New information about Madeleine McCann’s disappearance has been shared by the Investigators into the case. They have also shared key pieces of information that could help solve the mystery.
Former police officers who worked on the Madeleine McCann case for years say they are getting close to finding out what happened to the British child in 2007.
Two investigators broke down what went wrong 16 years ago and what needs to happen to find Madeleine in an exclusive Sky News Australia Digital Originals report.
The three-year-old went missing while on vacation with her family in Praia da Luz, Portugal. She was sleeping in a vacation apartment with her siblings when she went missing.
Parents Kate and Gerry McCann were eating dinner nearby when Kate went back to check on the kids at 10pm and found that their daughter was gone.
The Portuguese and British police looked in the area right away and have done a lot of work over the years, but they haven’t found anything.
Jim Gamble, a former senior child protection officer who worked on the first investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance in the UK, told Sky News Australia that he looked at how the case could have been handled differently.
After leads were found “literally sitting in cardboard boxes on tables and on the floor in Portugal,” Mr. Gamble suggested that a group with the power and depth of New Scotland Yard was needed to make progress, along with the use of modern technology.
The child protection officer also said he thought that continued global media coverage, which could make people remember when Madeleine went missing and lead to a clue, would be very important to solving the case.
“The media attention itself lit the fuse that got so many people who had access to social media at the time to join the conversation and take part in the search in a virtual way,” he said.
“Someone out there knows something they haven’t told anyone since 2007. Maybe it’s because their loyalty is in the wrong place. Maybe that’s because they don’t know how important the small amount of information they do have is.”
Mike Neville, the retired head of a missing persons unit, also looked at Madeleine’s case and went to the crime scene to find new methods, technologies, and techniques that could be used to solve the case in 2023.
When the case was first brought to the attention of the Portuguese Police, they were criticized for how haphazardly they tried to find the British girl. This is why he did his review.
“I think it’s unfair to criticize that first answer. “But lots of evidence was missed afterward,” Mr. Neville said.
The retired police officer remembered missing a camera on a nearby road, having trouble communicating with British police, and having different legal systems clash, all of which led to important evidence being ignored and never being found again.
Mr. Neville says that facial recognition technology, databases of passports, and video evidence could now show a key piece to the puzzle.
He said, “I think the pictures we have are the key to this case.”
“Someone may still have a picture from a camera on their computer, which is important.”
Mr. Neville said the public would still be interested in Madeleine’s case because it was so rare for someone to completely disappear, since most missing people come back within a few hours.
“The news is very important because it keeps the spirit alive. He said, “They keep people interested.”
Over the years, many women have said they were Madeleine, but none of them have been proven to be her.
Julia Faustyna, a Polish woman, is the most recent person to say she is related to Kate and Gerry McCann. She has asked them very strongly to agree to a DNA test.
Parents reportedly gave their permission for the test, and Ms. Faustyna has since taken three forensic tests and a 23andMe-style test to find out where she came from.
She is now waiting for the results.
But the Swiss AI company Ava-X disproved her claims when it ran her photo and Madeleine’s photo through its Iris facial recognition software and found that the two did not match.
Even though there were dead ends, false leads, and claims that couldn’t be proven, the two former investigators said they still hoped Madeleine would be found soon.
Mr. Gamble said, “We should continue to raise awareness and encourage people to think about where they were in 2007, what they might have heard, and what they might have seen others do at that time. They should also think about whether now is the right time to come forward and talk to the police.”
“I think we’re as close as we’ve ever been to finding out what happened to Madeleine McCann as we’ve ever been.”
Mr. Neville said the same thing as his colleague and added, “You never know who will step forward in the future.”
“I hope Madeleine McCann is alive and well somewhere if she was kidnapped, that she was raised in a decent and nice way by people who did the wrong thing but tried to make the best of it, and that one day she’ll be reunited with her parents and siblings,” he said.
“I think that’s… a glimmer of hope.”