Return to Transcripts main page
CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Missing Madeleine McCann. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired May 5, 2017 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[22:00:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The following is a CNN special report.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One more big smile. That's pretty.
RANDI KAYE, CNN'S INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: The face of little Madeleine McCann captured the world's attention. Five days into their tranquil get away, tragedy struck.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Such is under way for a 3-year-old British girl.
GERRY MCCANN, MADELEINE MCCANN'S FATHER: Please, if you have Madeleine, let her come home.
KAYE: The high profile, worldwide search.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know where she could be. She's still alive.
KAYE: The shocking twists. Police are focusing their attention on two suspects, Madeleine's mom and dad. The theories.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Somebody knows what's happened.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And the unsettling questions.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The not knowing is what kills you. The not knowing.
KAYE: All eyes turn to the sleepy seaside village for answers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My message to the McCann's, is there's still hope.
KAYE: A CNN special report Missing Madeleine McCann.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Praia da Luz is one of the villages in Portugal that had long been just been a fishing village.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It attracts a lot of tourists particularly from Germany, Holland, the U.K.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's an easy, safe, relaxed place. A quite small community. A few restaurants, beautiful beach. Just got everything that a family would want.
KAYE: In late April 2007, along with three other families, Kate and Gerry McCann, their 2-year-old twins Shawn and Emily, and nearly 4- year-old daughter Madeleine, traveled on spring holiday to picturesque Praia da Luz, Portugal.
Each family had rented an apartment at the Ocean club, a small resort in the heart of the village.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's pretty open. You've got a pool, you got the restaurant where they all went.
KAYE: With nine adults and a combined eight children, the McCann's party was hard to miss. All four of their rented apartments were clustered together in block five.
And this was their apartment on the corner here.
JULIAN PERIBANEZ, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: That's the apartment, 5-a.
KAYE: Julian Peribanez is a private investigator. He says the location of the McCann's flat put the family at risk.
What made this apartment 5-a more vulnerable in some of others in the complex?
PERIBANEZ: Well, it makes them more vulnerable because it's in the corner and there's a lot of places that you can be watching the apartment without being noticed.
KAYE: But from the McCann's view, the location of apartment 5-a had all the makings of a perfect family retreat.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The first days of their vacation went exceptionally well, probably just exactly as they had hope hoped.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're both quite sporty, they enjoy running, they enjoy tennis, and the resort offered them all of those options.
KAYE: It offered plenty of options for the children, as well. Madeleine McCann spent most of her days with the kid's club, under the supervision of resort personnel. However, at night, the McCann's opted out of the Ocean Club's child care.
ROBBYN SWAN, "LOOKING FOR MADELEINE" CO-AUTHOR: The McCann party made the decision amongst themselves that that might be disruptive to their children's sleep patterns. So they thought we can just do this all ourselves.
KAYE: At 8.30 every night after putting their kids to bed, the McCann's joined their friends for dinner at the on sight Tapas restaurant, while the children were all left alone, sleeping in their respective apartments.
CLARENCE MITCHELL, MCCANN FAMILY SPOKESMAN: So, they decided to mount a half hour checking system of all of their children. So one member of the group would get up and go and check, and check on all their children, come back. Another one would go every half hour.
KATE MCCANN, MADELEINE MCCANN'S MOTHER: And all I can say is that it just felt so safe. You know, it was a family friendly resort. G. MCCANN: For me, if your children are asleep upstairs in a bedroom
and you're dining in the garden, you're out of sight and you can't hear them. And that's the similar thing to me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We measured it. Where they were having dinner was about 60 yards as the cross lines from apartment 5-a on the corner there.
KAYE: Could they see the apartment from there?
PERIBANEZ: They could see it, but they couldn't see the windows, because there's a lot of bushes and everything.
MITCHELL: It was across the pool and everything, but you could see the doors.
KAYE: Sliding glass doors they had left unlocked.
MITCHELL: They left them unlocked because they wanted the access for check, and they were going in every half hour. It's a judgment call.
KAYE: A judgment call that would haunt the McCanns forever.
[22:04:57] K. MCCANN: All I could say is, I mean, if I thought there was any risk at all, you know, it wouldn't just have happened. I mean, there's no one more than enough (Inaudible) change what we did that night obviously.
PAUL LUCKMAN, PUBLISHER, PORTUGAL NEWS: It is that environment where you feel so safe, so secure, so at ease. Was it right? Well, know the answer to that now, don't we?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: May 3, the Thursday, began as what appeared to be a typical vacation day.
KAYE: Kate and Gerry McCann got to spend some time together, playing tennis, lounging at the pool. In the evening, when Gerry McCann went to take a tennis lesson, Kate picked up the children at the kid's club and brought them back to the apartment to get them ready for bed.
SWAN: They sat on the patio, had their first glass of wine for the night, he got ready and went down to the Tapas restaurant for half past date. Kate told one of her friends about the troubling incident with Madeleine during the morning.
KAYE: That morning at breakfast, Madeleine had asked her parents a startling question.
ANTHONY SUMMERS, "LOOKING FOR MADELEINE" CO-AUTHOR: She said, mummy, when Sean, her little brother, and I cried last night, why didn't you come? Did that mean that they were upset by something the previous night?
MITCHELL: They wondered if they should go out again that evening. But Madeleine seemed entirely at ease. They certainly had no intimation or reason to think it could be anything more sinister. KAYE: They then carried on with the evening, and began the process of
the regular checks on the children that they had been doing all week.
According to the timeline provided by the group at dinner that night, Gerry McCann conducted a check at roughly 9.05 p.m.
G. MCCANN: So I actually came in and Madeleine was just at the chalk of the bed here when I left her lying and the covers were folded down and she had her blanket where just by her head. It's terrible, because I had one of those really proud father moments where I just thought, you know, you're absolutely beautiful and I love you.
KAYE: On his way back down to dinner, Gerry spotted an acquaintance and stopped for a quick chat when another parent Jane Tanner walked by. When Jane tanner left the restaurant that night to take her turn on checking the children, it was about 9.15 p.m.
She made her way up this street and that's when she said she noticed a man walking along that street heading that direction. She described him as carrying a child in his arms. A child that didn't have any shows was about the same age as Madeleine McCann, and was wearing pink pajamas very similar to Madeleine's pajamas.
SWAN: At the time, she didn't think much of it. Then about 9.30, 9.25, Matthew Olefield was going upstairs he said to Kate, I'll go and check on your three. He went into the McCann's apartment. He went to the door of the children's bedroom but did not go in.
MITCHELL: He looked in he saw the twins who were in coats through the door but he didn't put his head around to the left where he would have seen if Madeleine was there or not. I'm sure it's something he regrets massively.
KAYE: Less than 30 minutes later, it was Kate McCann's turn.
K. MCCANN: I went back to do a check at 10 o'clock and I went through the pathway door at the back, I just noticed that the door to the children's bedroom was quite far open, and just as I was about to close it, it kind of slammed just was like a gust of wind shut it.
MITCHELL: Her heart sank then at that point, because that was wrong, everything was wrong.
K. MCCANN: And then I went back just to open the door again a little bit. Just as I did pass, I noticed that the shutter was up and the window was open.
SWAN: And then she saw Madeleine's bed was empty.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And what did you think in that moment?
K. MCCANN: Someone has taken her.
G. MCCANN: Please, if you have Madeleine, let her come home to her mummy, daddy, brother and sister. KAYE: The search for Madeleine begins, next.
[22:10:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, spin around, darling. Right around, yes. I can see your wings.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Big smile.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yes. One more, big smile.
KAYE: Madeleine Beth McCann. Born on May 12, 2003 to parents who adored her.
G. MCCANN: Madeleine, you know, I know she was our first. She absolutely was incredible. Say yes, daddy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, daddy.
G. MCCANN: She brought incredible joy into our family.
KAYE: A family Gerry and Kate McCann desperately wanted. They met in medical school in the 1990s.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was a cardio specialist, and Kate, a family doctor.
KAYE: The McCanns married in December of 1998 but struggled to conceive.
The McCanns tried very, very hard to have a child. What did they go through?
MITCHELL: They needed to go through IVF. They had a few problems before Madeleine arrived, which made her all them all special in their eyes.
KAYE: You mean this was the child they really wanted.
KAYE: Less than two years after Madeleine, twin siblings, Sean and Amelie were born.
MADELEINE MCCANN, MISSING CHILD: Happier together at one, two, three.
[22:14:59] K. MCCANN: I just can't believe I went, you know, after five years of desperately trying to have children to suddenly having three. It was great. It was just lovely. We were just so happy.
KAYE: A happy, busy life for the McCann family of five, who packed up her relaxing vacation in the spring of 2007.
G. MCCANN: Say, you all right?
K. MCCANN: It was the first time I had ever been to Portugal, but all the family and friends who had been there said it's, you know, culture of the country and it's really safe and it's for families.
KAYE: What started as an ideally family holiday turned into a nightmare on May 3rd, 2007 when Madeleine vanished from the apartment just days before her fourth birthday. May 3rd, 2007. At 10 p.m. that night, the desperate search began.
G. MCCANN: Every minute felt like an hour, and every hour felt like a day. You know from other cases the police say the first 24 hours is critical. And you just -- you just imagine the worst.
ERNIE ALLEN, ATTORNEY: In these cases, time is the enemy
KAYE: Ernie Allen, counsel of the McCanns early on.
ALLEN: The greatest likelihood of recovering a child safely occurs in those early minutes, those early hours, the early days.
KAYE: But even the Portuguese police acknowledged those early hours of the investigation were full of blunders.
ALLEN: There were lots of mistakes made. The crime scene was not secured. I think there was physical evidence there that would have been recovered if they had applied rule one of the police investigative rule book, which is you secure the crime scene.
KAYE: According to investigators, up to 20 people trips in and out of the crime scene that night.
SWAN: The windows were closed, doors were open and shut. They were searching for a child they weren't worrying about preserving evidence.
KAYE: And there were other missteps, like collecting fingerprints without wearing gloves.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The roadblocks weren't set up for 12 hours. The Spanish border is hour and a half away.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Holiday makers were allowed to return to their own home in Poland, in Germany, in the U.K. without ever having been interviewed.
KAYE: part of the problem in those early hours authorities didn't yet realize that what happened was a crime.
LUCKMAN: When I got there in the morning, we were all convinced the little girl had walked away. She'll be found a couple hours later.
KAYE: Paul Luckman was one of the first journalists to arrive on the scene. So in the early days, were authorities actually looking for a kidnapper?
LUCKMAN: No, no. I don't think it occurred to anybody.
KAYE: But it had occurred to the McCanns.
K. MCCANN: I knew my child had been taken. It's quite hard to get somebody else to believe that.
SWAN: On the very night Madeleine disappeared, Kate and Gerry McCann and their friends started trying to reach out to the press. They are well educated, middle class people with lots of friends and contacts.
KAYE: Just hours after Madeleine's disappearance, her image was broadcast and e-mailed around the world.
MITCHELL: She was arguably the first missing child case of the internet era within minutes of her going missing. Relatives were able to send high quality definition video of her posting them on web sites Facebook pages and sending them to news desks.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're just hearing the search is underway for a 3-year-old British girl. She went missing last night. Hundreds of people have been searching.
SWAN: By the next morning, the news carried the first reports from Praia da Luz of a little girl having disappeared.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We begin with the case of Madeleine McCann.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's gone missing in the Algarve in Portugal.
KAYE: Within 24 hours, the tiny little village was swarming with media. And the McCanns gave their first press conference.
G. MCCANN: Please, if you have Madeleine, let her come home to her mummy, daddy, brother and sister.
KAYE: Four days after Madeleine vanished, Kate made another appeal.
K. MCCANN: We beg you to let Madeleine come home. We need our Madeleine.
KAYE: But did it help or hurt?
PERIBANEZ: Kate and Gerry, they were very serious. They didn't cry when they were in the press, and that's something that we didn't much understand too much here in the south of Europe. People they are very sentimental and usually mothers cry and that made people suspicious.
[22:19:57] KAYE: Early on, one of the major criticisms of the McCanns was that they were very stoic. Even cold.
MITCHELL: They were told very early on that whoever has committed this awful crime often watches parental appeals and can get a sexual thrill out of seeing the distress that they've caused the victims or their family. Then Gerry were told if you can avoid showing overt emotion, it's better to do that.
K. MCCANN: Please give our little girl back.
KAYE: When we return the focus turns to Kate and Gerry. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
KAYE: Three days after Madeleine McCann's disappearance, one of the largest searches in Portugal's history was underway.
PEDRO DO CARMO, DEPUTY NATIONAL DIRECTOR, POLICIA JUDICIARIA: During the first three weeks, there were thousands or at least hundreds of people involved all over the country to rescue Madeleine McCann.
[22:24:58] KAYE: Then 11 days after the di disappearance, a potential break in the case. Portuguese police, also known as the P.J., named the first arguido (Ph), loose translation - formal suspect.
SWAN: Who was Robert Murat? Robert Murat is a British-Portuguese resident of Praia da Luz who lived in 2007 in the home owned by his mother, only some 100 yards or so from apartment 5-a.
KAYE: After Madeleine's disappearance from Luz made the morning news, Robert Murat walked out to his yard.
ROBERT MURAT, PRAIA DA LUZ RESIDENT: That's when I met an English guy that had known the family and had mentioned if I speak Portuguese. So he asked me if I would mind lending a hand. I have a daughter the same age, and if it happened to me, I would want and expect everybody to help me.
SWAN: One of the British newspaper reporters who was there became suspicious of Robert Murat's behavior. He called the P.J. and alerted them.
KAYE: Those suspicions snowballed after three of the McCann's friends reported seeing Murat near 5-a the night of the disappearance. Murat denied being there after dark, but there's good reason he may have looked familiar.
LUCKMAN: He lived next to it 100 meters away. Well, he's always there. He lives there. It's a small village.
KAYE: The P.J.'s searched his home. And Murat spent more than 19 hours being questioned by police. But the media's scrutiny was far worse.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any comment at all, sir?
KAYE: Meanwhile, Gerry and Kate McCann took the hunt beyond borders.
G. MCCANN: We want to do everything in our power to help the search for Madeleine.
KAYE: Spain, Morocco, the Netherlands and Germany. And even an audience with the pope. All aimed at one goal - keeping Madeleine's face in the news.
DAVID BECKHAM, ACTOR: If you have seen this little girl, please, could you go to your local authorities or police. ALLEN: Using media dramatically increased the likelihood that
somebody would come forward with information that could lead to her safe recovery.
KAYE: Reported sightings of Madeleine poured in from around the world. But one theory gained traction, that Gerry and Kate McCann were responsible for what happened to their daughter.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How do you deal with the fact that more and more people seem to be pointing the finger at you?
KAYE: In July 2007, British sniffer dogs trained to detect the scent of blood and cadavers were sent here to Portugal to help with the investigation. What they found led to a major shift in the case. The dogs alerted to tiny specks of blood in apartment 5-a.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She will find anybody's blood, any human blood.
KAYE: According to its handler, one dog reacted to potential blood or human remains in the trunk of the McCann's rental car, even though they didn't rent the car until three weeks after Madeleine went missing.
PAULO SARGENTO, FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: Conclusion of the research at that time, the girl died at that night in the apartment, and the parents know.
SUMMERS: It was a turning point from the point of view from the Portuguese investigators under chief investigator comes on their own, whether rightly or wrongly the Portuguese concluded at that time that Madeleine McCann had died in the apartment and that the parents had sought to cover it up and remove the body, remove the evidence.
KAYE: Fast media reports circulated that DNA found in the rental car matched Madeleine's. It would take almost a year for the correct DNA results to be released. In the meantime, the damage was done.
Tonight, a major break. Police are focusing their attention on two suspects, Madeleine's mom and dad.
Four months after Madeleine's disappearance, her parents were named formal suspects. They were shocked.
K. MCCANN: Disbelief, first of all. And then it was just almost devastation. It was devastation that suddenly, if they were looking for us, who was looking for Madeleine. I felt like is no one looking for my little girl?
KAYE: Two days after being named suspects, the McCanns returned to England, clutching their twins but without Madeleine.
G. MCCANN: We have played no part in the disappearance of our lovely daughter, Madeleine.
KAYE: 14 months passed since Madeleine's disappearance, with no progress, and no charges filed. [22:30:02] In July 2008, stunning news. The Portuguese attorney
general was closing the case.
FERNANDO PINTO MONTEIRO, FORMER PORTUEGUSE ATTORNEY GENERAL (through translator): At a certain point I realized that there were no reliable clues that were any more solid than others. It reminded me of a cat trying to catch its own tail who were running in circles without any success.
KAYE: His decision cleared all suspects, including Robert Murat.
JULIAN PERIBANEZ, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: I think he was more of a victim.
KAYE: A victim?
PERIBANEZ: Yes. They needed someone to blame.
ROBERT MURAT, PRAIA DA LUZ RESIDENT: Just left me completely destroyed. Not only myself, my family.
KATE MCCANN, MADELEINE MCCANN'S MOTHER: It's hard to describe how ultimately despairingly it was to be named arguido and subsequently treated in the media as suspects in our own daughter's abduction.
KAYE: But the McCanns weren't done fighting.
K. MCCANN: We look forward to scrutinizing the police files to see what has actually been done.
KAYE: Coming up, the McCanns go it alone.
KAYE: Little Madeleine McCann was gone.
MADELEINE MCCANN, MISSING CHILD: Look.
GERRY MCCANN, MADELEINE MACANN'S FATHER: Wow.
KAYE: Desperate to get her out, Kate and Gerry McCann shared their daughter with the world. Why do you think this case captured the world's attention?
[22:35:05] ROBBYN SWAN, "LOOKING FOR MADELEINE" CO-AUTHOR: Her smile, her laugh, was accessible to all of us. And so we all felt we knew her a little bit.
K. MCCANN: These are actually the pajamas that Madeleine was wearing when she was taken.
KAYE: But the massive amounts of publicity came with some criticism.
CLARENCE MITCHELL, MCCANN FAMILY SPOKESMAN: How much is too much publicity when a child's life is at stake? G. MCCANN: The media, particularly the print media, that below sight
with a real has been a heinous crime and there's a little complete innocent 4-year-old girl is missing.
KAYE: From the beginning, the British media had a ferocious appetite for anything related to the McCann case. Many salacious newspaper headlines even implied the McCanns had something to do with the death or disappearance of their daughter.
So in 2008, the McCanns sued several of those papers for libel and won. Many issued front page apologies and awarded more than $1 million into a fund established to find Madeleine.
Gerry and Kate weren't the only victims of false reports. First star arguido Robert Murat was also awarded over $1 million in libel damages. And their friends the top of seven settled a case for six figures. But what the McCanns wanted most was answers. So they turned to private investigators. Julian Peribanez was a field agent on the case.
KAYE: Did you get a sense that they were desperate for answers?
PERIBANEZ: They felt nobody was searching for Madeleine. So they wanted someone to start looking for her.
MITCHELL: An awful lot of work was done. Teams went to Morocco, they went to all over the Mediterranean, and various countries, following up leads, tipoffs.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The little girl had a hat on, and she looked like Madeleine McCann.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know where she could be. She is still alive.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You tell the parents.
KAYE: From reported sightings to psychic visions, Peribanez chased down dozens of possible leads. Then his boss made this bold claim on television.
FRANCISCO MARCO, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: We are 100 percent sure that she's alive.
I know they kidnap her and we know where he is, we know who he is and we know how he has done it.
PERIBANEZ: I was shocked, embarrassed, and ashamed.
KAYE: Why is that?
PERIBANEZ: Because we didn't have any clue whatsoever of who took her.
KAYE: Dirt of clues dead ends and dashed hopes, hallmarks of the McCann case. And it didn't help that the Portuguese authorities shared almost no information, until the summer of 2008.
SWAN: Portuguese police, who had been working under conditions of quite extreme secrecy, because that is their judicial law, released the files to the public and the press. So suddenly, there was a tidal wave of thousands of pages of police files, all in Portuguese, that anyone could exam.
KAYE: An open record detailing a massive effort, according to Portuguese police.
PEDRO DO CARMO, DEPUTY NATIONAL DIRECTOR, POLICIA JUDICIARIA: Its public can see what's been done. It reflects hundreds, if not thousands of hours of work by the authorities.
KAYE: The McCanns spent more than $100,000 to translate the files to English. And then countless hours poring through them.
K. MCCANN: I was desperate to go through this myself because I knew that we're going through with a fine tooth comb.
KAYE: The open case files meant vindication for the McCanns.
MITCHELL: The DNA that was found in the trunk of the vehicle, it was inconclusive.
SWAN: There were absolutely no evidence that the DNA in question belonged to Madeleine.
KAYE: And amidst the stacks of papers, the McCanns found some hope.
G. MCCANN: The most important thing that came out when the files were released, there's no evidence to suggest that Madeleine has been physically armed.
KAYE: With faith renewed their daughter could still be out there and alive, Gerry and Kate release this photo of what Madeleine McCann could look like at age 6, two years after she went missing.
K. MCCANN: And I just think it's so vital and fair for Madeleine that we don't give up on her.
KAYE: Coming up, the power of a public appeal to the highest authorities.
[22:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
KAYE: May 2011. Four years after she vanished from a Portuguese resort, Madeleine McCann was still missing. And the only ones still searching were her parents.
G. MCCANN: And its five years no law enforcement agency or police force has been looking for Madeleine for three years. We've been doing it on our own.
KAYE: But Kate and Gerry McCann weren't giving up, they were taking action. G. MCCANN: I'm absolutely confident that key expert will help to
search for directly and indirectly.
SWAN: Kate McCann spoke was really a cry for help and it included a plea, a plea to reopen the case.
G. MCCANN: Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen.
KAYE: A plea the McCanns would aim next at Britain's prime minister.
SWAN: In a letter printed in one of the big tabloid newspapers in the U.K., they essentially begged Prime Minister Cameron to open up a review of the case.
K. MCCANN: I believe there's bits of information that haven't been linked to up to each other which could then be significant.
SWAN: And in the end, David Cameron did respond within 24 hours of the McCann's open letter appearing in the press. He had authorized the metropolitan police to undertake a review of the case.
[22:45:10] KAYE: In 2011, Scotland Yard ordered a review called Operation Grange. Their task, to assume nothing and re-examine the case from the very beginning.
ANTHONY SUMMERS, "LOOKING FOR MADELEINE" CO-AUTHOR: Operation Grange was headed by detective chief inspector Andy Redwood, who had come from the homicide squad. We went to see him at that point.
KAYE: By then, co-authors Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan were in the midst of their own investigation - researching their book "Looking for Madeleine."
SUMMERS: It was clear he was a very methodical officer, who had pinpointed numerous, indeed thousands of things that he felt in the case needed to be checked.
KAYE: Just one year into Redwood's review, new signs of hope.
ANDY REDWOOD, DETECTIVE CHIEF INSPECTOR, SCOTLAND YARD: We believed there was a possibility that Madeleine is alive.
KAYE: Alive, a possibility that would quickly push investigators in a whole new direction.
REDWOOD: We have identified 38 persons of interest.
KAYE: In 2013, Scotland Yard's review of the case turned into an official investigation. But then they learned there had been an uptick in burglaries in the same areas where the McCanns were staying. That led British investigators to pursue a new theory. Could Madeleine have been the victim of a botched burglary?
JOHN WALSH, CNN HOST: There were active burglary rings in Portugal, but Portugal doesn't -- the Algarve doesn't want people to know that. They want people like the McCanns, naive, wonderful, upscale tourists to come there and stay in their beautiful hotels.
CARMO: It's really, really a safe country. In 2016, we had only less than 100 murders in all of the country for its own people.
KAYE: Yet according to British investigators, in the four months leading up to Madeleine's disappearance, burglaries had quadrupled in the village where the McCanns were staying.
One of the theories was that this could have been a burglary gone wrong. Do you believe that at all that that's possible?
PERIBANEZ: No. You go inside to pick up a wallet. You don't go out with a kid. What the hell are you going to do with a kid?
KAYE: By the fall of 2013, Scotland Yard wasn't publicly ready to rule anything out, except for one critical part of their timeline.
According to Redwood, the man Jane Tanner described seeing the night Madeleine vanished was actually this man, an innocent father who was carrying his own child home from a nursery around that same time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We believe in a convincing way this is not Madeleine's abductor.
SUMMERS: And so he focused attention rather on another sighting.
KAYE: An Irish family leaving dinner that night around 10 p.m. reported seeing a man carrying a child towards the ocean.
MITCHELL: But who that man was to this day is still unknown.
KAYE: That's the bigger question.
KAYE: Another big question detectives were trying to answer - were the McCanns being watched?
SWAN: There are two witnesses who say independent of one another that they saw what they described as a very ugly, pock marked or spotty skinned man watching apartment 5-a.
KAYE: Another witness reported having seen suspicious men on a balcony near the McCann's apartment just hours before Madeleine disappeared.
SWAN: Meanwhile, an upstairs neighbor saw another man acting very suspiciously in the little pathway between the pool garden and apartment 5-a.
KAYE: And there was more. British police released a sketch of one of the men they say had approached nearby apartments, asking residents for donations to a local orphanage.
SUMMERS: Now, there was no such orphanage. So, clearly these men were involved in some kind of a crime. Possibly just burglary, but possibly something else.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've got a lot of work to do. We've also done a lot of work. We are wholly committed to making a difference in this case. We're fighting for Madeleine McCann.
KAYE: A fight that has lasted far longer than any had hoped.
G. MCCANN: There's no evidence that she's dead. So certainly from my point of view, you know, somebody know what's happened.
[22:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
KAYE: Seven long years after tragedy struck this Portuguese paradise the search for Madeleine McCann appeared to be heating up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you tell us about any witnesses at all?
KAYE: British detectives have just arrived for the questioning of 11 key witnesses.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sorry, I got no comments for you.
KAYE: After shelving the case six years earlier the Portuguese police have recently joined Scotland Yard and reopened their own investigation.
A Portuguese law enforcement officials confirming to CNN that British police want to interview three individuals.
SUMMERS: They have identified three known burglars, known thieves who were operating near the Ocean Club very close to the time that Madeleine had disappeared.
KAYE: Those men were questioned but never charged. In the summer of 2014, officials returned to Praia da Luz to conduct a week-long ground search.
SWAN: The clear implication was that they were looking for perhaps human remains.
MITCHELL: The visuals of it were police searching on the ground, this is dreadful, but they were there to rule things out. Has that been double checked? Has this been checked? Did you do this? Did you do that?
[22:55:01] KAYE: Another step in a painful process of elimination. Do the McCanns get their hopes up with every move?
MITCHELL: They learned long ago not to get their hopes up because, sadly, there have been far too many disappointments.
KAYE: Since 2007, there have been a staggering 9,000 reported sightings of Madeleine. Scott Yard alone has looked at nearly 600 individuals, poured over 40,000 documents and spent more than $15 million in their search for Madeleine. There has been a fair amount of criticism about how much money has
been spent on the investigation into finding Madeleine McCann, also they have been criticized for getting preferential treatment by British authorities. What's your response to that?
MITCHELL: If those people who are doing the criticism, if it was their child that was missing, would they say the same? They would wish that every other missing child case would get a similar level of resources.
KAYE: But by the fall of 2015, those resources were dropped significantly when Scotland Yard reduced its staffing from 30 officers down to just four.
MITCHELL: What has been done is just as important but on a tighter more managed scale. This sort of work takes time and, of course as time goes on, it gets harder, but it's not impossible.
KAYE: Back home in England, a decade after their nightmare began, the McCanns faced another somber milestone. Ten years come and gone without any sign of their daughter.
G. MCCANN: Inevitably, on our anniversary on her birthday, they are by far the hardest to face by far.
K. MCCANN: It's important, though, because despite how difficult these days are, just keep in mind how to actually how much progress we have made, and while there is no evidence to give us any negative news, you know, that hope is still there.
ERNIE ALLEN, ATTORNEY: We have made such an emphasis of the point that time is the enemy. We've done too good of a job of doing that, because now the public thinks, if you don't recover a child in the first days or weeks or months, that there is no hope. And there are a growing number of cases that demonstrate that there is hope.
WALSH: We get lucky. We get kids back alive. But the not knowing is what kills you. The not knowing.
KAYE: Because without knowing, you are forced to consider the most heart breaking possibilities.
ALLEN: I think the major scenario, because the data tells us, is that whoever took her, took her for sexual reasons.
KAYE: Between 2004 and 2010, a string of sexual assaults were reported in the Algarve region.
SUMMERS: Almost always houses or apartments that were rented or owned by British people with young children.
WALSH: She probably was taken in a crime of opportunity just the chance for a pedophile to get her, probably without a doubt raped her, more than likely murdered her and buried her somewhere.
KAYE: A theory which British investigators have yet to eliminate. But there are others.
ALLEN: A whole series of additional scenarios come into play. Younger children can be taken for purposes of black market adoption. They can be taken for trafficking purposes. They can be taken for a variety of purposes in which the child may not be taken and killed.
KAYE: And if that is the case, Madeleine could still be out there.
G. MCCANN: There is no evidence that she's dead so certainly from my point of view, you know, somebody knows what's happened.
OK. Spin around, darling.
SWAN: There is someone who knows what happened to Madeleine.
ALLEN: Somebody knows. So my message to the McCanns is, there is still hope.
G. MCCANN: Are we going to enforce it today?
WALSH: Never give up hope. Never stop trying to find out what happened to your child.
KAYE: The last time Kate and Gerry McCann saw their daughter Madeleine was just days before her 4th birthday, today she would be nearly 14-years-old. While most experts agree, it's unlikely they'll ever find her, the McCanns say they still believe in miracles and will never stop searching.
[23:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)