Officers searching scrubland around the Praia da Luz resort for the body of Maddie McCann, or a clue to her whereabouts, are still shooting in the dark, cold case specialist Alan Bailey told the Sunday World.
The former head of the Irish Cold Case unit claims that the Metropolitan Police search is far to wide and lacking direction and demonstrates a lack of commitment to the case, exclusively claims today.
“A four day search on three sites totaling 17 or so acres, lasting four days shows a lack of commitment. Either you are going to search the area fully and completely, or you are not. If you can exclude the scrubland and potential burial sites or areas where clothing of evidence may have been discarded within a square kilometer of the apartment where she was last seen, then it becomes a very different type of crime”, Bailey an eminent cold case investigator, told the Sunday World.
The specialist says that if she was abducted by a fixated preferential paedophile in an opportunist way, then local scrubland would be a place to abuse and get rid of evidence.
“Most of these kind of abductions are really wrong place, wrong time, and so, an opportunist predator could have spotted Maddie leaving her apartment searching for her mother, and snatched her immediately. These offenders don’t need much planning because they are always looking for an configuration of events to make their escape and snatch”, he said.
“An offender needs the child to present themselves, be lost and alone, for example. The environment must be suitable with a lack of CCTV cameras, and a lack of witnesses or potential witness is the third requirement of the opportunist snatch. If a full search of these sites were conducted then we could exclude this and concentrate on the more planned kidnap and snatch by a gang of paedophiles which is always the more unlikely scenario”, he said.
The investigator says that the Gardai would not have opened up the possibility of a breakthrough on the basis of such a wide search over such a short time. “We would have simply had an open ended search and not finished until we were confident that all the work was done and it cannot be done in four days after a gap of nearly seven years”, Bailey said.
The experience of the Gardai and the PSNI in the search for the disappeared from the troubles, has given these forces an expertise in searching for missing bodies and lost evidence.
“ We know from the disappeared that even when there are tip offs about the locations from those who actually, perpetrated the crimes then it is still very hard to find the bodies so this seems a very unrealistic and overly ambitious search by the Metropolitan Police", he said.
Despite indications of a breakthrough in the case, it is quite clear that the use of spades, pitch forks and some ground penetrating radar across three sites, one of which is over 15 acres, can only suggest that the Police are looking for a needle in a haystack.
One source close to the new investigators spoke of the concern among the team that the Met has made very little breakthrough despite the investment of more than 30 full time officers and nearly €10m in the investigation which was kick started last July after the intervention of the British Prime Minister.
Police sources say that search locations have been pinpointed by geographic crime profilers.
The sites were based on the distance that a child could have walked from apartment 5a where she disappeared from, or the distance where she could have been carried by a predator, and then perhaps abused or killed.
The investigators will be looking for either a piece of clothing or a body.
This line of enquiry suggests that the new investigators are unhappy with the quality of the original search but also that the new investigators, along with the original Portuguese Police team, believe that Maddie is no longer alive.
The McCann’s have long ignored this possibility understandably, but statistically; victims of child abductions are likely to be killed within days of kidnap.
“Victims of child abductions statistically are unlikely to survive the first 48 hours and the younger they are the more likely they are to be killed earlier. Those rare cases where abductees survive to be sex slaves are typically much, much older”, Professor David Wilson told the Sunday World.
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Good idea.@Cheshire Cat wrote:Today's article in Sunday World is quite surprising - it is highly critical of operation Grange. Worth reading and not dismissing. I have given this a new thread because it it stands out from most of the other media reports and needs to be read rather than buried in the digging thread.
It was seriously suggested by someone on the other thread that this very sceptical article had been placed on behalf of the McCann Team (!).
I agree with CC, it suggests a police officer, experienced in searches of this type, who can see something seriously wrong with the whole current operation in Praia da Luz.
Just like my near neighbour, who disagrees with me fundamentally about what might have happened to Madeleine, and is not afraid to say so.
Passing me by in the road just now, he said: "Blimey Tony, that search over in Portugal, dogs, tents, vans, 30 police officers, cameras everywhwere - it all seems surreal to me".
"Maddie's Jammies. Where is Maddie?" - Amelie, May 2007 - "Maddie's Jammies. Where is Maddie?"
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