Clues pointing to Madeleine McCann being 'taken by pedophile' weren't properly investigated, says ex-cop

An international pedophile ring that may have had connections to people close to the McCann family without their knowledge could have been behind her disappearance


                            Clues pointing to Madeleine McCann being 'taken by pedophile' weren't properly investigated, says ex-cop

Madeleine McCann, the three-year-old who went missing from a resort in Portugal in 2007, could have been abducted by a pedophile who became close to her family without their knowledge.

Former detective Goncalo Amaral, who led the police investigation into her disappearance in Praia de Luz, talked about the details of the probe while speaking to Australian podcast Maddie.

According to him, a potential line of inquiry at the time included an international pedophile ring that may have had connections to people close to the McCann family without their knowledge.

Madeleine McCann mysteriously disappeared from her parents' vacation apartment at The Ocean Club Resort on the night of May 3, 2007.

The child's parents were just 50 meters away from the apartment, dining at a tapas restaurant with several close friends while Madeleine and her twin siblings slept in the house.

The McCanns were on holiday with their seven friends and eight children in all. The McCanns said that a person from their group checked on the children every 20 minutes throughout their meal. However, Kate McCann, at about 10 pm that night, discovered that Madeleine was missing from her bed.

A poster and cards are placed on the Church door in Praia da Luz for missing Madeleine McCann August 9, 2007 in Praia da Luz, Portugal. Police continue there investigation in the Algarve village after blood was found in the McCann Apartment. (Getty Images)

Amaral, during the segment, claimed that certain statements which may have been relevant to that line of inquiry were initially withheld by British police. The UK police, at the time, was working along with the Portuguese authorities to find the toddler.

Maddie's disappearance sparked the world's biggest ever missing child mystery.

"The British authorities tried to conceal the statement and nothing was done about this statement," Amaral claimed. "They were not followed up. Nobody investigated anything related to them."

There has been no indication of Madeleine's parents being involved in their daughter's disappearance. British authorities revealed last week that a German child murderer is believed to be a new suspect in the case.

Investigators have reportedly connected the case with 48-year-old Martin Ney, who is serving life in prison for killing three children. The convict, known as the "Masked Man", closely resembles a photofit of a man said to have been seen with a child in his arms soon after Maddie disappeared.

An aerial view of the resort and surrounding area where Madeleine McCann went missing, August 10, 2007 in Praia da Luz, Portugal. Police are continuing investigations in the Algarve village after blood was found in the McCann apartment. (Getty Images)

Reports state that evidence has placed Ney in the Algarve when the youngster disappeared in May 2007. Originally from Hamburg, Ney targeted children on holiday by entering their tents or villas wearing a mask and armed with a weapon.

Ney was first identified by Scotland Yard as a possible suspect in the case in 2011, however, Berlin police chiefs ruled out his involvement then, stating that he was only interested in targeting boys.

The pedophile, at the time, was working for an evangelical church on a project for the homeless in Portugal. However, he told investigators that he did not commit any murders there and denied any involvement in Maddie's disappearance.

Ney, a former youth worker, was convicted in 2011 of murdering three boys and was sentenced to 27 years of imprisonment.

Scotland Yard and Portugal’s Policia Judiciaria have kept the new suspect's name a secret, however, Amaral claims he knows the German is being probed.