Kidnap alert launched
POLICE unveiled a revamped nationwide child abduction alert
Child Rescue Alert, similar to America's scheme, will be
compatible with other European countries for the first time.
Kate and Gerry McCann have campaigned for a
Europe-wide system since daughter Maddie disappeared in
Kate, 41, is due to join other relatives of
missing children in London today to mark the launch of
International Missing Children's Day.
Chief Constable Peter Neyroud, head of the
National Police Improvement Agency, said action immediately
after a disappearance is "vital".
He said: "Through Child Rescue Alert the
community is able to form a strong alliance to help hunt for
child abductors when an alert is activated."
A DRAMATIC sighting of missing
the day after she
vanished is being urgently followed up by
A man has
reported seeing a girl he is now sure was Maddie lying in the back of a
wearing pyjamas identical to the pair Maddie had on when she was
vehicle was white - and other witnesses have recalled seeing a white van
near the holiday apartment in Portugal from where she was taken.
in pyjamas was also seen being carried by a man at the resort.
Carlos Moreira, 65, has told investigators the little girl he saw was
with a man and woman who looked like gipsies.
When shown a previously-unpublished
e-fit of a suspect, he identified it as
being the van's driver.
close to Maddie's parents
Kate and Gerry said last night the
sighting was "highly significant" and added: "It could be a key
of Rothley, Leics, was three when she disappeared on a family holiday in
Praia da Luz, on the Algarve, on May 3 2007.
Portuguese Mr Moreira said he only recently connected his sighting with
the Maddie hunt because it was 160 miles from where she vanished.
driving from Carregado, near Lisbon, to Alentejo on May 4 when he
stopped at a snack bar in the Benavente region at 8am.
The Sun: "I saw a white van with the back door open. I saw a girl, lying
on a pile of clothes in the back. She was wearing a two-piece pyjama
set, pink and white, or yellow. I saw her back, I could see her hands
moved one of her fingers but she was deeply asleep. When the van door
was opened, she did not wake up, as if she was drugged."
girl was blonde and looked around four. A woman came out of the back of
the van. I noted that a strong and tall man, wearing a suit, was in
front of the snack bar.
"He looked like a gipsy. He was with the woman from the van, he was
younger than her. He told her off for leaving the van."
Moreira said the experience stuck in his mind - but he only realised it
could be useful when he saw a cop being asked on TV why roads to the
north or to Spain were not blocked after Maddie vanished.
explained: "The road I saw the van on was such a route."
the man he saw was clean-shaven, aged 40 to 42, fat but good-looking.
The woman was 60 to 65, fat with grey hair.
said: "His account is
being looked into. He has done the right thing in coming forward."