THIS little girl's rag doll could have been given to
Madeleine McCann by
those who snatched her, investigators believe.
The cuddly plaything was among evidence suggesting Maddie was held at a
remote house - but Portuguese cops abandoned the line of inquiry.
Private detectives hired by the missing tot's parents Kate and Gerry
found the white bungalow in an orange orchard outside Silves, Portugal,
after trailing a woman seen earlier with a Maddie lookalike.
They staked the place out and spotted the doll and a child's drawing.
Portuguese police on the Maddie case were tipped off, but the McCanns
camp claim they did not fully investigate.
A source close to the McCanns said yesterday: "This is one of the
strongest leads there's been in the hunt for Maddie.
"There was credible evidence at the orchard that needed proper
investigation by the Portuguese - that never happened."
The private investigation began after British tourist Jean Godwin, 56,
contacted the Find Madeleine hotline.
She reported seeing two woman with a girl she was "100 per cent sure"
was Maddie in Carvoeiro on September 7, 2008.
Mrs Godwin, of Widnes, Cheshire, said the women were holding the hands
of a "gaunt" little girl, who was wearing a "black wig to disguise her
She was struck by the large irises in the girl's eyes - a feature of
Maddie in photos.
Also a woman was seen passing a child in a blanket to a man in a car on
May 5, 2007 - in Silves.
Retired care worker Mrs Godwin confirmed Mr Albino was one of the women
she saw from a photo.
The photo was also shown to British witnesses who saw a couple acting
suspiciously near the McCanns' holiday apartment. Several identified Mrs
Teacher Jorge Vitorino Cabral Martins - who was seen meeting Mrs Albino
at the orchard property several times - was also placed in Praia da Luz
by several witnesses.
McCann investigators saw Mr Martins discard a "child's drawing done by
someone aged four to five". They also photographed the rag doll on the
front seat of his white Citroen Berlingo van.
During a surveillance operation, Mr Martins was seen shopping for
clothes and shoes for a little girl.
Neither he nor his girlfriend Maria Alice dos Santos Silveira have young
children or grandchildren.
McCann 'tecs visited the Silves house pretending to be buyers. They were
convinced the other woman seen with the girl was inside but no one
Dave Edgar, head of the inquiry team, sent a report to Portuguese cops.
It lies, with more than 50 other sightings of Maddie, in a dossier filed
away at a police HQ.
It was obtained by The Sun and revealed yesterday.
Cops confronted Mrs Albino, who denied being the woman Mrs Godwin saw. A
police report states: "Nothing of interest was found."
Martins and Silveira denied having anything to do with Maddie's
He said the doll was given to him by his students. Mrs Silveira said the
drawing had belonged to her 28-year-old daughter.
That was as far as the police took the matter. But the McCann team are
still working on the lead. The child's drawing has been sent off for
Kate and Gerry, both 41, of Rothley, Leics, insist they will never give
up looking for their daughter.
The source added: "After Dave Edgar sent his report to the Portuguese
police our investigators heard nothing more.
"It is now clear from the files that very little was done to rule these
people out as suspects.
"But it was very significant information and remains an open
A WOMAN whose possible
sighting of Maddie at a store in Dunedin, New
Zealand, was revealed by The Sun yesterday has been interviewed again by
Checkout worker Taryn Dryfhout is angry she was not asked the questions
before. She said: "They wanted descriptions of the people and how they
paid. I'm sure it was Maddie. She was very afraid."
The girl was snapped on store CCTV in December 2007.