Why were Maddie suspect E-fits kept SECRET for five years? Images and evidence of sighting uncovered by private detectives were suppressed


  • Images of man seen carrying child through Praia da Luz on the night of Madeleine’s    disappearance were unveiled on Crime watch two weeks ago
  • Based on evidence from Irish holidaymaker Martin Smith and his family
  • Emerged yesterday that E-fits were contained in files from five years ago
  • Produced by private investigators hired by the McCann’s


Daily Mail – By Neil Sears


PUBLISHED: 28 October 2013

Under wraps: The E-fits drawn up by the investigators


The E-fits of a ‘new’ suspect for Madeleine McCann’s disappearance were drawn up five years ago – and suppressed.


Images of a man seen carrying a child through Praia da Luz at 10pm on the night the then three-year-old vanished were unveiled on BBC1’s Crime watch two weeks ago.


They are based on evidence from Irish holidaymaker Martin Smith and his family. At the same time, the British police team behind a new investigation revealed they had discounted a 9.15pm sighting of a man with a child by Jane Tanner, a friend holidaying with parents Gerry and Kate McCann and their three children.


It meant there was a new ‘timeline’ of Madeleine’s presumed abduction. Yet it emerged yesterday that the recently released E-fits were in fact contained in files produced five years ago by private investigators hired by the McCann’s. Similarly, those private detectives had questioned the Tanner sighting and the timings associated with it.


But the E-fits were kept private, and the questioning of the Tanner sighting and related timeline were kept quiet. One detective said he was ‘utterly stunned’ to see his five-year-old dossier suddenly presented as new on TV.


The investigator told a Sunday newspaper: ‘I was absolutely stunned when I watched the programme… it most certainly wasn’t a new timeline and it certainly isn’t a new revelation. It is absolute nonsense to suggest either of those things… and those E-fits you saw on Crime watch are ours.’


The McCann’s are now fully behind the fresh police drive and release of the E-fits – but five years ago they were reluctant to issue them, possibly in part because witness Mr Smith’s account seemed inconsistent and unreliable.



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