Skip to main content

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

By Sarah Aarthun, CNN
updated 8:07 AM EDT, Tue October 15, 2013
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
updated 5:45 PM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
Pakistan Taliban say the school attack was revenge for the killing of children in a military offensive -- but they are being pressed by defections to ISIS.
A group that claims it hacked Sony Pictures has posted a public threat against moviegoers who see Sony's "The Interview."
updated 9:43 PM EST, Wed December 17, 2014
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
updated 4:48 AM EST, Thu December 18, 2014
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
updated 3:27 PM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
updated 9:12 PM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
updated 7:12 PM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
A social media campaign condemning Islamophobia under the hashtag #illridewithyou has taken off after Sydney hostage siege.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
updated 6:44 AM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
China-bound AirAsia flight turns back to Bangkok after passenger throws water over crew member.
updated 5:26 AM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
It takes Nepalese eye doctor, Sanduk Ruit about five minutes to change someone's life.
updated 5:54 AM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
This epic journey crosses 13,000 kilometers, eight countries over 21 days. Find out where.
updated 9:31 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
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