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I SAW STRANGER LURKING NEAR MADDY'S FLAT

HOMEPAGE NEWS REPORTS INDEX SUSPECTS & E-FITS PHOTOS NEWS OCTOBER 2007
Original Source:  EXPRESS: WEDNESDAY 31 OCTOBER 2007
Wednesday October 31,2007
By Padraic Flanagan in Praia da Luz
 

A NANNY has told investigators she once discovered a stranger lurking outside the apartment from which Madeleine McCann disappeared.

She worked at the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz and phoned a hotline set up by the McCann's private detectives to tell of last year's chilling ordeal, which has sinister echoes of the Madeleine case.

The nanny told Spain's Metodo 3 detective agency that the mystery man ran away when she spotted him hiding in the shadows as she was babysitting.

The unnamed childminder also told British police about the dark-haired stranger and is understood to have given them a statement in June.
Although she raised the alarm, she is not thought to have been questioned by Portuguese police involved in the search for missing Madeleine.

Investigators at the detective agency declined to make the woman's identity public. They revealed only her initials, MH.

She told them that she spotted the man in the summer of 2006 as she was babysitting in the same apartment which the McCanns rented this year.

The nanny was looking after a six-year-old boy, whose parents were playing tennis. She discovered the suspicious man lurking in bushes when she went outside momentarily.

Investigators noted that the nanny's report had marked similarities to the Madeleine case. Both events happened on a Thursday and when the parents had arranged to be elsewhere on the complex.

A source close to the McCanns said: The nanny remembers it was a Thursday because it was tennis night and the parents of the boy she was looking after had gone off to play and left her in charge.

During the night she received a call from her bosses warning her there was a problem with rats in the apartments.

For that reason she left the flat briefly. She saw something move in the darkness and thought it was a rodent. To her surprise she then saw a man's shoe.

She shouted and the man ran from the shadows and shouted, ?No, no. He fled before the complex's emergency lights came on. The nanny told resort managers he was between 25 and 35 and looked like a local. He was wearing light-coloured trousers and a blue check shirt.

Jane Tanner, one of the McCanns dining companions known as the Tapas Seven, has provided police with a description of a man she saw carrying a child away from the apartment only minutes before it was discovered that Madeleine was missing.

The detectives working for the McCanns are believed to have taken a call from the nanny last week. She is convinced the incidents are linked.

The nanny worked at the Ocean Club resort for six months until October last year, shortly after her encounter with the mystery man.

Her bosses at the Ocean Club passed on her information to the holiday complex's director but it is not known what measures were taken about potential intruders.

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The McCanns spokesman Clarence Mitchell said they were grateful to hear the nanny's story.

He added: Her evidence backs up what we have always said ? that Madeleine was taken from her bed by an abductor.

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