Madeleine McCann and the hunt for a Portuguese smoker
MADDIE MCCANN MAY HAVE BEEN WATCHED FROM BALCONY, WITNESS TELLS YARD
James Murray has more:
A KEY witness with potentially vital evidence about the disappearance of Madeleine McCann has just been interviewed by a Scotland Yard detective on the cold case review team.
A key witness only has potentially vital evidence? What did the witness witness?
Recruitment company boss Graham MacKenzie thinks he knows the spot from which the McCanns’ holiday apartment could have been kept under surveillance.
Thinks he knows?
He identified a first-floor stairway balcony opposite the apartment to Portuguese police hours after Madeleine disappeared and even asked officers to pick up four cigarette butts that could have been left by someone watching the apartment.
Do we go on?
However, the officers let cleaners sweep away the butts, which could have held crucial samples of DNA from saliva.
Father of two Mr MacKenzie, 40, is quoted:
“I worry that the trail has gone cold after all this time. The stairwell was the perfect vantage point as it was opposite the McCanns’ apartment and, I believe, there was a clear view of the tapas bar where the group was eating, and the side entrance to the apartment…When I noticed the butts on the floor of the little balcony I became suspicious. Clearly someone had been there for some time smoking. I didn’t touch them but I spoke to Portuguese officers and asked them to take them for forensic analysis. No attempt was made to seal off the area and then I couldn’t believe it when the police let cleaners sweep them up. I was so angry at the time and I am still angry about it now. It was sheer police incompetence. Those butts could have provided the breakthrough in the case but I couldn’t get the police to listen to me. If the same situation happened abroad again I would sweep the butts up into a bag myself and insist they are kept for analysis.”
Should the police have swept up ever cigarette butt on the Ocean holiday complex? And then… Well, done what with them? DNA on cigarette butts has been used with success in criminal investigations. The trouble is, you need to measure the DNA against something, often a suspect or some evidence left at the crime scene. Was a cigarette butt found in Madeleine McCann’s apartment? No.
Madeleine McCann is missing. There are no suspects.