Madeleine McCann, the British girl who disappeared in Praia da Luz five years ago. In his view, excavations should be made in the backyard of Robert Murat, the British resident in the Algarve who came to be investigated as a suspect in the abduction of Maddie.

06 July 2012

The declaration of António Teixeira follows on from the private investigation revealed first hand by CM, in which South African businessman Stephen Birch entered Murat's property several times and used a geo-radar to look underground, reinforcing the belief that Maddie's body is buried there.

"To dispel all doubts, there is no better alternative than to carry out the excavations," said the former chief inspector of the Judicial Police.

PGR [Attorney General's Office] dismiss "speculation", 06 July 2012
PGR [Attorney General's Office] dismiss "speculation" Jornal de Notícias (paper edition, page 14)

Jornal de Notícias, July 6, 2012 (paper edition, page 14)

by João Paulo Costa and Marisa Rodrigues
06 July 2012
With thanks to Joana Morais for translation

The process of Madeleine McCann's disappearance will only be reopened "if there are new facts, credible and relevant and not mere hypotheses or speculation". That was the reaction of the Procuradoria-Geral da República [Attorney General's Office] that emerged, this Thursday, after the theory of a South African businessman became known, according to which the body of the child is buried in the garden of the house of the former arguido Robert Murat in Praia da Luz, Lagos.

What was reported as a "new lead" is not being understood by the authorities as sufficiently strong to advance with any kind of diligences [steps/work] on the ground. "That information is being regarded as all others that have arrived to the process," the national director of the Judiciary Police (PJ), Pedro do Carmo, said to JN.

To "Expresso" the real estate businessman guarantees to have found Maddie's body in the garden of the house where Murat lived at the time when the girl disappeared, on the 3 of May of 2007. Casa Liliana where currently only Robert's 80 year-old mother, Jenny, lives is just a few metres from the Ocean Club, the resort where the McCanns were staying on their holidays.

Between the 16th and the 28th of June, Stephen Birch, 47 years-old, states that he monitored the house and that during the night-time he invaded [illegally trespassed] the property in order to examine the terrain with a georadar that signals subsoil variations. Without further explanations, Birch is convinced that it is the girl's body.

Fernando Almeida, the expert in Geophysics and professor at the University of Aveiro that participated in the investigations done with georadar to Murat's house back in 2007, says that the signal that was detected may correspond to objects, debris, rock fragments, supply pipes, etc... and he explains that "this method always requires confirmation by excavation, otherwise the interpretations are only hypotheses".


"It does not compare to the work of the team that I joined"

Fernando Almeida

Fernando Almeida
Associate Professor, Department of Geosciences at the University of Aveiro. Specialized in Geophysics.

What was your involvement in the investigation to the Maddie Case?

In August 2007 I joined an international team, among which was the English investigator Mark Harrison, to perform georadar surveys in Murat's residence. The work was exhausting, lasted two days and involved over 20 people.

Could that work be done in the same way today?

At that moment only two or three months had gone by since the disappearance; the possible turning of the terrain and vegetation at that time allowed us to perform rigorous work that after all these years would no longer be that easy. It is a terrain constituted by limestone with terra rossa [reddish-brown soil] and for that reason it would be much more difficult due to the natural compaction of the soil. I admit that the work done now (by the South African) may have detected anomalies, possibly even some that we detected at the time. From what has emerged, it was a work done with many difficulties, not comparable, due to the elapsed time, with the work done by the team that I joined, especially regarding the degree of certainty in the interpretations.

What kind of methodology was employed?

It was a scientific research methodology based on the division of the space into sectors of the residence - indoors and outdoors - each sector was examined with various georadars at different depths, depending on the request of the criminal investigators. The geophysical anomalies identified as suspicious were interpreted by sector. Upon determination of the depth of the targets, they were subject to verification by excavation.


More Doubts

Gonçalo Amaral

Gonçalo Amaral, former PJ coordinator, recalls that the garden of Robert Murat's house was inspected using a ground-penetrating radar as well as sensors and that "nothing related with the disappearance was detected". Excavations were also made.

About Roman villa

Casa Liliana is just over 100 metres from the Ocean Club. The resort, surrounding houses and accesses were built upon the ruins of a Roman villa; to detect traces in the subsoil when infrastructure works are done is frequent.

'Madeleine McCann in Portugal grave' theory being examined by police, 06 July 2012
'Madeleine McCann in Portugal grave' theory being examined by police Metro

Police are probing a claim made by South African property developer Stephen Birch that Madeleine McCann is buried close to where she was last seen in 2007.

Madeleine McCann went missing from a Portuguese resort in 2007 (Picture: PA)

By Caroline Westbrook
6th July, 2012

Mr Birch has sent the authorities ground scans he took in Praia de Luz, Portugal - where the three-year-old was holidaying with her family before her disappearance - which he claims point to a possible burial site.

According to reports, Scotland Yard have asked him for further information to help them interpret the scan results.

Mr Birch, who has also sent the findings to Portuguese police, has admitted being 'obsessed' with the McCann case and said that he spent £40,000 on buying the scanner and learning how to use it.

'All I want to do is solve the mystery and bring closure to Maddy's family,' he told Sky News.

'I am convinced she lies where I scanned.

'I've had the scans analysed and they show digging, a void and what could be human bones.'

Madeleine was nearly four when she disappeared without trace from her family's holiday apartment in the Portuguese resort, as her parents Kate and Gerry McCann had dinner with friends at a nearby restaurant.

The McCanns, who have stated that they believe their daughter could still be alive, have refused to comment on Mr Birch's findings.

His claims come just days after a retired police detective also said there was a good chance the little girl could still be alive.

Ian Horrocks said that although he had not ruled out the possibility Madeleine had been kidnapped 'for a sinister purpose', he did not believe this to be the case.

'I do believe that when all the available information is examined logically and objectively, that Madeleine was taken by someone who wanted her as part of his or their family,' he said.

'The people responsible will not have a close extended family, as would it be feasible that no one would make the connection to Madeleine?'

Madeleine McCann: New clue is being investigated by Portuguese authorities, 06 July 2012
Madeleine McCann: New clue is being investigated by Portuguese authorities Portugal Daily View

South African investigator Stephen Birch, who has closely followed the Madeleine McCann case, believes to have found the girl's body. The police are now following up on his claim.

By Carolina Antunes
06 July 2012

The Portuguese police are investigating a new clue related to Maddie McCann's disappearance. Stephen Birch, a South African businessman, believes the girl's body is buried in Robert Murat's backyard, after having conducted a search with his ground-penetrating radar (GPR).

Stephen Birch has been fascinated by the Madeleine McCann case and the mystery surrounding it, and has taken upon himself to search for new clues. According to newspaper Correio da Manhã, he arrived in Portugal two weeks ago and began surveying the home of Robert Murat, who holds dual British and Portuguese citizenship and lives nextdoor to the Ocean Club, the holiday resort where the McCann's were staying when their daughter went missing. Murat had been named as a formal suspect early in the investigation in 2007, but was soon cleared after the police investigation began focusing on the McCanns themselves.

Every time Murat left the house, Birch used his GPR to search for the girl's body and claims to have found it after discovering an anomaly in the "northeastern corner of the house" about 60cm below surface, where cement pavement was added shortly after Maddie disappeared.

Despite the case being shelved for lack of evidence in 2008, two teams of investigators of the Portuguese and British police forces are currently shifting through the files and looking into possible new angles. According to several sources, the police are following up on the new clue despite having conducted searches and dug up Murat's property in the past.

Five years after the girl's mysterious disappearance in Praia da Luz, Algarve, Kate and Gerry McCann still believe their daughter is alive and hope she will one day return home.

SA man claims to have found Maddie's grave, 06 July 2012
SA man claims to have found Maddie's grave News 24

An artist's impression of how Madeleine McCann might look now, aged 9.
An artist's impression of how Madeleine McCann might look now, aged 9.

2012-07-06 08:23

Cape Town - British detectives are looking into an extraordinary claim by a South African man who believes he might have found the body of missing UK girl, Madeleine McCann.

Stephen Birch, a commercial property developer from South Africa, sent British police ground radar scans showing a burial site near the holiday apartment in Portugal where McCann vanished in 2007, Sky News reported on Friday.

Birch, a self-styled investigator, has admitted that he is "obsessed" with the mystery of McCann.

He claims to have spent £40 000 (about R500 000) on buying the scanner equipment and being trained to use it.  

"All I want to do is solve the mystery and bring closure to Madeleine's family. I am convinced she lies where I have scanned.

"I've had the scans analysed and they show digging, a void and what could be human bones," Sky News quoted him as saying.

British detectives are examining an extraordinary claim that Madeleine McCann's body is buried near the holiday apartment from where she vanished.

The little girl went missing from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz while her parents had dinner at a restaurant mere metres away.

Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, believe she is still alive and would not comment on Birch's claims.

Madeleine McCann's Grave Found, Claims South African Land Baron Stephen Birch, 06 July 2012
Madeleine McCann's Grave Found, Claims South African Land Baron Stephen Birch Huffington Post (US version)

David Lohr
By David Lohr
Posted: 07/06/2012 10:32 am Updated: 07/06/2012 10:36 am

A South African business man claims he has found the grave of Madeleine McCann.
A South African business man claims he has found the grave of Madeleine McCann.

A South African real estate developer claims to have found the gravesite of Madeleine McCann.

Self-styled investigator Stephen Birch says he used a ground penetrating radar device -- a tool that uses radar pulses to x-ray the subsurface -- to locate the body of the missing British girl.

McCann was 3 years old in May 2007, when she went on a trip to Portugal with her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann. The couple was dining with friends at a nearby restaurant when the little girl vanished from their holiday apartment in Praia da Luz. There have been no solid leads in the case since that time.

Birch is obsessed with McCann's disappearance and spent more than $30,000 of his own money on the equipment used to find McCann's suspected gravesite, according to Sky News.

"All I want to do is solve the mystery and bring closure to Madeleine's family," Birch said on Friday.

Birch said the location he scanned is not far from the apartment where Madeline disappeared.

"I've had the scans analyzed and they show digging, a void and what could be human bones," he said.

Birch told Sky News that he provided Scotland Yard detectives and Portuguese police with hard copies of the radar scans and the agencies are examining them.

Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, have yet to comment on Birch's claims.

Criminal profiler Pat Brown, author of Profile of the Disappearance of Madeleine McCann, said she expects little from Birch's independent investigation.

"In my opinion, nothing will come of this," Brown said.

According to Brown, Portuguese police have already searched the property in question and found no evidence of a grave.

"Birch ... claims to have ground radar scans showing a burial site on ex-suspect Robert Murat's property, which is just a long block away from the McCann's vacation home in Praia da Luz. He says the police have asked him for more information, which I believe to be merely a polite formality as Scotland Yard has steadfastly stated they believe, against all odds and evidence to date, that Madeleine McCann is likely alive [and] living with a family who wanted a child," Brown said.

Brown is also critical of the overall investigation into the little girl's disappearance -- an investigation that has reportedly cost authorities more than four million dollars.

"Scotland Yard detectives have spent a year pouring over thousands of meaningless tips while never bothering to re-interview the McCanns or their friends," Brown said. "The case would be best served by the McCanns requesting the case be reopened and returning with their friends to Portugal to allow the Portuguese detectives to finish the investigation properly [and] to do [a previously] requested reenactment, to eliminate themselves as having any involvement in the disappearance of their daughter."

Madeleine McCann: Stephen Birch 'Finds Grave' Of Missing Child, 06 July 2012
Madeleine McCann: Stephen Birch 'Finds Grave' Of Missing Child Huffington Post (UK version)

Sara C Nelson
By Sara C Nelson
Posted: 06/07/2012 10:54 BST Updated: 06/07/2012 11:04

Madeleine McCann

A South African property developer claims Madeleine McCann's body was buried near the site of her disappearance and that he has found her grave.

Stephen Birch says ground radar scans he made with specialist equipment have been passed to Scotland Yard, who are conducting an investigative review of the case.

He told Sky News: "All I want to do is solve the mystery and bring closure to Madeleine's family. I am convinced she lies where I have scanned.

"I've had the scans analysed and they show digging, a void and what could be human bones."

Madeleine was nearly four-years-old when she vanished in 2007 from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz as her parents dined with friends at a tapas bar nearby.

Her parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, continue their search, claiming: "There is absolutely nothing to suggest that Madeleine has been harmed."

They have not commented on Mr Birch's claims.

A spokesman for Scotland Yard told Huffington Post UK he was "not prepared to discuss specific lines of inquiry."

South African claims he found remains of Madeleine McCann, 06 July 2012
South African claims he found remains of Madeleine McCann Cape Talk Radio

06 July 2012 4:40 PM

Cape Town property developer, Stephen Birch, has been independently investigating the case of missing Madeleine McCann for the past 15 months, finishing on the 13th June. He then travelled to London to meet his attorney and hire a ground penetrating imaging device. He took this device with him to Lisbon. Once in Portugal he claims he illegally entered the property at least 5 times at night to use the radar in search for the remains. He says his scans clear show a cavity and an object in the cavity. He says that the cavity is 400-600mm under the driveway on the property. He claims that the location of the cavity is consistent with previous investigations findings. When asked why he has reportedly spent more than R500000 and 15months to produce the alleged evidence contained in a 12000 page report, he said it was an emotional journey that kept developing as he was involved. He has since been contacted by Scotland Yard who have discussed his findings, however the Portuguese authorities have closed the case and he said they are caught up in judicial issues. He has not ever been in contact with the family and wants to keep it that way as he is operating independently. He ended by saying that he needed to get closure on that particular property.
Guest: Stephen Birch
Position: Property Developer



By Nigel Moore

John Maytham: Thanks Sara. A very big story in the United Kingdom at the moment where the saga of Madeleine McCann remains an interest, a matter of great, great public interest. And they are reporting that a South African property developer, Stephen Birch, claims he has found the remains of Madeleine McCann. Stephen is on the line to us now from Cape Town. Good Afternoon.

Stephen Birch: Hi, John. Thanks for having me on your show.

John Maytham: So what, what exactly are you claiming, Stephen?

Stephen Birch: Well, errm... we've, errr... I've... I've undertaken a fifteen month, you know, investigation into the Madeleine McCann case. And, errr... we finished off the investigation on the 13th of June this year, errr... when I flew to London to, errr... make arrangements, with my attorney, errm... to represent me in London and also to hire a... a ground-penetrating radar machine. Errr... I then flew from, errm... London to Lisbon and met my team that were... that left from, errm... Cape Town. I, errm... I employed a team about a month and a half before I left. An IT team and, errm... a, errm... a team of people to help me with regard to the camera work and surveillance. And, errr... I then met with them in Lisbon and we drove down to Praia da Luz where I pre-booked accommodation, errr... in the Ocean Club. Basically, errr... we rented an apartment known as Fugi Palms 10 which is... which overlooks the property which I'm sure some of your listeners might remember belonged to, errm... a gentleman by the name of Robert Murat, or actually it belongs to his mother, Jenny Murat.

John Maytham: Stephen, there's a... there's a little more detail than we need in what you are telling me at the moment. OK?

Stephen Birch: Right.

John Maytham: So just, I mean could we... could we cut to the chase?

Stephen Birch: Yes, we can. What we... what I did was, I entered the property four times, errr... illegally in the early hours of the morning between five and six o'clock in the morning. And using the ground-penetrating radar machine, errm... found, errm... potentially, errr... a... a cavity beneath a driveway where I suspected that Madeleine could be buried. And, errr... the scans clearly show that the ground below the driveway contains an object. At this present moment we're not sure, errr... it needs to be confirmed and we are waiting for the Portuguese Police to react to our findings. But it shows a cavity and an object in the cavity and, errm... and it shows disturbance of... of the ground conditions beneath the driveway, approximately between 450 and 600 mm below the ground.

John Maytham: Driveways are things that are constructed. I mean cavities under driveways, is that unusual? What... what makes you believe that this cavity and the object which your ground-penetrating radar seems to have picked up is the remains of Madeleine McCann?

Stephen Birch: Well, you know, it's a fifteen month investigation. Its not only the cavity. There's numerous factors which we... which if we are correct in our findings, we'll release that. Errm... first of all the location of where we suspect the... the cavity to be is, errr... in line our previous investigation. Secondly, errm... the findings were sent to Scotland Yard. We're still waiting for a result from them but were sent to South African experts who analysed the scans and, errr... came back and stated that there's no doubt in their minds that there's definitely something there and given the nature of the investigation that driveway needs to be lifted.

John Maytham: Stephen, a South African property developer doing a fifteen month investigation into the disappearance of a young British girl. Why? And where does a property developer get the kinds of skills and experience and expertise to successfully prosecute an investigation like this when seasoned criminal investigators haven't managed to do it?

Stephen Birch: It's, errr... an easy question to ask. Not an easy question to answer. I mean there... I have various reasons as to why I undertook the investigation and those reasons changed as I progressed through the investigation. You need to understand that it... it became an emotional process. One gets intertwined in the investigation. It's a twelve thousand page investigation that I undertook, errm... I... I am a property developer. I have significant, errm... experience in soil conditions and, errm... I think my attention to detail and the way that I approached it on a very pragmatic basis and analysed every single detail and was able to obtain information that possibly the... the Portuguese Police had overlooked.

John Maytham: Yeah, and I mean the British police looked as well and Madeleine McCann's parents hired private investigators who also looked and you'll understand why I, and a lot of other people, are going to be deeply sceptical that a South African property developer has succeeded where Portuguese and British professionals have not.

Stephen Birch: No doubt. I am sure that there is a tremendous amount of scepticism out there. Unfortunately, I need to remain focused at what I'm doing and I can't be sidetracked. I'll continue doing what I do, stay focused - which I have been for the last thirteen months - and get the Portuguese Police to lift that driveway and confirm my... my investigation that she is buried there.

John Maytham: Have you had any kind of response from either Scotland Yard or the Portuguese Police?

Stephen Birch: Well the, errm... Scotland Yard has written back to me on Monday stating that, errm... my findings have been the, errm... the centre of their discussions for the whole of Monday, all the meetings. The Portuguese Police at the moment are remaining mum. You do know that the case has been closed for fifteen months after Madeleine went missing. So there seems to be a bit of a judicial issue there in being able to get them to react when the case has been closed. And it's problematic, the Portuguese police are putting... Portuguese press and the Spanish press are putting their... the Portuguese police under tremendous pressure to react and I'm sure that by the weekend the British, errm... tabloids and major...

John Maytham: Our reporter in the UK says this is going to be very, very big news in the UK over the weekend. The McCanns; have you had formal contact with them?

Stephen Birch: No, you know, I've made it very clear that I want no contact with the McCanns or anybody that's associated with Madeleine. I want it to be a completely independent investigation and it must be understood that, errm... by doing that, errm... my focus has been on to find the infant's remains and once we find the infant's remains the investigation will be narrowed completely down and it should have been narrowed in the first place. It should have remained in Praia da Luz but unfortunately it went international.

John Maytham: Yes I mean if... I don't know who decided to go public with this but it is now public and so the McCanns will know about it and they'll have reporters besieging them trying to get comment on this and if that driveway is dug up and there is a... I don't know, a dead dog in there or the driveways dug up and there's nothing, then you have to answer to some fairly serious mental distress that you might have caused the McCanns.

Stephen Birch: Errm... I'm sure you're right but at the end of the day my... my feeling on the whole thing is that we need to get closure on that particular property. Errm... I have certain evidence in my possession that says that the property was not properly searched and, errm... you know, and, errm... in my opinion if I am wrong I'd like to eliminate that property completely out of the equation. But, I mean, having spent, errr... two weeks in Praia da Luz and having looked at all the various other properties, there's only one place that Madeleine McCann can be buried and that is in that property.

John Maytham: That's South African, Cape Town property developer, Stephen Birch who believes that he has found the final resting place of Madeleine McCann.

Madeleine McCann grave yards from her hols flat, 07 July 2012
Madeleine McCann grave yards from her hols flat Daily Star

ABOVE: Kate and Gerry believe their daughter is still alive

By Jerry Lawton
7th July 2012

POLICE searching for Madeleine McCann are probing a bizarre claim her body is buried near the apartment where she vanished.

Private investigator Stephen Birch has given officers ground radar scans that he alleges show a burial site.

The South African, who is reportedly obsessed with the mystery, is now collating more material at Scotland Yard's request.

Mr Birch said he took the scans last week in a street near the Ocean Club complex in Praia da Luz, Portugal, where Madeleine disappeared more than five years ago, days before her fourth birthday.

The youngster's parents Kate and Gerry McCann yesterday refused to comment on the latest claims about their daughter.

The doctors, both 44, believe she is still alive and have pledged never to give up the global search until she is found.

Mr Birch, also a commercial property developer in South Africa, said he had spent £40,000 buying the ground-penetrating scanner and being trained in its use.

He said: "All I want to do is solve the mystery and bring closure to Madeleine's family. I am convinced she lies where I have scanned. I've had the scans analysed and they show digging, a void and what could be human bones."

Scotland Yard said it would always consider any new potential evidence and pass it on to the Portuguese authorities.

A source close to the McCanns, of Rothley, Leics, said: "It appears this so-called investigator used scanning equipment during a visit to the resort in June.

"Kate and Gerry do not believe there is anything credible in what he is saying. It seems to be complete lies. If there was any truth in it, police would be out there digging up the area looking for possible remains."

Robert Murat likely to sue South African businessman, 07 July 2012
Robert Murat likely to sue South African businessman Diário de Notícias (paper edition)

By José Manuel Oliveira
07 July 2012
With thanks to Joana Morais for translation

Robert Murat may sue the South African businessman Stephen Birch for trespassing on private property after the latter publicly admitted that he had entered in the garden of Murat's house in Praia da Luz, near Lagos, whenever Robert went out, in order to inspect the terrain with a georadar through which Birch claims to have located the place where the cadaver of Madeleine McCann, who disappeared in May 2007, is hidden.

"We are looking at what was said, analysing the statements that were made and then I will have a meeting with my client so we can make a decision. Suing is a situation to consider, it remains an open hypothesis," said Francisco Pagarete, Robert Murat's lawyer to DN.

The Anglo-Portuguese citizen, and former real estate agent ended up being constituted as arguido with Declaration of Identity and Residence [Termo de Identidade e Residência]1, just like Maddie's parents were, on suspicion of involvement in the disappearance of the British child, following the investigations of the Judiciary Police, which included at the time excavations in parts of Murat's garden, where nothing was found.

Meanwhile, other lawyers guaranteed to DN that if the lawsuit now being considered does take place, "at most, in the worst case scenario" the South African "could be punished with the obligation of having to pay a fine of four hundred euro for the invasion of a private property".

"This is a complicated process, in which the individual, who now states that he has entered the garden to try to find out where the supposed body of Maddie is, could, later on, deny that version. And to be able to punish that man, Murat would have to prove what he did. On the other hand, while living in South Africa he would only have to come to Portugal to present himself in a court2 if he wished to do so," argued one of the lawyers heard by DN, adding that there are several examples similar to this case.


Legal Reference
1. Termo de Identidade e Residência (TIR) - The arguido (formal suspect) is subject to a regular presence before the authorities to confirm with the relevant documents their identity as well as their present residence at that time.

2. The Portuguese Republic and the Republic of South Africa do not have a bilateral extradition agreement, though an agreement of mutual police cooperation exists since 2002.

Maddie's family want excavations, 07 July 2012
Maddie's family want excavations Correio da Manhã

Gerry and Kate McCann, Madeleine's parents, who disappeared in May 2007 in the village of Praia da Luz
Gerry and Kate McCann, Madeleine's parents, who disappeared in May 2007 in Praia da Luz

Algarve: Parents challenge police to investigate the lead

Parents of child missing in the Algarve in favour of digging in the backyard of Murat. The whole story in CM

by Ana Luísa Nascimento
7 July 2012
With thanks to Joana Morais for translation

The McCann family lawyer argues that the authorities should investigate the lead provided by a South African businessman that guarantees that Maddie, who disappeared in 2007, is buried in the garden of Briton Robert Murat, in the Algarve.

"The family has no technical means to judge if this is true, they are not investigators. What the family expects is for the police to take a position on this matter, to check the site," said Rogério Alves to CM, following the private investigation by Stephen Birch, who has already informed the Judiciary Police of the steps taken in Murat's garden with a georadar machine, through which he claims to have detected changes in the subsoil.

Rogério Alves clarifies that the family does not know the South African businessman who made claims that a cadaver is buried in that place, 60 centimetres bellow ground, and adds: "If a person makes a statement as peremptory as that, then the family expects the police to check and confirm or deny that claim. If they don't do it, they should explain why."

"To dissipate doubts there is no alternative"

António Teixeira, former chief inspector of the Judiciary Police Homicide Unit, argues that the Attorney General's Office should reopen the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. In his view, excavations in Robert Murat's garden should be made, following the private investigation of the South African businessman Stephen Birch. "To dissipate all doubts, there is no better alternative than to carry out the excavation," said the former chief inspector of the Judiciary Police.

I've found Maddie - Cape man, 07 July 2012
I've found Maddie - Cape man IOL

Kate McCann, whose daughter Madeleine went missing during a family holiday in Portugal in 2007.

July 7 2012 at 12:44pm

A Cape Town businessman has made international headlines with claims that he may have found the remains of British toddler Madeleine McCann five years after she disappeared while on holiday with her family in Portugal.

The businessman, Stephen Birch, owner of commercial property developer the Birch Organisation, says he used a radar scanner and found what could be human bones near the Praia da Luiz holiday resort where the family had been staying in May 2007.

And Birch strongly suspects they belong to Madeleine, whose mysterious disappearance made headlines across the globe.

Since her disappearance, several people have claimed to have spotted her, with reports coming from as far as India. However, despite an ongoing, high-profile search campaign spearheaded by Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, the little girl remains missing.

But Birch believes he may have solved the mystery and has handed over his findings to London's New Scotland Yard and the Portuguese police to investigate further.

He told Weekend Argus yesterday that the radar scans revealed a cavity, about 400 to 600mm below ground, which contains what appears to be human remains on private property about 150m away from the holiday resort where the McCanns were staying.

Stephen Birch claims to have found the remains of Madeleine McCann. Picture: Neil Baynes

"I've had scans analysed by SA experts and they agree that they (the scans) clearly show a void, which has soil patterns around it, indicating human intervention and what could be human bones. But we won't know anything for sure until we go down there."

Birch says he is certain the scans are accurate because he tested the device at a graveyard in Cape Town before using it near the Praia da Luiz holiday resort.

Asked what motivated him to go to such extremes so long after the toddler's disappearance, Birch said he was "obsessed" with the case.

"Initially when the case started I was uninterested, but the prospect of solving a mystery that not even two of the world's greatest law enforcement agencies could solve, was too exciting for me to ignore. Eventually, after months of reading through more than 12 000 pages of documents and countless interviews, I became increasingly emotionally involved to the point of obsession and was driven to help solve the case," said Birch.

So obsessed was the property developer, that he forked out more than R500 000 in 15 months to investigate Madeleine's disappearance.

After more than a year of investigation, Birch suspected Madeleine was not alive and that her body could be buried near the resort.

He decided to use the radar device, called the Mala ground penetrating system, to look for traces of the missing girl and, after testing it, he left for Portugal in June.

"I was trained for two months in the use of the device and knew its capabilities. During the test I was able to identify 12 bodies without marked graves between 1.5 and 2m below the surface," Birch said.

In Portugal, he was assisted by three men, who specialise in IT and surveillance. They identified two sites where they suspected the body could be buried and investigated both.

After monitoring one of the sites for several days, Birch and his team decided that a secluded paved area, about 154m from where Madeleine disappeared, was a likely location for the grave.

Birch admitted to Weekend Argus that his visits to the property were illegal.

"I visited the site, illegally, over the next four days in the early mornings for at least four 20-minute scanning sessions. We eventually found what we believe could be the grave and took several more scans."

"I have not heard anything from the authorities since I submitted the scans and that is in part why I have approached the media. I want to put pressure on British authorities. They, along with the media, have been holding back, and I believe their involvement in the case is extremely crucial.

"I know if we can find a body that will narrow the search to find whoever is responsible for this. I have personally become involved in this case and believe justice must be done for Madeleine," said Birch.

The Huffington Post has reported that British detectives are examining Birch's claim.

New Scotland Yard detectives have also asked him for more information to help them interpret the scan results.

He has sent the material to the Portuguese police, who abandoned their search 15 months after Madeleine disappeared.

Birch said he was aware the owner of the property wanted to sue him for his actions. The owner is the mother of a former suspect in Madeleine's disappearance who was later cleared.

Birch said he also discussed the scans with SA forensic authorities. He said he had not spoken to Madeleine's parents in order to "remain professional". The parents have declined to comment and are confident that their daughter is still alive.

Veteran Metropolitan detective Ian Horrocks told British newspaper, The Sun, there was a possibility she was still alive.

"He should allow excavations at the site", 08 July 2012
"He should allow excavations at the site" Correio da Manhã

Stephen Birch, South African businessman, says Maddie (pictured) is buried in the backyard of Murat and challenges the Briton to do an excavation
Stephen Birch, South African businessman, says Maddie (pictured) is buried in the backyard of Murat

Maddie: South African businessman launches challenge to Robert Murat

South African businessman challenges Robert Murat.

by João Mira Godinho
8 July 2012
With thanks to Joana Morais for translation

Stephen Birch, the South African that guarantees to have found indicia that Madeleine McCann is buried in Robert Murat's garden, challenges the Briton: "If he has nothing to fear, he should allow the place to be excavated".

In statements made to Correio da Manhã, Birch assures that, after ​​the hole is made in the terrain, "everything would be restored".

"That would clear all doubts," argues the South African, that by means of a georadar machine detected variations in the subsoil in an area of Murat's garden, in Praia da Luz. The place is, according to Birch, in "the area of a cement pavement, that was added after the child's disappearance" in May 2007.

The challenge made by the South African businessman comes after the McCann family's lawyer defended that the authorities should investigate the leads provided by Birch. "The family does not investigate. What the family expects is for the police to take a position on this matter, to verify the site," said the lawyer Rogério Alves, who defends Kate and Gerry McCann, to CM.

Meanwhile, to substantiate his theory, Stepehn Birch uploaded a video where he appears analysing, with the georadar, the terrain of Murat's villa in Praia da Luz. The businessman shows, in the divulged footage, the results obtained by his private investigation and explains what led him to conclude that Maddie is buried in that garden. In the video he shows an image obtained with the georadar at the terrain "where it is clear that there is a cavity, bellow the driveway, and in that cavity is an object". The "image shows that the soil was disturbed with a spade".

Maddie hunter might be charged, 09 July 2012
Maddie hunter might be charged Sunday Times Live (S Africa)

Madeleine McCann at age three
Madeleine McCann at age three

09 July, 2012 00:05

A Cape Town estate developer who claims to have located the remains of British toddler Madeleine McCann might face criminal charges for trespassing.

Stephen Birch claims that through extensive research he was able to trace the three-year-old's burial site to a villa in Praia da Luz, Portugal, the town in which her parents reported her missing in May 2007.

After using an underground scanner, Birch said he believed the body lay beneath the concrete driveway of the home of one of the main suspects in the case.

To get the evidence he hoped would convince the authorities he staked out the house for days and climbed over the fence in the early hours of the morning.

"It took four days using time-lapse cameras to determine the movement of the people and secondly to determine the pattern of where the dogs went. On some evenings the big dogs were in the front and small dogs were in the house. We had to get our timing right. It was a covert operation," said Birch.

After filming the find and posting the video on internet website YouTube, Birch said he had been told that the suspect was consulting lawyers about the validity of the clip and whether he could prefer criminal charges.

"I can understand that [the suspect] is very upset. I'm hoping that he's a level-headed man and that he sees that my intentions were honourable."

He said the suspect would not allow police to enter his mother's property to excavate the driveway to prove his suspicions wrong.

Birch said an extensive 15 months of research led him to the suspect's back yard in June.

"It became a job; when I start something, whatever I do, I give it 100%."

Birch said his personal quest to investigate the McCann child's disappearance had cost him about R500000.

He admits he was not immediately interested in the case after hearing about it from a tenant of one of his buildings.

"My core business is property but I went on to Google and happened to see a video of Madeleine McCann.

"I saw the video clip of her mothering and looking after her two siblings. It was a heart-wrenching video," said Birch.

McCann went missing from a holiday flat in 2007 while on holiday with her two-year-old twin siblings and parents Kate and Gerry. The children were unsupervised while their parents went out for dinner at a nearby restaurant.

Birch said that he had never spoken to the McCanns.

Kate McCann's thoughts on Stephen Birch, 10 July 2012
Kate McCann's thoughts on Stephen Birch YouTube

10 Jul 2012

Kate McCann talks to Philip Schofield on ITV 'This Morning', July 10 2012.



By Nigel Moore

Philip Schofield: ...and there was the evidence from Stephen Birch who spent £40,000 on a scanner; took scans of the Praia da Luz area and said that he found a void underneath there. Are you aware of all of that?

Kate McCann: Yeah, I mean, the... you know, the Met let us know about it in advance of it hitting the newspaper. I guess, you know, there was no credibility to it, I mean, who is this person at the end of the day, you know, so...

Stephen Birch - update, 10 July 2012
Stephen Birch - update Cape Talk Radio

10 July 2012

John Maytham got an update from Stephen Birch who claims he knows where missing UK girl, Madeleine McCann could be buried. Birch sent the British police ground radar scans showing a burial site near the holiday apartment in Portugal where McCann vanished in 2007.



By Nigel Moore

John Maytham: We spoke to Gavin Gray about the way the British media reported Stephen Birch's investigations into the final resting place of Madeleine McCann and Stephen's on the line to us again. You've had an update from the Portuguese police, Stephen?

Stephen Birch:
I have, errr... John. I, errr... spoke, errr... early this morning with senior directorate of the Portuguese police and, errr... we confirmed that I submitted, errr... further evidence, which I provided them this morning, errr... showing that the search of Casa Liana [SIC] was not up to scratch and they have submitted that to their, errr... prosecuting, errm... errr... division, who, errr... they are currently waiting for... for the approval to reopen the case, errr... I suggested to them very quickly that I would provide them with drawings as to where they should excavate, but they are insisting that I fly back to Portugal the minute the case is reopened and supervise the excavation wher... although it hasn't been publicly released, errr... that's good news for me.

John Maytham:
So, your sense is that they're not dismissing your claims out of hand?

Stephen Birch:
No, most definitely not. I think the public pressure and, errr... the fact that the entire Portuguese, and Spanish and the world has got to see the possibility that this could be Mad... Madeleine McCann's resting place in, errr... the back of the Murat property, underneath the rear driveway. Errr... it needs to be, errm... solved, one way or another, and they want to lift that driveway.

John Maytham:
Poisoned fruit, Stephen; the doctrine of poisoned fruit? That the police cannot get search warrants on information that was illegally obtained. You've acknowledged getting, errr... the information through trespass. Does that pose a potential problem?

Stephen Birch:
I don't think so. I think the magnitude of the case and I think the fact that Robert Murat hasn't pressed charges against me and the enormous, errm... errr... outcry from the public to solve one of the world's biggest cases, errr... is an... is a massive over-riding factor and I think they... they want to put this thing to bed, one way or another. We lift that driveway, we see whether that girl is underneath that driveway. If she isn't we move onto... to something else, but...

John Maytham:
If she isn't, you move onto something else and once again you've put somebody in the spotlight who maintains his innocence. And perhaps there's legal action; more serious, legal action waiting for you.

Stephen Birch:
Well, let me make it very clear. I have never, ever accused Robert Murat of anything, and if anything, errr... you know, we... we sumitted... we submitted a YouTube video, 'Madeleine McCann/Stephen Birch', to the Madeleine McCann family and also to Robert Murat and his attorneys, who are scrutinising the validity of... of the work that we've done on the property and, errm... in that YouTube video, we are categorically stating - there's a disclaimer - that says under no circumstances, have we ever accused Robert Murat or his family or do we believe that he's involved in the abduction and killing of Madeleine McCann.

John Maytham:
OK, Stephen Birch, thank you very much indeed.

Robert Murat is going to sue South African, 11 July 2012
Robert Murat is going to sue South African Correio da Manhã

Robert Murat is going to sue the South African for trespassing on his property
Robert Murat is going to sue the South African for trespassing on his property

For trespassing

Robert Murat is going to sue Stephen Birch, the South African businessman who guarantees he has evidence that Madeleine McCann is buried at Murat's residence in Praia da Luz, Lagos, in the Algarve

by João Mira Godinho
11 July 2012

The British man accuses Birch of trespassing on private property, given that the South African himself stated that he entered the grounds of the house in order to make analyses with a geo-radar machine. As reported by CM, Birch a real estate businessman and obsessed by the Maddie case, carried out searches in the grounds, with a machine, taking advantage of times when Murat was not at home.

Birch said that he found signs that the British girl, who disappeared on 3rd May 2007, is buried 60 cm under a cement drive that was constructed after her disappearance.

The South African challenges Murat to allow the site to be excavated and, in order to put pressure on the authorities to investigate the lead, he posted a video with his comments on the Internet.

Maddie's parents shy away from searches, 14 July 2012
Correio da Manhã, front page: 

Correio da Manhã: Front page, 14 July 2012


South African
Stephen Birch on strange attitude of the McCanns

"Not eliminated the hypothesis that she is dead in the Algarve"

Researcher challenges McCanns to excavate in Murat's backyard


Maddie's parents shy away from searches Correio da Manhã

Mitchell told Birch that the McCanns would not comment on the leads gathered by the South African
Mitchell told Birch that the McCanns would not comment on the leads gathered by the South African


The South African researcher is surprised by the behaviour of the McCanns. Learn why in CM.

By: João C. Rodrigues
14 July 2012

The parents of Madeleine McCann, who disappeared in Praia da Luz in May 2007, have refused to support the search of Robert Murat's yard, where a South African researcher believes the body of the British girl to be buried, after having detected, by geo-radar, a foreign object under the ground.

In an open letter to Kate and Gerry this week, Stephen Birch asked the couple to call a press conference to demand access to undertake excavations at the rear of the Murat property, near the resort where Maddie was last seen in Praia da Luz, Lagos. However, up until last night, the couple had not yet responded to the letter. "Even today [yesterday] I sent an SMS to Mr Clarence Mitchell [the McCanns spokesperson] and the only answer I got was 'No comment'," Stephen Birch said to CM.

"One can only assume that, as parents, they do not want to eliminate the chance of Maddie being dead and buried under the driveway on Murat's property," added the South African researcher. Stephen Birch finds it stranger still the attitude of the couple in the face of the new leads gathered: "I do not understand how they can run off to India and around the world looking for the girl but do not want to look for her in a place that is 130 metes from the apartment where they were."

CM attempted repeatedly to confront the spokesman for Kate and Gerry McCann, Clarence Mitchell, but he never answered the phone. However, it has still only been three days, and Kate McCann argued, at a press conference the subject of which was her appointment as ambassador to the British organisation Missing People, that they would never stop looking for Maddie.

Indeed, Kate McCann even admitted that the new million euro advertising campaign promoted by the organisation was a "leap of hope."


After 15 months of investigation into the disappearance of Maddie, Stephen Birch rented a geo-radar and flew to the Algarve in mid-June. After two weeks watching Robert Murat, who lives just over 100 metres from the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz, Birch took several nights - when the British man had left the property - to invade the land and use the geo-radar. Although he does not believe that Murat deposited the body in that location, the South African researcher launched another appeal: "He should allow excavations."


"Portuguese police have not unlocked the mystery. So for me, the search for Maddie is a challenge," said Stephen Birch to CM, denying any particular interest in the McCanns. The South African businessman spent 50,000 euros from his own pocket to fund research - and says that the findings justify the reopening of the case by the Judicial Police, the first to receive the results of the geo-radar.

For the researcher, "it is important that the hypothesis of Madeleine McCann being buried under the driveway on Murat's property is eliminated as quickly as possible, however painful and traumatic it can be for the couple. This should be done before continuing more searches," said Stephen Birch, who finds the attitude of the McCanns strange. "Kate and her friend Jane pointed out Robert Murat as a suspect, and now do not give any credibility to my research. I do not understand why. Just go there, dig and see if it is Madeleine's body that is buried there."

Maddie search shrouded in controversy, 14 July 2012
Maddie search shrouded in controversy IOL

This March 2007 file photo released by the McCann family Friday, May 4, 2007, shows 3-year-old British girl Madeleine McCann.

By Kowthar Solomons and Kashiefa Ajam
July 14 2012 at 11:59am

The Saturday Star can today reveal for the first time the scan that Cape Town property developer Stephen Birch handed over to British and Portuguese authorities, which he claims proves that Madeleine McCann's tiny body was buried on the property of former suspect Robert Murat.

A video showing Birch using a georadar machine, allegedly in Murat's garden at Casa Liliana, is now circulating on the web, including on YouTube. In the interview with Portuguese TV station, Expresso TV, he said: "Maddie died on May 3, 2007 and she was put into the ground that same day."

This comes as a heated row has erupted between Birch and two Cape Town private investigators amid allegations that all three are in the hunt for the sake of the R35 million reward.

Last week the Saturday Star reported claims by the property developer that he may have found the grave of missing Madeleine McCann less than 200m from the Praia da Luz resort in Portugal, using the radar scanning device. Now private investigators Martin van Wyk and his sister Bernice Manson have accused Birch of stealing their research and passing it off as his own.

But Birch didn't respond in detail saying he had been advised by his attorneys not to comment on the case further.

This may be because Murat, in Portugal, is adamant that he will sue Birch. Murat's lawyer, Francisco Pagarete, told the Algarve Resident on Wednesday: "We are suing Mr Stephen Birch for the unlawful entry into private property."

In an interview with newspaper Correio da Manhã (CM) Birch admitted that while in Praia da Luz, he monitored the property "24 hours a day", with the help of two "collaborators", and when the house was vacated he would enter and search the backyard with the georadar equipment.

And on an Express TV news clip, Birch can clearly be seen operating the georadar on Murat's property, hunched under hanging tree branches in the dead of night. He said he had entered the property four times.

"There is a big driveway on Casa Liliana. But I believe that Maddie is buried beneath a second driveway, a less important driveway, which was constructed over the ground. The driveway is small and one cannot even turn a car in it. I don't believe it serves any purpose. It is covered by pebble stones."

Birch further said he was aware that there was a good chance that he would be prosecuted for trespassing. He said he had hired two law firms – one in SA and one in the UK to protect his interests.

"I hope and will plead with the Portuguese police to investigate my claims and excavate the property. If they are successful, I will have no problem assisting them with their investigation," Birch said.

Madeleine, 3, disappeared from the Praia da Luz resort five years ago while her parents dined with friends nearby. It is not known if she is still alive. When contacted for comment on Van Wyk and Manson's claims, Birch said he was aware of them, but denied them.

"The claims are false but under the legal advice of my lawyers I will not comment on the matter at this point."

He was speaking to the Portuguese police and the McCann family about having the remains in the grave disinterred, and had passed the scans on to the Portuguese police.

"Many people don't believe my story, and you can't blame them because I don't have definite proof. I want the site to be dug up so we can confirm if it indeed holds the remains of Madeleine McCann," Birch said.

Van Wyk, meanwhile, said Birch was solely motivated by the reward and was willing to resort to illegal means, such as trespassing, to get it.

He feared Birch may have destroyed years of research by going public with his findings.

"Our investigation is incomplete and is still ongoing. By revealing the location without any substantial proof for the police to act on, he has given the person behind the disappearance a chance to cover his tracks. Not to mention his illegal activities in obtaining his 'evidence'. It was utterly reckless and may have let a murderer walk free.

"I've had authorities in the UK call and ask me what he's trying to pull and tell me that he may have destroyed any hopes of solving the case."

Van Wyk, a former military police investigator, who has specialised in missing children for the past 28 years, said he was drawn to the McCann case and visited Portugal in October 2007 and in September 2009.

He sold his shares in a bar he part-owned to fund his investigation. Van Wyk said he had made contact with Madeleine's relatives and received their "blessing" to investigate the case.

They passed on descriptions of Maddie and any new information that came to them. Although the information they were able to provide was limited, it was very useful.

He also gave interviews with local newspapers on his findings.

Van Wyk said he had been in touch by e-mail with the police in Portugal and the UK. He had collected thousands of documents on the case – e-mails, newspaper articles, notes, and hundreds of photographs. The photographs included pictures of the possible grave site.

Just over a year ago, Birch approached the siblings and asked to join them on the case. Manson described him as an acquaintance and loner.

"We'd see him socially sometimes but we wouldn't call him a close friend.

"Then about a year ago he found out about our research and approached us as a partner," said Van Wyk. They had agreed to the partnership.

Van Wyk said: "Initially, things went well. Birch was good with ideas and he was very inquisitive about all the role players and our theories. But at some point, he began to obsess and called us several times in the middle of the night for information."

Van Wyk claims Birch insisted on keeping Van Wyk's passport, ID and case files to prevent him from travelling to Portugal without him.

Manson said Birch became furious when he was unable to access their photographs last year.

"The documents were stored at a relative's place who was away for the weekend. When I told him we could only get the photos in a few days he lost it and said 'you people aren't interested in the case or the money' and 'how useless' we were.

"We had decided to wait until September to go to Portugal and confirm our theories. But Birch was impatient, so using our research and theories went on his own, using his underground radar device. He only joined us to get the photos and location of the possible grave site. He left as soon as he got what he came for."

Van Wyk added: "I have worked on this day and night for the past five years, reading through articles from the media and reports from law enforcement intelligence. And for Birch to claim it was his work was just too much."

He admitted that he was interested in the reward but said he had deeper motives. "The reward is without a doubt a factor, but having worked on missing children cases for so long I wanted to establish a global network to help find missing children. The money and renown for solving the McCann case would go a long way to realising this dream."

Van Wyk said they still intended going to Portugal in September.

Stephen Birch, Martin van Wyk and his sister Bernice Manson: A short history, 14 July 2012
Stephen Birch, Martin van Wyk and his sister Bernice Manson: A short history

14 July 2012

The following comments, from Bernice Mason, were posted on Stephen Birch's YouTube page and subsequently deleted - presumably by Stephen Birch:

Bernice Manson comments on Stephen Birch's YouTube page

The dialogue to which Bernice Manson refers:

Another South African "Madeleine Finder" arrives in Portugal Truth for Madeleine

Posted by Stevo on Dec 4th, 2009

For many months of this year, a South African – Martin van Wyk has been corresponding to this website to explain that he knows where Madeleine McCann is buried and how she died.

He allegedly visited Praia da Luz in October 2007 after selling all his possessions to finance the trip there. He sent me several photos from that trip and most were the typical photos we've all seen before. Photos of the outside of apartment 5A, the car park and rear of the apartment, the beach, and some photos of what look like random apartments in other places in the town.

Apparently, Martin was involved with South African TV show Carte Blanche some years ago where they explored a missing person. Mr van Wyk never said so in his letters but research shows that the same TV programme also featured Danie Krugel.

Martin van Wyk's theory (or moreover, the theory of the psychic working with van Wyk) is that Madeleine wandered off on the night of May 3 as she looked for her parents. He then goes on to say that a local man found her and took her in to his own home. In the following hours when people were out searching for and calling Madeleine's name, she shouted out but the man who took her in got scared and put his hand on her mouth and suffocated her, only to subsequently bury her in his garden.

This theory ties in nicely with Mark Williams-Thomas' theory that she wandered off and was taken by a predatory paedophile.

It also ties in nicely with the abduction theory.

But today the story turned decidedly murky.

For most of the year and more recently a couple of weeks ago, van Wyk and his sister had been virtually begging people to finance van Wyk's return to Portugal to find Madeleine. He allegedly required money to go there and more importantly, a Portuguese national was necessary to sponsor his visa application.

Martin van Wyk's sister made a comment post today under her pseudonym "Liberty":

JusticeSeeker: Message from Liberty. My brother Martin van Wyk is arriving at Lisbon Airport today 4 December 2009 at 1315 local time. He is keen to meet you as he sees you are interested in the truth. You have his email address.

Is Martin van Wyk going to spectacularly "find Madeleine" in the same week that the McCanns are in court in Lisbon to face Gonçalo Amaral?

Coincidentally today, another South African made their first post to the website and used the pseudonym "AMANDA SOUTH AFRICA";


Both posts are confirmed to have originated from Gauteng, South Africa.

This is Martin van Wyk's most recent correspondence on October 26, 2009:

Martin here in South Africa. I am very close to leaving for Praia Da Luz.
I have attached something for you, an extract of my investigation docket. Along with this, And my new mobile nr.
The previous operator, Cellular c, is one big joke. It took me 3 days to load prepaid airtime to my mobile.
Anyhow, i still need assistance getting to Luz, this will only speed it up. Before xmas you will see me as the guy who found her remains.

Attached to his last email was a Word document containing the following 2 pages of text:

Madeleine Mc Cann


Madeline Mc Cann -
awoke in a vaguely familiar holiday apartment, all alone.

Alone, tired, scared and disillusioned, the 3 year old set out to do what most 3 year olds would do under the same circumstances,


An elderly gentleman found the scared little girl, crying, lost and bewildered.

Small town, no vehicle, no police station and not even a fuelling station. As it was very late, he decided to take her home, the next morning he would take her to the authorities.

However, next morning, ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE!!

The entire world descends upon the small town of Praia Da Luz. Everybody is running, looking, calling, shouting, searching, screaming and enquiring.

Little Madeleine would certainly have heard her name, she would have tried to respond, she would have tried to call back, the man would have panicked,  after all, who would believe he found her, they all say she was taken...

Nobody must know, he needs time to think, what to do next,

Madeleine shouts and screams. The man's tone changes. The calm reassuring gentle voice is replaced with a more urgent, abrupt and threatening tone.

HE PANICS, HE PUTS HIS HAND OVER HER MOUTH, - she must not be found, not now, he needs time to think
, she struggles, he is bigger, stronger, he tightens his grip,

SUDDENLY - Madeleine Mc Cann is quiet,

It was an accident, he needed time to think, and he did not mean to hurt her

What is very clear is that he must get the little girl out of his house, but where to?

The garden, that's where, but how?  In the midst of the biggest manhunt in Portuguese history, you don't just go around digging up gardens. It will attract suspicion, what will the neighbors think? What if you were to plant a tree, would that seem more acceptable?

Plant a tree, but not only one, plant a couple, to make it look more convincing.


* * *

My name is Martin van Wyk, aged 44, ex – Military police investigator, Security company owner and Private investigator for the past 27 years.

October 17th, 2007 I visited Praia Da Luz and started my own investigation on Madeleine Beth Mc Cann. The entire operation was funded by me, with emails, and blessings from the Mc Cann's via correspondence from Sister Phil Mc Cann.

Arriving in Luz, I booked into the Luz Bay Hotel, and was registered 17/19 and 19 October 2007. (Please feel free to verify)

A source identified a property where trees were recently planted. It is here that I believe the remains of Little Madeleine Mc Cann are hidden, 2 -3 ft underground.

I now want to get in contact with Martin Brunt, please advise, or forward this email to him.

Thank you,

Martin van Wyk,  South Africa -  Mobile phone   0027 7626 91 704


Will Martin van Wyk find Madeleine buried right under everyone's nose in Praia da Luz and confirm the PJ to be bunglers?

Will this exonerate the McCanns and "prove" the abduction theory?

Gerry McCann is said to have told the media "find the body and prove we killed her".

Could the first part of his taunt be finally coming true and was this all staged?


Martin van Wyk's response
Comments Section (pages 2 & 3)

Martin Says:

March 3rd, 2011 at 1:13 pm

I've been watching this site, sitting back and reading all and sundry – both the positive and the negative – from everyone, from all sides and though I should be angered by most of what is said, I actually find it to be quite welcoming. When I say welcoming I'm merely amazed at how ignorant and hypocritical some people can be during a time like this then again how positive others can be, in a world like ours when we should all be putting our heads together and finding the answers to the how and the why of this tragedy.

Helen has asked for 'some kind of proof' in order to make people believe in me but while I learned my lesson from this site (trusted someone who I deemed 'trustworthy') I'd like to put across a few things which may make for some interesting reading (if you're critical) or perhaps the closest thing to the truth, if not the truth, surrounding Madeleine's disappearance. The short and sweet of it is, people don't listen. Yes there have been MANY leads followed up which resulted in a dead end but what about those leads that people who really want to help keep hammering at their doors with, only to have their privacy invaded whenever the name "Madeleine" appears on a blog or e-mail during investigation? Is somebody finally beginning to sit up and notice the noise that's being made? The unfairness of how it's all being handled? Do they realise that covering up a crime IS a crime in itself and that now anybody who attempts to help find Madeleine, is sitting with a basket full of broken eggs due to negligence, ignorance or stupidity?

Comments made by site admin (top of page) refers to Danie Krugel (yes, ANOTHER South African) as also having appeared on a local documentary called 'Carte Blanche.' Yes, he was but that had nothing to do with me. He made claims about a machine that he was going to put to the test with Madeleine's investigation and I doubt very much that this could have been aired on the Carton Network. I also appeared on Carte Blanche following the case of an abducted 13 year old school girl we recovered 9 months following her disappearance. Raped and murdered. But today there is at least a place where flowers can be laid and she can be grieved over. There is closure for the parents.

Do I know Danie Krugel? No. I've never met him. Do I believe in his 'magical DNA machine?' No. Like you I'm also sceptical until proven otherwise.

There are two certain facts: 1) Madeleine was in Praia da Luz. 2) She is now missing. Nothing more nothing less. This is THE fact so what now?

She’s been 'seen' in every country around the globe. With all the modern technology that we as people have at our disposal where even a bar code on a carton of cigarettes can be viewed from outer space, I can't see why she cannot be found. Could this not be because she is not on the earth's surface but below it? I have handed to the authorities, the co-ordinates of where I believe she is to be found which is less than 400 yards from their apartment. Why has nobody made the effort to go and search there. When I decided I'd go and do it myself, suddenly it was an issue as has been the case with many others who took time out of their own lives to go and search for Madeleine. The authorities just don't want to listen and File 13 still hangs open with the documents pertaining to her disappearance suspended over it.

The McCann's employed no fewer than 14 former MI-5 and MI-6 agents to assist with this investigation. They've brought nothing more to prove what happened to Madeleine. Every investigation has a starting point and that is at the beginning. The last place she was left prior to her disappearance – the apartment.

Yes there were dogs, yes there were police and investigative units, all trying to pacify a hysterical mother, siblings in awe of the unwelcome attention and strangers traipsing through the place, a concerned father and all their friends, the phone constantly ringing with family all calling to offer assistance or condolences. In short, the entire area was disturbed, evidence overlooked, perhaps lost forever and then there's Madeleine McCann wanting to know why there was nobody around in her ultimate hour of need. Work the case while the scene is still fresh – for forensics maybe. But to other investigators, the best time to filter through the circumstances surrounding her disappearance would be from your own perspective, your own investigation, setting your sights on a crime scene deemed 'redundant' yet you have your own knowledge and experience but no training. How can you, as a human being, possibly be 'trained' to have instincts, to think as an investigator yet walk around with the heart of a father, a parent. The 'not knowing' chill that sees you walking the streets of a strange country listening to every sound of a crying child and following it. Noticing the washing on people's lines and waiting for visual confirmation of the persons that may be wearing those clothes – all the while still hoping that she is alive while your 'instincts' are telling you otherwise.

All relevant information with the exact location was forwarded to the following people:

The family, various UK media outlets, the Portuguese investigative unit (both current and past), various crime correspondents and authors and even the McCann's own parish. Many of these people I had the privilege of meeting or conversing with since the start of my investigation and throughout every step thereof.

My final word is that this has been a very long and very tiring – physically, mentally and emotionally – investigation. To the blogger on this site who said 'he'll grab a spade and help dig', I may take you up on your offer shortly. Whether it is by me or by the authorities, Madeleine's case will soon be closed.

To those who support my quest, have a wonderful evening. To those who don't ... you also have a good evening.


Martin van Wyk

PS. Just to let you know that I intend to keep on being a thorn in the authority's side until this case has run it's course so I'll still be around ... if you want to speak to me, you'll find me on Facebook – Martin van Wyk, Cape Town, S.A

Martin Says:

June 25th, 2011 at 10:58 am

Liz, it seems that you like climbing into other people's characters and calling them names, I have not yet heard anything positive from your side. Put your mouth in ta bag and join me in Luz. I will be there in September.

As for the comment re informing the Mc Cann's, – They have been informed ( more than once}, and have never bothered to get back to me, find my contact details on fb, If you want to make contact. I HAVE YET TO SEE SOME OF THE PEOPLE ON THIS SITE, LIFT THEIR BUTTS AND MAKE SOME POSITIVE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THIS CASE.

Martin Says:

August 7th, 2011 at 8:34 am

You would by now have noticed that I really do not give a hoot what anybody on this site has to say and the response to your postings I leave to my family and friends, You see, it works – Keeping you out of my hair. The initial contact with this site was made in confidence to SITE ADMIN, who was cute enough to make it public by posting my email on this site. Here is the short and the tall.....

I have had two stints in Luz ( it doesn't matter how and why, or who paid for it), During my investigation I came up with a theory regarding Madeleine ( again – how I arrived at the conclusion, also doesn't matter ). This now has to be proved. ( THAT IS A PROBLEM ) All the relevant "players" in this entire sad case were contacted, from the Mc Cann's, to their appointed spokespeople, to the police in Lisbon, as well as the police in the Uk. Nobody would listen. WHAT NOW ????? To date, NOT ONE PERSON / ORGANISATION (Public or private) has come any closer to giving us any answers regarding the well being or location of Madeline Beth Mc Cann. The day the family went public, she also became my problem, AND I WANT TO KNOW ... the world wants to know. If she is found alive ( AS I PRAY SHE IS ) nobody will be happier, but if she was harmed, then the person/s responsible, MUST ANSWER.

I also have questions that need to be answered, and will keep on searching for the answers. Let's see what comes up in the near future.

With thanks to Nigel at McCann Files


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