The detective leading the hunt said his team of 28 detectives are going
through 40,000 reports and documents on her disappearance
|Vanished: Madeleine McCann
THE detective leading the UK hunt for Madeleine McCann has spoken for
the first time about “solving” the riddle of her disappearance.
Det Chief Insp Andy Redwood said this is the “best opportunity” yet to
find the girl who vanished on holiday five years ago next week, and who
would now be aged eight.
He said: “We are here in terms of seeking to bring closure to the case.
Closure means establishing what has happened to Madeleine.”
Mr Redwood’s comments on BBC1’s Panorama tonight come after Portuguese
police, working in tandem with their British counterparts, announced
last month that they were reviewing clues.
Almost four years after the investigation was “archived”, a team has
been drafted in from Porto to go over every exhibit and thousands of
pages of notes.
Positive: Detective Chief Inspector Andy
Mr Redwood says his team of 28 detectives and seven civilian support
staff have received a huge number of reports and documents from Portugal
and are also looking at information gathered by UK police and private
“Our initial estimates of the amount of material we are facing is that
it will be in the region of 40,000 pieces,” he said. “Clearly, within
that material, the answer could lie.”
Operation Grange was established last May in response to a plea from
Kate and Gerry McCann to David Cameron.
The Prime Minister asked the Home Office to finance a review by a
homicide team from the Metropolitan Police.
As she was: Madeleine was just days short of
her fourth birthday PA
As she could look now: A computer generated
image of what Maddy could look like older Getty
So far, the review has cost taxpayers £2million. Officers have made two
trips to Spain and visited Portugal four times, most recently last week.
Portuguese police remain in charge of the investigation, but Mr Redwood
said having all of the information collated is an advantage.
He revealed: “At no time before have those three elements been drawn
together in one place.”
"And so what we’ve done over the past number of months is to bring to
one place all those pieces of the jigsaw.”
Former Home Secretary Alan Johnson criticises the initial hunt in the
He said: “It didn’t seem to me they had had the benefit of a proper
Johnson was the first Home Secretary to carry out a feasibility study
into whether the Metropolitan Police could review the investigation.
He met Madeleine’s parents and says: “I was enormously sympathetic to
Review plea: Parents Kate and Gerry McCann
Also interviewed is Goncalo Amaral, the original lead investigator in
the Portuguese Policia Judiciaria’s hunt for Madeleine, and he openly
admits making mistakes.
Amaral was removed from the case after he made outspoken criticism of
British involvement in the investigation.
“It’s a fact that our investigation had its faults and lost a lot of
time, lots of time. And a lot of things didn’t get followed up. And I’m
just as much to blame for that as anyone else,” he said.
Amaral left the police in 2008 and wrote a book on the case. He also
presented a DVD which made allegations against Kate and Gerry McCann who
are now suing him.
A statement on the McCanns’ website last night read: “Madeleine is still
missing and someone needs to be looking for her.
"We love her dearly and miss her beyond words.”
* BBC Panorama – Madeleine: The Last Hope? is on BBC1 at 7.30pm tonight.
The timetable of tears
Mystery: The hotel where the McCanns were staying
May 3, 2007: Madeleine, three, vanishes from her family’s ground-floor
apartment at the Ocean Club resort in Praia da Luz, Portugal.
May 15, 2007: British-born Robert Murat is made a formal suspect, or
arguido, following a search of his mother’s home in the resort.
September 7, 2007: Portuguese police declare Madeleine’s parents Kate
and Gerry McCann are also formal suspects in the disappearance.
September 9, 2007: Kate and Gerry return home to Rothley, Leics.
July 21, 2009: Portuguese authorities shelve their investigation and
clear the McCanns and Mr Murat.
May 23, 2011: Home Secretary Theresa May announces a Scotland Yard
review of the McCann case