What happened to Madeleine McCann? That question has vexed investigators since 2007, when the British child vanished at a Portugal resort on a family vacation.
Madeleine’s case is being featured in the Netflix series The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann, which streamed on March 15, 2019. The child vanished at a Portugal resort while her parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, were at dinner. Throughout the years, authorities have named some people “arguidos” (suspects), including the parents, only to later clear them. You can read police records in the case here.
Madeleine was only 3-years-old when she vanished and became one of the highest-profile missing person’s cases in the world. The family has shared videos about their child and continuing search for Madeleine on their YouTube channel. In 2017, on the 10th anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance, Gerry McCann told BBC: “I think that day and the poignancy of it, we don’t tend to go back to the time because it’s so draining, but inevitably on anniversaries and on her birthday, they are the hardest days. By far.”
Here are five popular theories on what happened to Madeleine McCann:
1. A Burglary That Went Awry
The Ocean Club apartments in Praia da Luz, where toddler Madeleine McCann disappeared from on May 3, 2007 are pictured on April 5, 2008 in Praia da Luz in Portugal.
The possibility that Madeleine might have woken up and been killed or kidnapped in a burglary gone wrong has been seriously explored by authorities. Indeed, two other apartments were burglarized at the resort two weeks before Madeleine disappeared, according to UK Telegraph.
According to Sky News, in 2014, the Metropolitan Police, through the Portuguese police, “questioned four local suspects on this theory.”
According to the Telegraph, police were investigating this alleged “gang of thieves” who worked in the area. One member of the group worked at the report where Madeleine disappeared from her bedroom while her parents dined a short distance away with other adults at a tapas restaurant in 2007.
“Mobile calls between the men on the night of her disappearance have placed the men at the scene,” Telegraph reported of three men. The men were named as Jose Carlos da Silva; Ricardo Rodrigues; and Paulo Ribeiro, according to Telegraph. Express reports that da Silva drove tourists to their apartments for his job and lived near Madeleine’s apartment. He called in sick the night the girl disappeared, Express reported. Rodrigues, then a teen, lived 500 yards from Madeleine’s apartment.
Authorities had tracked mobile phones in the area around the time Madeleine disappeared, and these suspects had mobile phone contact during that time frame. However, Telegraph reports, they were declared suspects but then released. The men maintained they did not kidnap Madeleine, according to Telegraph.
Scotland Yard officials reported the men were ruled out by the investigation, Express reports. The men have expressed their innocence, with da Silva telling Express, “This whole investigation …read more