Skip to main content

Madeleine McCann case: Two callers name man in new UK police sketches

By Sarah Aarthun, CNN
October 15, 2013 -- Updated 1207 GMT (2007 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Police receive hundreds of tips
  • Two different people come up with the same name for man in sketches, police say
  • Madeleine disappeared in 2007 while on holiday with her parents in Portugal
  • Sketches of a man seen around the resort the night Madeleine disappeared are released

(CNN) -- Two separate people came up with the same name in response to computer-generated sketches of a man whom London's Metropolitan Police are working to identify in possible connection with the disappearance of then-3-year-old Madeleine McCann, the case's lead investigator revealed Monday.

The two people had phoned in the same name based on the sketches, Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood said during the BBC's "Crimewatch" program, which aired an appeal Monday night for information about a man police want to track down. The man was seen carrying a child matching McCann's description on the night she vanished in 2007 around the resort town of Praia da Luz in Portugal.

Police hope for new leads in McCann case
New evidence in McCann case

The man is described as white, between 20 and 40 years old, with short brown hair and a medium build. He was seen carrying a blond child, who might have been in pajamas and who was estimated to be 3 to 4 years old, around the time Madeleine disappeared, police had said.

The sketches are based on descriptions from separate witnesses, investigators said.

Since the program aired, British police said they have received more than 300 phoned tips and 170 e-mailed ones.

"We will now take the time to follow up these lines of enquiry," Redwood said.

Police target 38 'people of interest' in Madeleine McCann's '07 disappearance

The latest revelation is critical in reconstructing what exactly happened more than six years ago on the night of May 3, 2007,when McCann disappeared from her family's villa while her parents dined at a nearby restaurant. The girl was just days shy of her fourth birthday.

Computer-generated sketch  Computer-generated sketch
Computer-generated sketchComputer-generated sketch
Computer-generated sketch  Computer-generated sketch
Computer-generated sketchComputer-generated sketch

Neither her parents nor the detectives investigating her case have given up on one day finding the little girl from Leicestershire, England.

"There may be an entirely innocent explanation of this man, but we need to establish who he is to assist with our inquiries," Redwood said earlier.

Additionally, investigators believe they have a better understanding of when Madeleine may have been abducted, Redwood added.

"The timeline we have now established has given new significance to sightings and movements of people in and around Praia da Luz at the time of Madeleine's disappearance."

John Walsh: Madeleine McCann could be alive

Police announced in July that they have identified 38 "people of interest" in connection with the case. Twelve of them are UK nationals who police say they think were in Portugal at the time the girl went missing. All the others are European nationals.

Metropolitan Police officers have also been talking to authorities in other countries to get more information about them and their potential involvement, the statement said.

Meanwhile, Madeleine's parents continue to keep hope that their daughter will be returned to them, explaining on their website: "We still worry about her, we miss her as much as we ever did, we remain as determined as ever to find her and to know what has happened."

CNN's Erin McLaughlin and Stephanie Halasz contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1049 GMT (1849 HKT)
British PM David Cameron has had the narrowest of political escapes.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 0106 GMT (0906 HKT)
British journalist John Cantlie hadn't been seen in nearly two years. Now, he's the latest hostage to be paraded out by ISIS.
The burial leader. The hospital gatekeeper. The disease detective. All telling powerful, stories from West Africa.
September 18, 2014 -- Updated 2303 GMT (0703 HKT)
Alibaba's IPO is unlike anything investors have ever seen and could threaten other online retailers. Maggie Lake reports.
September 21, 2014 -- Updated 1812 GMT (0212 HKT)
Indian PM Narendra Modi has said al Qaeda will fail if it seeks to spread its terror network into his country.
September 18, 2014 -- Updated 1201 GMT (2001 HKT)
Put yourself in the shoes (and sixth-century black robes) of ISIS' Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the mysterious boss of the terror group.
September 20, 2014 -- Updated 1444 GMT (2244 HKT)
 Tennis Player Li Na attends the WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party as guests enjoy Ciroc Vodka presented by Dubai Duty Free at Kensington Roof Gardens on June 19, 2014 in London,
Asia's first grand slam singles champion Li Na has called time on her 15-year tennis career.
Jenson Button has some of quickest reactions ever shown at an advanced sports lab.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1124 GMT (1924 HKT)
Creative companies with quirky ideas find new lending models advantageous.
September 18, 2014 -- Updated 1409 GMT (2209 HKT)
Even death couldn't part two skeletons excavated from a lost chapel in an English county, found with their fingers entwined.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1007 GMT (1807 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT