Police investigating the disappearance of Leicestershire girl Madeline McCann have released two new e-fits of men they wish to speak with.
This follows an appeal on the BBC’s Crimewatch program after which Scotland Yard received around 1000 calls and emails about her disappearance in Praia da Luz, Portugal on May 3, 2007.
Aired on Monday night, the show explained how British police are now following a new timeline of events that was previously overlooked.
Gerry and Kate McCann said they are ‘absolutely delighted’ at the ‘overwhelming’ response from the Crimewatch appeal. Fresh appeals will also be made on German, Dutch and Irish television.
In a statement, the McCann’s said: “We are genuinely hopeful that one or more of these responses will lead to a major breakthrough in the investigation.
“If anyone was in Praia da Luz around the time of Madeleine’s abduction and has not spoken to the Metropolitan Police, or if they know who any of the e-fits might be, please have the courage to come forward and speak to the police.”
Police revealed they now think Madeline was taken up to 45 minutes later than previously thought. A dramatic reconstruction showed the fear Kate McCann described when she found her daughters bed empty.
Speaking on BBC’s Radio 4, Crimewatch’s editor Joe Mather said: “They received several names for the key 10pm sighting of a man carrying a child towards to beach [and] several callers mentioned the same name.”
Portuguese police finished their inquiry in 2008, but Scotland Yard began a review in May 2011 and opened a new formal investigation in July.
The Metropolitan Police are offering a £20,000 reward for information leading to the identification, arrest and prosecution of the person or persons responsible for the abduction of Madeleine McCann.