Maddie investigation: Officers name dead hotel employee as suspect
The man police now suspect of kidnapping Madeleine McCann died four years ago in a tractor accident, a Portuguese newspaper reported on Thursday.
The 40-year-old former employee of Ocean Club holiday resort, where the McCann family was staying, is believed to have kidnapped Madeleine out of revenge after being sacked from his job.
Detectives from Portugal’s Policia Judiciaria (PJ) investigating the case have stated that they now believe he could be involved after mobile phone records indicated that he was around the McCann’s apartment in Praia da Luz when Madeleine disappeared on 3rd May 2007.
The unnamed suspect was living a mere 15-minute drive away from the McCann’s holiday apartment in the town of Lagos.
The former Ocean Club had not previously been questioned due to the fact that he was not on the list of employees handed over to the police during the initial investigations.
Last week Portugal’s attorney general reopened the case at the request of PJ, more than five years after the original inquiry was shelved.
Based on new evidence the officers have questioned the suspect’s widow and are now conducting searches for Madeleine’s body in the belief he may have killed her after abducting her.
Portuguese daily Correio da Manha reported: “Police suspicions about the former Ocean Club employee arose during the review of the case carried out by a PJ team from Porto. This was the strongest new lead presented to state prosecutors which led to the investigation being reopened.”
Scotland Yard began its own review of the case in May 2001 and opened a formal investigation in July this year and released e-fits of two possible suspects that were broadcasted on a new Crime Watch appeal earlier this month.