Just after ten past ten, Gerry asked Matt to run to the Ocean Club’s twenty-four hour reception to get the staff to call the police.
Close to 10.30 they activated the company,s ‘missing child search protocol’ and mobilized people to comb the complex and its environ.
It was not until 11.10pm that two policemen arrived from the nearest town, Lagos, about 5 miles away.
We did not appreciate until later that these two officers were from the Guarda Nacional Republicana, or GNR, who are essentially military police, like the Genarmes in France or Guardia Civil in Spain, run by the interior ministry. They deal with matters like highway patrol and crowd control and are also responsible for law enforcement in more rural areas like the Algarve, but do not handle criminal investigations.
At that stage, of course, we weren’t familiar with the various tiers of the Portuguese police system. As far as we were concerned, they were simply the police.
I’m pretty sure that that initially the GNR officers assumed that Madeleine had simply wandered off by herself. By, midnight, however, evidently they were concerned enough to inform the Policia judiciary.
Were the McCanns familiar with the tiers of the Portuguese police system?
Did they know what they were doing?
Where they playing for time?
What did Matt say and what was his attitude when asking for assistance? Was it very matter of fact, a simple "could you send someone over, someone has gone missing" or was he in a state of panic demanding assistance for a kidnapped minor?
According to this the GNR received the call at 10.50..........................
10.50 pm - First call to GNR Lagos precinct (Guarda Nacional Republicana, rural police); The first call to Police Precinct of GNR (Portuguese Rural Police) in Lagos, reporting a missing child and asking for Police help was made at 10.50pm and a patrol was sent, arriving at Ocean Club 12/15 minutes later, according to Lieutenant-Colonel Costa Cabral, Head of Public Relations of GNR.
I would have thought it would be difficult to have made a call to the police at 10.10 if KM had found Madeleine missing at 10pm. She herself says she searched the apartment, and then had to run back to the tapas bar. After which they all had to run back to the apartment, and search.
So they actually called the GNR and not the PJ, and at 10.50 not 10.10?
Must be a typo in Kate's very truthful book.
The question is, in order to stall the police, did they deliberately call the GNR not the PJ? Is Kate correct in what she says about the tiers of the Portuguese police system?
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The receptionist never mentioned seeing Matthew;
The Ocean Club phone records say there were two calls, one at 10.41 and one at 22.52
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