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Fresh lead in Madeleine McCann case

March 20th, 2014
02:45 PM ET

Madeleine McCann disappeared in May 2007 in Portugal sparking one of the most high-profile missing child cases in history.

Now British police have identified a new person of interest.

Tanned, with dark hair, unshaven and smelling of tobacco and aftershave, the new suspect is thought to have committed a string of break-ins and sexual assaults not far from where Madeleine disappeared

Though this man assaulted five British girls, all aged 10 or less between 2004 and 2006, he has never been found.

He's not the only person still being searched for by the police. With Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood of the London Metropolitan Police emphasizing that "it's very important for us to understand and identify who this offender is," there are six other individuals that police want to speak to in connection to the case.

Becky asked criminologist and child protection expert Mark Williams-Thomas how he felt about this new development. He said that although it's wide, "if anyone did know this person they'd be able to come forward." He also emphasized that the issues with solving the case go further than just eliminating suspects. "The problem is the relationship between the Portuguese and the British police is one that is at best difficult, because there is not a communication level that is really open." And, he adds, "The only people that will solve this will be the people in Portugal."

On what this means for the McCann's, Williams-Thomas said that any move forward was positive for them. "Gerry and Kate live to the hope that one day they will find out. They will never give up."

Text: Madeleine McCann: Hunt for missing girl goes on


Filed under:  Becky's Interviews • Breaking News • Europe • United Kingdom
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