McCanns to make TV appeal as police focus on mobile phone users

Madeleine McCann's father Gerry McCann (centre) leaves the Palace of Justice in Lisbon
Madeleine McCann's father Gerry McCann (centre) leaves the Palace of Justice in Lisbon
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THE parents of Madeleine McCann are to make a new television appeal in light of “fresh, substantive” material uncovered as part of a British police investigation into the youngster’s disappearance.

Scotland Yard is trawling through a vast log of mobile phone traffic identified in Praia da Luz, in Portugal, at the time Madeleine went missing.

In a process detectives say could hold the key to discovering what happened to the then three-year-old, any person who was present in the Algarve town on or around May 3 2007 could now receive a phone call from the Metropolitan Police.

Kate and Gerry McCann will appear live during an episode of the BBC’s Crimewatch programme on Monday, October 14. Similar shows will be broadcast in Holland and Germany, with another possible for Ireland.

The Met’s Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said: “It’s important to stress, the Crimewatch appeal is not simply ‘this is a live investigation has anyone got any information?’.

“It is more than that. There is new information not previously presented – fresh, substantive material upon which to make an appeal.”

A large but “manageable” list of phone numbers pinpointed as being present in Praia da Luz when Madeleine went missing has been drawn up by detectives, although a “significant” proportion of them are not currently attributed to a named person.

Significantly, police officers are now also able to create a log showing calls being made at the time of the disappearance.

Since launching its own investigation, Scotland Yard has identified 41 people of interest in the case, including 15 UK nationals. Madeleine went missing from a holiday apartment as her parents, from Leicestershire, dined at a nearby restaurant with friends. The Portuguese investigation into the case has officially ended but authorities there are backing the Scotland Yard inquiry.