Madeleine McCann 'chief suspect' was never interviewed by cops despite 'credible' theory he may have abducted her

The then 3-year-old mysteriously disappeared from her parents’ vacation apartment at the Ocean Club resort in Portugal on the night of May 3, 2007

                            Madeleine McCann 'chief suspect' was never interviewed by cops despite 'credible' theory he may have abducted her
Madeleine McCann (Source : Getty Images)

Shortly after the disappearance of three-year-old Madeleine McCann, police officers missed their chance to interview a prime suspect in the investigation of her possible abduction — Euclides Monteiro. Reports state that Monteiro, a heroin addict, had been working as an employee at The Ocean Club Resort in Praia da Luz shortly before the toddler disappeared on May 3, 2007.

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.

Kate and Gerry McCann hold an age-progressed police image of their daughter during a news conference to mark the 5th anniversary of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, on May 2, 2012, in London, England. (Getty Images)


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.

There has been a renewed interest in the world's most heavily reported missing person case after Netflix aired the series called 'The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann'. The on-going series re-examines the facts of the 2007 case in an attempt to solve the mystery.


Reports state that Monteiro, 40 years old at the time, had been fired from his job at the beach club for stealing from guests shortly before Madeleine disappeared. He aroused police suspicions after phone records showed that he returned to the resort a year after being fired. It was the same resort where the McCanns were staying. 

Officials said that he may have wanted revenge against his former employers, and thought that he may have stumbled across Madeleine while trying to burgle from the McCann's room, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Portuguese newspaper Correio da Manha, in 2013, said: "The motives that could have caused the ex-employee to kidnap the youngster are still being investigated. The suspect could have taken the child to commit a sex crime before killing her. But he could also have committed the kidnap as a form of retaliation against the Ocean Club."

Officials reportedly lost crucial time to interview Monteiro because his name was missing from a list of former and current employees at the resort which was given to police during the investigation.

Kate and Gerry McCann, the parents of the missing 4-year-old British girl Madeleine McCann, display a poster of their missing daughter during a press conference on June 6, 2007 in Berlin, Germany. (Getty Images)


Detectives, however, were set to question Monteiro after identifying him as a suspect following the suspicious phone records. However, they never got the chance to question him as he died in a tractor accident in 2009.

Reports state that Monteiro was convicted of theft in 1996 but escaped deportation. Madeleine went missing when Monteiro was still living in Lagos just a 15-minute drive from where she disappeared. 

While describing Monteiro, a barman and waiter Nelson Rodrigues who worked with him in 2006, called him a sketchy character.

"On the surface, he was a nice guy but there was something not right with him. He would turn up to work with bleary eyes, sometimes he didn't seem like he was all there. And things were going missing about that time – laptops, jewelry, mobile phones, anything that was lying around," Rodrigues told Mirror in 2013. 

Monteiro's family, however, has dismissed the theory, calling it ridiculous. "He loved children. He had a son and a daughter —and would never have harmed a young girl. It's ridiculous.— The e-fit is a white man and my brother was black," his sister Paula said.