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Madeleine 'abducted to order'

HOMEPAGE NEWS REPORTS INDEX BLOGS 4th BIRTHDAY PHOTOGRAPHS NEWS MAY 2007
Original Source:  NEWS .CO EU: 10 MAY 2007
By David Brown May 10, 2007
 

TWO British sex crime experts have arrived in Portugal to help find the kidnapper of missing Madeleine McCann, as police sought dozens of pedophiles in the area.

British detectives compiled a list of every person on the Sex Offenders Register who told police they were travelling to the country after Portuguese police provided a description of a British man wanted for questioning over Madeleine's disappearance.

A computer-generated impression of the suspect shows a white man, 170cm tall, aged 35 to 40, with short, dark hair.

A Leicestershire Constabulary spokeswoman said detectives were collating the information and forwarding it to officers in Portugal.

Portuguese officers have examined records at every hotel in Praia da Luz and the nearby town of Lagos to gather information on every visitor from the Midlands.

The latest move came as a British tourist claimed that two weeks ago she saw a man trying to steal a pram at the resort where Madeleine went missing.

Amanda Mills, 34, of Basildon, Essex, said she reported the incident to police last week after reading about the missing girl.

"It was late at night," Ms Mills said yesterday.

"This guy came along and put his hands on a pushchair outside somebody's apartment.

"He didn't even look to see if there was a child in it."

Portuguese police told British officers they believe the man who abducted Madeleine from the bed of her holiday apartment was a tourist from Britain or an expatriate linked to a network of pedophiles in the country.

Portugal is known to be a favoured destination for British pedophiles.

Reports in Portugal suggest that Madeleine, four on Saturday, had been "abducted to order".

The Correio da Manha newspaper says: "One of the most substantial possibilities that the Policia Judicial is investigating is that this was paid for and commissioned by an international pedophile, probably of British origin."

Detectives from the sex abuse and homicide unit in Lisbon went to the holiday region yesterday to take charge of the investigation after growing criticism that police had been slow to react to Madeleine's disappearance and had failed to make progress in tracking her abductor.

Two British behavioural analysts from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, which combats pedophiles, were sent in response to a request from the Lisbon Government.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said that their arrival would ensure a full range of experts was available to explore "every possible avenue" that may have led to Madeleine's disappearance.
One of the two British experts is the esteemed forensic psychologist Joe Sullivan who has helped police in Britain and Europe to investigate child sex murder, abduction, organised pedophile rings and under-age internet pornography.

At another chaotic press conference at Portimao Town Hall yesterday, the new Portuguese head of the investigation, Chief Inspector Oligeario Sousa, said about 500 apartments at and near the holiday resort complex where Madeleine was abducted had been inspected.

The search area now extends to about 15km.

Mr Sousa said: "Hundreds of people have been contacted - both Portuguese and foreign nationals and more than 100 have been formally interviewed."

The officer appealed for understanding from the British public for the fact that Portuguese secrecy laws prevent police from providing more information on the investigation.

Detectives have ruled out a kidnap for ransom. And there is nothing in the family history to suspect a revenge motive.

Madeleine, from Rothley, near Leicester, disappeared when she was left with her brother and sister, two-year-old twins Sean and Amelie, in a holiday apartment.

Her parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, both 38, had been dining in a nearby restaurant and checking on them regularly.

Yesterday, Mr McCann and his wife visited the Nossa Senhora da Luz (Our Lady of Light) Roman Catholic church, where they had taken Mass on Sunday, to pray privately for their daughter's return.
Ms McCann, a GP, was again clutching the Cuddle Cat toy that Madeleine had taken to bed with her.

At the same time, about 300 colleagues of the couple offered prayers at Glenfield Hospital, in Leicester, where Mr McCann is a consultant cardiologist.

Villagers in Rothley held a silent vigil yesterday in a show of solidarity with the family.

People were encouraged to light a candle or to tie a red ribbon around railings at the war memorial on the village green.

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