Telegraph Quick view Timeline over the 9 years

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Telegraph Quick view Timeline over the 9 years Empty Telegraph Quick view Timeline over the 9 years

Post  candyfloss on Fri 29 Apr 2016, 2:36 pm

John Taylor

3 May 2007


The room from which Madeleine McCann was snatched. Picture: Departmento de Investigacao Criminal de Portimao

Three-year-old Madeleine McCann disappears from her bed in a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal.

Her parents are dining with friends, the group dubbed The Tapas Seven, at a restaurant 160ft away. Kate McCann discovers that Madeleine is missing when she check on the children at 10:00pm.

4 May 2007

Portuguese police investigate

Portuguese investigator dusts for fingerprints. Picture: AP Photo/Carlos Cesar

A full police hunt is launched with search dogs. Border controls and airports are notified.

However, Portuguese police are later criticised for failing to seal off the holiday apartment as a potential crime scene.

7 May 2007

Television appeal

Kate McCann makes her first television appearance, calling for the safe return of her daughter.

"Please, please do not hurt her."

15 May 2007

First formal suspect

 Picture: Steve Parsons/PA

Local property consultant Robert Murat is named by Portuguese police as their first formal suspect, after a journalist tells them he has been asking questions about the disappearance.

He is eventually cleared and claims around £600,000 in libel settlements, after being linked with the case in over 100 UK press articles.

July 2007

Sniffer dogs flown in from Britain

Two Springer spaniels are brought in from Yorkshire police. Keela is trained to detect traces of human blood. Eddie is trained to alert officers to the scent of dead bodies.

One or both dogs give alerts at spots in 5A, the apartment the McCanns stayed in, Kate McCann's clothes, Madeleine's soft toy and a borrowed Bible.

Eddie also gives an alert at the McCanns' rental car.

8 August 2007

British DNA analysis

DNA is gathered from the spots identified by the dogs and sent to the UK for analysis.

The results are inconclusive, but a misunderstanding leads the Portuguese police to suspect the McCanns.

5 September 2007

McCanns become official suspects

Abandoning the abduction theory, the Polícia Judiciária bring Gerry and Kate McCann in for questioning.

Police sources tell tabloid reporters that the DNA tests are a "100% match" and the media swiftly turn on the McCanns.

9 September 2007

Return to the UK

Despite being named as suspects, the McCanns are allowed to return home to the UK.

The next day, the Polícia Judiciária formally puts forward a case that the Madeleine died in an accident and that the McCanns concealed her body and faked an abduction.

October 2007

Investigation co-ordinator removed from his post

Gonçalo Amaral is forced to resign after complaining that British police only pursue leads that are helpful to the McCanns.

In July 2008 his book, The Truth of the Lie, alleges that Madeleine died accidentally and that her parents faked the abduction.

21 July 2008

Portuguese investigation closed

The Portuguese police close their investigation of Madeleine's disappearance. Robert Murat and the McCanns are cleared as formal suspects.

May 2009

New pictures

The Find Madeleine campaign releases a poster of how Madeleine might look at age six.

May 2011

Operation Grange

Scotland Yard launches an investigative review into the disappearance, financed by a government contingency fund.

The team's focus is on uncovering "a criminal act by a stranger", according to then-senior investigator DCI Andy Redwood.

12 May 2011

Kate McCann's book published

Published on Madeleine's birthday, Kate McCann puts 100% of the money raised by book sales into replenishing the fund investigating her daughter's disappearance.

24 October 2013

Portuguese police reopen the investigation

Two e-fit images believed by detectives to be of the same man seen in Praia da Luz at the time of Madeleine McCann's disappearance  

Citing "new evidence", the country's attorney general re-opens the investigation into Madeleine's disappearance.

The move is welcomed by the McCanns, who say it provides them with new hope.

June 2014

Ground-penetrating radar

 Picture: Philip Toscano/PA

Investigators use radar at three sites to search for clues near the town of Praia da Luz.

28 April 2015

McCanns win libel case

Former investigator Gonçalo Amaral is ordered to pay €500,000 to the McCanns for alleging in his book that they faked their daughter's abduction.

28 October 2015

UK investigation scaled down

Scotland Yard announces that Operation Grange, the ongoing review of Madeleine's disappearance, is to be dramatically scaled down.

The number of officers is to be reduced from 29 to just four. However, Operation Grange still has funding until April 2016.

20 December 2015

McCanns to fund their own investigation

 Picture: Andrew Crowley

Kate and Gerry McCann plan to employ private investigators to continue the search for their daughter.

The No Stone Unturned appeal fund stands at around £750,000 - boosted by sales of Kate McCann's book.

April 2016

"One final lead"

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe says he believes there is “one final lead” in the case.

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Sometimes you will never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory.......... Dr Seuss

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