Skip to main content

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

By Sarah Aarthun, CNN
October 15, 2013 -- Updated 1207 GMT (2007 HKT)
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
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 2009 GMT (0409 HKT)
The U.S. and several Arab nations carried out airstrikes against ISIS in Syria, intensifying the campaign against the militant group.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 1218 GMT (2018 HKT)
Her friends were raped and her brother was killed by ISIS, but 15-year-old "Aria" managed to escape.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 1058 GMT (1858 HKT)
Emma Watson lent her name and her glittery profile to the cause of feminism at the United Nations.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 0106 GMT (0906 HKT)
From Gadhafi to Ahmadinejad, Bush to Chavez: look back at memorable moments from past UNGA sessions. Richard Roth reports.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 0741 GMT (1541 HKT)
Just days after NASA's Mars orbiter reached the Red Planet, India's first mission could follow suit and make history.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 2014 GMT (0414 HKT)
Khorasan, al Qaeda's new branch, seeks new ways to attack America and Europe.
Alibaba officially became the biggest initial public offering of all time, confirming that in the final tally it raised $25 billion.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 0257 GMT (1057 HKT)
Do the Chinese really like to mix their Bordeaux with Coca-Cola?
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 0936 GMT (1736 HKT)
Cape Town native, Janine Davies is South Africa's first female rider to compete on a national level.
In the largely male-dominated world of the motorsport, South African super bike racer Janine Davies is an anomaly.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 1130 GMT (1930 HKT)
The Lilongwe Wildlife Center houses over 200 animal victims and helps rehabilitate them back into the wild.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 1052 GMT (1852 HKT)
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