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Madeleine McCann could still be alive: UK police

By 문예빈

Published : April 26, 2012 - 10:33

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British police reviewing the disappearance of Madeleine McCann said Wednesday they believe she could still be alive five years after she went missing in Portugal and urged authorities there to reopen their search.

The Scotland Yard team sifting through a wealth of material relating to the youngster, who vanished in 2007, said they had identified 195 “investigative opportunities” that could be followed up.

They also urged the Portuguese judiciary to allow the case to be reopened, saying Portuguese police also wanted to re-start the search.

Scotland Yard renewed their appeal for information as they released a computer-generated image, created by experts, of how Madeleine might look now approaching what would be her ninth birthday on May 12.

 

A picture of Madeleine when she was 3 years old (left) and a computer generated image released by the Metropolitan Police Service on Wednesday how she would look today. (AFP) A picture of Madeleine when she was 3 years old (left) and a computer generated image released by the Metropolitan Police Service on Wednesday how she would look today. (AFP)


Madeleine, who was almost four at the time, disappeared from the family’s holiday flat in Praia da Luz on the Portuguese south coast on May 3, 2007 while her parents were at dinner.

“We genuinely believe there is a possibility that she is alive,” said Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood from Scotland Yard’s Homicide and Serious Crime Command, who is leading the investigative review.

“And we are currently developing material which we believe represents genuinely new information,” he told reporters.

“We are working on the basis of two possibilities here: one is that Madeleine is still alive; and the second that she is sadly dead.

“Our drive on both scenarios is in equal measure.”

He said the review, launched last year, was a quarter of the way through its work.

Redwood said his 37-strong team had at least 40,000 pieces of evidence to go through, containing around 100,000 pages -- some needing time-consuming translation.

“We believe that is the only way that we can properly establish what has happened to Madeleine McCann and ultimately bring closure by solving this case,” he said.

Investigations showed what appeared to be “gaps” in the forensic timeline which led to the possibility of her still being alive.

 
Gerry and Kate Maccan appear on the Gerry and Kate Maccan appear on the "Beckmann" TV in Hamburg, Germany, last September. (AFP)


“I am satisfied that there are opportunities there for Madeleine McCann to have been taken as part of a criminal act,” Redwood said.

“Within that, we can see unanswered questions.”

Among the 195 potential leads, “some of those are to do with sightings”, he said.

Redwood said if they found something “red hot”, then pan-European procedures were in place for action.

He added: “Our aspiration is to get this case reopened. My colleagues in Portugal want to reopen the case... they are completely engaged and totally committed.”

Redwood’s team has been working on material from the Portuguese investigation, enquiries in Britain and the work of private investigators.

He urged the public to come forward with any information.

The British investigation has so far cost around 2 million ($3.2 million, 2.4 million euros).

Madeleine’s parents Gerry and Kate McCann have never abandoned their high-profile campaign to find their eldest daughter.

They are “encouraged” by the review, their spokesman Clarence Mitchell told reporters.

“They have drawn great strength from this whole process. They feel that, finally, a proper investigative procedure is now being applied to the search,” he said.

“A hundred and ninety-five potential leads, five years on, is still quite substantial and it only takes one of those to be the key to unlocking this.

“The answer lies somewhere in all of that mountain of information. It feels like there still is momentum in the case.” (AFP)

<관련 한글 기사>


전국민이 찾아나선 소녀, “아직 살아 있다”?
5년 전 사라진 마들린을 둘러싼 진실과 거짓


5년 전 유괴됐던 마들린 맥캔(Madeline McCann)이 아직 살아있을 수 있다고 영국 경찰측이 지난 수요일 밝혔다.

런던 경찰국에 따르면 마들린이 살아있다는 법의학적 증거물 중 4만여 건이 아직 검토 중에 있다.

앤디 레드우드 경감은 “마들린이 정말 살아있다고 생각할 근거가 있다”고 밝히면서 “그 중 마들린을 목격했다는 단서도 포함된다”고 말했다.

그는 또 당초 포르투갈 경찰이 '매들린 실종 사건'에 대한 수사를 2008년  종결했지만, 영국 경찰은 수사 재개를 희망한다고 덧붙였다.

마들린은 지난 2007년 부모와 함께 포르투갈로 휴가를 떠났다가 유괴되었다. 오프라 윈프리, 데이빗 베컴을 비롯한 유명인사들이 다양한 매체를 통해 마들린의 행방을 수소문했으나, 현재까지도 마들린은 실종 상태다.

한편, 마들린 맥캔의 유괴사건 관련 뉴스보도, 경찰 보고서, 수사 기록 등을 해석한 책 ‘거짓의 진실(The Truth of the Lie)’이 2008년 해당 유괴 사건을 처음 맡았던 콘까오 아마랄(Goncalo Amaral) 경감에 의해 발간됐다. 그는 마들린이 실종된 것이 아니라 프레이아 다 루즈 호텔방에서 사망했다고 주장했다.

마들린의 부모 제리 맥캔(Gerry McCann)과 케이트 맥캔(Kate McCann)은 아마랄 경감을 상대로 소송을 냈으며, ‘거짓의 진실’은 출판 및 판매 금지 조치 당한 바 있다.

2011년 제리와 케이트는 딸을 찾고자 ‘마들린’이라는 책을 내기도 했다.

미국 국립실종학대아동센터(National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children)에서는 마들린의 현재 모습을 예상한 그림을 공개하기도 했다. (코리아헤럴드)