McCann: The man Jane Tanner saw and, right, stranger on the
beach/Pic: Jamie Jones
is the sensational picture of a
on the beach which could
lead to a breakthrough in the disappearance of
Snapped inadvertently in the background of a holiday photo, the
mysterious man strolls along after a rain shower, staring out to sea at
Praia da Luz
picture was taken at the Portuguese resort days before Madeleine, then
three, vanished during the evening of May 3, 2007.
was having lunch with family and friends in a beachside cafe and taking
photos when she saw him wandering along the beach, apparently in a world
of his own.
was odd to see him walking around the beach alone in showery, cold
weather.” she said.
Cooper, 53, added that a few hours after the snap was taken, the same
man visited her at her rented villa 20 minutes’ walk from the beach. The
£2million holiday property was in a quiet road near the
Mark Warner complex where Madeleine and her family were staying.
During a tense conversation on the doorstep, the man sought cash with
what she called “an obviously made-up story” that he was collecting
money for an orphanage in a nearby town, where the children of Britons
killed in a car crash were being cared for.
under a week after the unnerving encounter, when Mrs Cooper had returned
home to Britain, Madeleine was taken from her holiday apartment.
Alarmed, Mrs Cooper contacted
because of her
concerns about the man on the beach and handed over the photograph,
taken by a member of her holiday party.
working for Madeleine’s parents
Kate and Gerry
McCann asked Mrs Cooper to work with an
FBI-trained artist to create a drawing of the man she had seen at the
beach and villa.
described him as having protruding teeth, a handlebar moustache and
wind-blown dark hair. In the photo the man is turning slightly towards
the sea, so it is not possible to tell whether he has a moustache.
However, he does appear to bear a resemblance to a man the McCanns’
saw walking with a child in his arms at about the
time Madeleine disappeared.
Tanner saw him crossing a road yards from the McCanns’
it is widely believed that he was the man who abducted Madeleine. She
also worked with an artist to create a drawing of the man she saw. It
did not include facial features as she did not see his face.
man Ms Tanner saw, walking in the glare of an orange street light, was
wearing light coloured trousers and a dark top and appears to have
slightly hunched shoulders.
man in the photo was also wearing light coloured trousers, a dark top
and appears to have slightly rounded shoulders.
Cooper, of Newark, Nottinghamshire, said last night: “I am 98 per cent
certain the man in the photo was the same man who made the strange visit
to our holiday villa. His hair looks neater in the photo, but he is
quite far in the background.” The picture was given to detectives in
Leicestershire who are liaising with detectives in Portugal, but Mrs
Cooper said she was never told whether the man had been identified.
believe it would be useful for the investigation if he was to come
forward,” she added. Kate and Gerry McCann, of Rothley, Leicestershire,
are hoping that new Tory Home Secretary Theresa May will call for a
review of all the evidence in the case.
you can identify the man in the photograph please call the Sunday
Express on 0208 612 7073 or contact the website Findmadeleine.com.