Top cop says story around Madeleine McCann's disappearance doesn't add up, questions the 'open window' theory
A former superintendent at the Nottinghamshire Police who was previously involved in the investigation into the 2007 disappearance of Madeleine McCann has ruled out a popular theory which suggests that the abductor carried the girl out from the hotel room's window.
According to the Nottingham Post, former Nottinghamshire officer Peter McLeod appeared on the second episode 'Maddie,' a podcast hosted by Australian journalist Mark Saunokonoko — which explores intricacies of what has been described as "the most heavily reported missing-person case in modern history" — to debunk the possibility Madeleine could have been taken out through the window.
Following her disappearance on the evening of May 3, 2007, from her bed in a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in the Algarve region of Portugal, her mother Kate McCann had speculated that the kidnapper could have abducted her daughter after entering and exiting through the window. She and her husband, Gerry, had also suggested that someone had "jemmied open" the shutters to get into the room.
McLeod, who had visited the hotel and inspected the ground floor bedroom window from where she disappeared, said during the podcast that the scenario concocted by Kate and Gerry was "not possible," pointing to its narrow dimensions as proof.
"The window is only absolute maximum 50 cm wide, in reality about 46 cm wide, and it's already a meter off the ground," he said. "I had a go at that and my shoulders are wider than that little window. So, although you could climb in sideways, you certainly can't jump in if you're a normal sized person.
"I frankly do not think it's possible," he continued. "It would be difficult enough to get yourself in. You'd have to grab hold of the windows and grab hold of things. But of course, the shutters are the problem because the shutters are going to be bashing down on your head. Either that or you've got to put a piece of wood in or something. And there's no suggestion of any of that."
McLeod also rubbished British media reports which claimed the window, as well as shutters, were damaged and said it was quite obvious from local television footage that neither the window nor the shutters were damaged, smashed, forced, or jemmied. He claimed this discrepancy was immediately a "red flag" which confirmed the theory did not hold water.
Madeleine would be turning 16 this coming May, with Scotland Yard's inquiry into her disappearance, 'Operation Grange,' already accruing costs totaling around £11.75 million ($14.91 million) in taxpayer money since its launch in 2011. The search was given a further boost in November 2018 when the Home Office injected another £150,000 ($196,000) into the operations, effectively giving it legs to run until March 31.