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Appeals Court Lifts Ban On Amaral's Book
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Contact/Links

Apartment 5A

The Ocean Club entrance and Apartment 5A at the top of the street
The Ocean Club entrance and Apartment 5A at the top of the street

Apartment 5A is situated on the ground floor of a 5-storey apartment block, just outside the perimeter wall of the Mark Warner Ocean Club Complex. It is located on a street corner and is easily visible from a number of different viewpoints.

See also: PJ Files: Apartment 5a Photographs 

 
June Wright (Luz resident) speaking on Dispatches documentary
 
"I arrived at the Ocean Club reception at around about 10 to 11 and at the time that we arrived a police car arrived - and as the police officer got out a man approached him, who I now know is Gerry McCann and said that his daughter had been abducted. That there was no way that she could have opened the shutters herself, she'd definitely been taken." 

 
Prof Dave Barclay speaking on Dispatches documentary
 
"We must be very careful that we're not saying this is actually staging but it's difficult to see how anybody could have interfered with those shutters, from outside, without leaving some trace. In fact, having looked at them, I think it's almost impossible."

 
Maddie World Exclusive: First pictures and video in flat, 11 May 2008
 

View towards Maddie's bedroom

Floorplan of the apartment

Maddie World Exclusive: First pictures and video in flat News of the World 

 

Click here for video

 
How fiend could have kept out of sight
 
By Keith Gladdis & Dominic Herbert
Sunday, May 11, 2008
 
For the first time the News of the World takes you right INSIDE the holiday flat where Madeleine McCann was snatched one year ago.
 
We are the ONLY media organisation in the world to be invited in to take these exclusive pictures which reveal startling new evidence and insights into the crime mystery that has shocked millions.
 
Our detailed survey of the flat reveals a host of places Maddie’s abductor could have hidden when it’s most likely he was almost caught in the act by dad Gerry as he checked on her and twins, Sean and Amelie, at 9.05pm on May 3 last year.

But our on-site reconstruction proves that if the kidnapper was already in the flat, as the McCanns fear, he had a full TEN SECONDS to conceal himself after hearing Gerry open the patio doors and enter the apartment.

And he had no fewer than FOUR boltholes to choose from—behind Madeleine’s BEDROOM DOOR, inside her roomy WARDROBE, in her parents’ nearby BEDROOM or in the family BATHROOM.

Our poignant picture at the top of the page also reveals the view into Madeleine’s bedroom that must haunt family friend Matthew Oldfield.

It highlights the tragic but innocent error he made when he checked on the children at 9.30pm while the McCanns were at the nearby tapas bar with the other adults in the party.

The wardrobe
There was room for the kidnapper to hide inside Maddie's fitted wardrobe.

From the hall, where he looked into the room, our pictures show that Matthew could only see the bottom corner of Madeleine’s bed.

The twins’ travel cots were beyond on the floor in full view. Seeing them sleeping, he assumed—most probably wrongly—that all was well.

The telltale sign that the kidnapper could already have struck was the open bedroom door—for Gerry had closed it just 25 minutes earlier.
Culprit

Our photos heartbreakingly spell out that if Matthew had only walked a few feet further into the room he could have raised the alarm 35 minutes earlier, giving the police a real chance of catching the culprit.

And our photograph of the room, above right, shows the scene that confronted mum Kate when she arrived at 10pm—her three-year-old daughter Madeleine gone and the rolldown window shutter OPEN.

Tellingly, she had found the bedroom door now closed, blown shut by the draught from the open window looking out on to the road below.

Standing on the very spot, it was not hard to imagine Kate’s shock as the horrible truth sank in after three seconds of disbelief.

The view of the wardrobe in Maddie’s room, right, shows the spot where controversial forensic “evidence” was found——a bloody footprint which was visible to the naked eye.

Inconclusive lab tests found there was a “moderate” chance the blood was Madeleine’s.

There was a report that this footprint matched another in the McCanns’ hire car—although there has never been any confirmation of this.

As we were led through the front door to apartment 5A at the Mark Warner Ocean Club in Praia da Luz on Portugal’s Algarve coast it was like turning back the clock.

The rooms are now eerily silent but it is easy to imagine the excited chatter and kiddies’ laughter that filled the flat right up until the night Maddie vanished last year.

Maddie's bedroom

LITTLE Maddie's bed, where she slept on holiday, is on the left in this photo—covered with a simple blue-check sheet. Only one bottom corner of it could be seen by the McCanns’ friend Matthew Oldfield as he glanced through the door. Next to Maddie, on the floor, the twins’ travel cots were placed in the empty space between the single beds. The bed below the window was empty. This window was originally thought to be the point of access where the abductor broke into the room while the three children were sleeping. Our evidence shows this was unlikely.

ERROR: Matthew Oldfield
ERROR: Matthew Oldfield

If one year on, the News of the World found clues, surely the detectives could have established more AT THE TIME? Crucial DNA evidence could have been lost during those early hours. The abductor must have touched windows, doors, shutters, particularly if he was disturbed and had to stay longer than he planned.

It is hard to accept that absolutely no telltale fibres or hairs were left behind.
 
The stillness and silence of the apartment now is just as it would have been after the McCanns left the children asleep in bed that fateful night.

And our team heard for themselves how much noise an intruder would have made— reinforcing the theory that this was not an opportunistic snatch but carefully planned.
 
When the bedroom shutter is opened by a pull-cord it makes a loud piercing creak that could easily have woken the youngsters or alerted Pamela Fenn, the woman living upstairs.
 
This is crucial evidence as it shows the difficulty of entering the property by the window and suggests the likelihood that the kidnapper gained access by the front door or even the rear patio doors.
 
It also underlines theories that the abductor probably had crucial inside knowledge of the apartment’s interior. Even walking across the ceramic tiled floors in the wrong sort of footwear could have raised the alarm.
 
After the police finished their investigations inside the bedroom, the walls were painted white.

Inside the apartment

Pictures (left to right): Fiend's bolthole? The McCanns' bedroom, Holiday kitchen: Where Kate cooked for the kids, Lounge: Where Maddie and the twins played
 
They were said to have been spattered with small traces of blood, but police investigations into that, as into so much else, came to nothing.

Now the rest of the flat has been redecorated and is ready to welcome more holidaying families to Portugal.
But it will take more than a lick of emulsion to remove the terrible images seared into every parent’s mind just one year ago.
 
Help
 
Someone, somewhere has information about Madeleine that could be the breakthrough the family have been waiting for.

Anyone with information is urged to contact:

The family investigation hotline on +44 845 8384699
or email investigation@findmadeleine.com.

PORTUGESE POLICE - 0035 1282 405 400
CRIMESTOPPERS - 0044 1883 731 336
NEWS OF THE WORLD - 0044 207 782 1001 or Newsdesk@notw.co.uk

 
You can't see McCann patio from tapas bar, 11 May 2008
 

View from balcony

View from bar

You can't see McCann patio from tapas bar News of the World

 
Inside Maddie flat: How the fiend could have got in and out
 
By Keith Gladdis
Sunday, May 11, 2008
 
OUR chilling pictures show how shockingly EASY it would have been for a kidnapper to escape with Maddie unnoticed by ANYONE on the night she disappeared.
 
We have uncovered new evidence at both the BACK and the FRONT of the McCanns' holiday apartment that sheds new light on the four-year-old's disappearance...including new information about the KEY to the flat revealed here for the first time.
 
At the back our astonishing pictures prove THERE IS NO CLEAR VIEW either way from the balcony and the rear patio doors of the McCann apartment to the tapas bar where her parents Kate and Gerry were having dinner.
 
The abductor would have had the cover of TREES in full foliage as he crept around the Praia da Luz flat that night.
 
And at the front we have discovered that the key the McCanns were given at the start of their holiday is almost certainly a COPY of the original that could possibly point to the kidnapping being an inside job in the complex.

Steps leading to patio area

Whichever routes in and out were used by the monster, the risks of him being discovered on his entrance and escape were tragically slight.
 
Our pictures above show the view both ways from the McCanns' balcony to the tapas bar.
 
From the balcony all that is visible of the restaurant 50 yards away is part of an orange parasol at one of the tables because of the density of the trees.
 
From the restaurant, foliage blocks the view of the balcony to such an extent that a man of average height could have stood in the middle of it next to the wall holding a child in his arms and still NOT have been seen by the McCanns or any of the Tapas Nine at the restaurant.
 
So the kidnapper could have used the patio door to go in and out, safe in the knowledge that no one would spot him.
 
Escaped
 
That was made even easier because it was left UNLOCKED by the McCanns who wanted quick access to the flat from the tapas bar side.
 
The patio door could only be bolted from the inside which would have meant them having to walk around to the front every time they wanted to check on their children. The abductor's access to the balcony from the back was also well sheltered—through a side-street gate where Gerry McCann would later meet fellow tennis player Jeremy Wilkins as the doctor returned from his last check on the children.
 
The gate opens on to steps that lead straight to the balcony and in through the patio door. The kidnapper could easily have escaped this way too with Maddie.

View of tapas restaurant from patio

Key to apartment

But Portuguese police have always believed any intruder would have used the FRONT DOOR to enter, knowing the McCanns would never use it that night. He could also have escaped through the shuttered front window to the children's bedroom. For this he would have needed a KEY to the front door. The one the McCanns had for the Ocean Club apartment is known in the locksmiths' trade as a "crucifix key" - and is very unusual because it has four sides. Experienced British locksmith John Reeder told us the key used to take us into the flat yesterday is almost certainly a copy. He said: "Most locksmiths would not be able to copy it without great difficulty. The one in the picture is almost certainly not the original."

Supporting the theory that the kidnap could be an inside job, he added: "I would say it is most likely there is at least one other key in circulation as most locks come with at least two spares when they are cut. But there are not many keys aroun like this one."

From our investigations inside the apartment it is possible the abductor left through the back. But it is also possible he used the window in the bedroom to check the coast was clear at the front and either passed Madeleine through the window to an accomplice or left through the front door.

Aerial view of tapas restaurant and apartment

The patio doors

Blood

There is also the evidence of a "partial footwear mark" found just outside Madeleine's bedroom which had traces of blood in it visible to the naked eye, according to a forensics report.

Laboratory tests in Birmingham were inconclusive but found there was a "moderate" chance the blood was the youngster's. There were also specks of blood said to be on the walls of the bedroom, but forensic results have been inconclusive.

The evidence of witness Jane Tanner, one of the Tapas Nine, also backs the FRONT DOOR theory. She was on her way back from her flat and saw a man walking quickly across the top of the road, away from the apartments and towards the outer road of the complex.

A little girl wrapped in a blanket hung limply from his arms. She was wearing pink and white pyjamas.

Whichever way Maddie was taken, her abduction was far too easy—and out of sight of anyone who could have helped save her.

 
Photograph of Tapas Restaurant/Bar, 16 August 2008
 

Tapas bar and restaurant

Tapas Restaurant/Bar
 
This picture shows very clearly how the Tapas restaurant and bar are distinctly separate structures.
 
The McCanns and their friends, the 'Tapas 7', were seated in the canopy structure known as the Tapas restaurant, behind plastic sheeting.
 
It is very difficult to imagine that any of the group could have seen anything of the apartments, given it was night-time and the lights inside the restaurant would have naturally reflected on the clear sheeting.
 
Being seated at a round/oval table means that some members of the group were seated with their backs to the apartments (including Kate and Gerry according to Gonçalo Amaral) and, in themselves, providing a further barrier to vision for those seated opposite.
 
In addition, by being enclosed, and with the general noise and chatter inside the restaurant, it is very hard to imagine that the screams or cries for help from a distressed baby, or small tot, left alone in the apartment, would ever be heard.
 
From Gonçalo Amaral's book, 'The Truth of the Lie', page 60:
 
Thanks to 'Nana' for translation
 
'At night, with the existing vegetation, in a restaurant with a lateral
opaque plastic cover and with the group of friends sat with their backs to the apartments, they weren't seeing anything and any person could easily have had access to the apartment without being detected, coming in and calmly and deceptively coming out.'

View from Tapas Restaurant towards Apartment 5A, Paris Match magazine
View from Tapas Restaurant towards Apartment 5A, Paris Match magazine

Tapas Restaurant and Ocean Club pool at night
Tapas Restaurant and Ocean Club pool at night

 
First reaction
 
In early September, The Sunday Times spoke to a detective from the Guarda Nacional Republicana (GNR), the local police, who was called to the apartment on the night Madeleine disappeared. "What we found did not seem to be the scene of a kidnapping," he said.

"There were no signs of forced entry, the shutters had not been forced from outside and the apartment had clearly not been broken into."

This, he said, was why they did not seal it off immediately.

 
Interior of 5A bedroom where Madeleine slept
 

First picture inside the apartment, released 12/11/07

This was the first picture to show the interior of Madeleine's bedroom, from where she was allegedly abducted.

The picture was taken through the front window after the police had completed their forensic investigations. It was released to newspapers on 12 November 2007.

It shows Madeleine's bed, with sheets, but does not show the cots where the twins slept. Presumably the cots, being the property of Mark Warner, were returned and reissued to other guests.

Also worth noting is that there is no 'high shelf'; onto which, it was reported, Kate McCann had described seeing Cuddle Cat - the significance being that it was out of Madeleine's reach and could therefore only have been placed there by an intruder. However, it should be added that these reports came from 'souces' and there is no such quote directly attributable to Kate herself.

 
Floorplan of Apartment 5A (Version 1)
 
 

This early floorplan of Apartment 5A is not entirely accurate, as the walls to the front and side were staggered.
 
There were also windows in the kitchen and living area, to the side of the apartment, not shown on this diagram.
 
The 3D diagram, derived from the same plan, repeats these errors.
 
The door to the children's bedroom has been the source of much debate as it plays an important role in the events of the evening of May 3rd.
 
Martin Brunt's documentary, aired on 24 December 2007, confirmed that the door was hinged on the right, as a person enters the room, and swings into the bedroom - not the living area as detailed in this diagram.
 
Note: What looks like a wall, on the left of the photograph released 12 November 2007, is actually part-wall and part-wardrobe.

Floorplan of Apartment 5A
Click to enlarge

Floor plan of Apartment 5A in 3D
Click to enlarge

 
Floorplan of Apartment 5A (Version 2)
 

Another floorplan of Apartment 5A
Click to enlarge

This alternative floorplan below has the correct wall stagger to the front of the apartment and the window placed in the kitchen.
 
However, on this diagram, the door to the children's bedroom opens into the room and is hinged on the left, incorrectly, as you enter the room. This is crucial, as it is alleged that Matthew Oldfield initially stated that when he undertook his check on the McCanns' children he didn't see Madeleine because her bed was hidden behind the door.
 
Martin Brunt's documentary showed that the door did indeed open into the room, as in this diagram, but was hinged on the right. This would clearly be the most logical way to hang a door as anyone trying to enter the room, as per this diagram, would be trapped by the wardrobe (as per photo above).
 
The most recent account of Oldfield's check suggests that he glanced into the room but did not see Madeleine's bed because it was hidden from his line of sight. He also, allegedly, is unable to remember whether the bedroom window and shutter were wide open (as they must have been to support Tanner's abductor at 9:15pm).
 
A person, even just glancing into the bedroom, would have a clear line of sight throughout the room. It would appear inconceivable that Oldfield could have looked into the bedroom, seen the twins, but not apparently seen either Madeleine in her bed or the extra light, and cold wind, coming through the open window and shutters.

 
Forensics 04 May 2007
   
 

Dusting the shutter for fingerprints

Madeleine and the twins bedroom window

Forensic tests at Apartment 5A

 

View to the front of Apartment 5A

Madeleine and the twins bedroom window

Forensic tests at Apartment 5A

 
Apartment 5A - Damage to the shutters?
 

Jon Corner was quoted in the Daily Telegraph of 07 May 2007:
 
'Jon Corner, a close friend of Mrs McCann and godparent of the twins, said she telephoned him in the middle of the night distraught.
 
He said: "She just blurted out that Madeleine had been abducted. She told me, 'They have broken the shutter on the window and taken my little girl.'
 
"They had left the apartment locked while they were having their meal, but when they went back the last time they saw the damage."
 
*
 
The shutters of all the apartments are old and heat-affected and would mark very easily if forced, yet, as can be clearly seen, there is no damage at all to the shutter in question.
 
This can be seen even more clearly by following this link
 
It's also worth observing, from the link above, that the bedroom window appears to operate in a similar way to the patio doors at the rear of the apartment. There is one fixed pane and the other pane slides behind it. This would surely make the removal of a child by this route even more difficult and time consuming for an 'abductor' who we would assume wanted to get out as quick as possible. Using the front door to escape, or the 'open' patio doors, shrouded in darkness, would surely have been a much more sensible, and less conspicuous, option.
 

 
BBC News report, 04 May 2007 (link)
 

Madeleine McCann's parents, from Leicestershire, were at a restaurant near the Mark Warner Ocean Summer Club in Praia da Luz when she went missing.

Kate and Gerry McCann returned at about 2145 GMT to find an empty bed and the apartment door and window wide open.

 
What was locked and what was open? Was there an 'abductor'?
 
To answer these questions, we need first to look at what was said by the McCanns to family and friends in the immediate aftermath of Madeleine's disappearance.
 
Jon Corner, as quoted above, clearly states that Kate had told him that they had left the apartment locked while they were having their meal. In other words both doors, front and patio, were locked.
 
Trish Cameron recalled that she received a call late that same night from Gerry and she recounted: "Kate went back at 10 o'clock to check. The front door was lying open, the window had been tampered with, the shutters had been jemmied open or whatever you call it and Madeleine was missing... They think someone must have come in the window and gone out of the front door with Madeleine."
 
Philomena McCann, Gerry's sister said on 04 May: "Some people may ask why they left the children alone in the apartment but it was locked and they had a full view of the front door and they were checking every half hour."
 
Jill Renwick, a family friend, told GMTV on 04 May: "She's obviously been taken as she couldn't have gone out on her own and the shutters had been forced open."
 
The clear implication in Jill Renwick's statement is that she couldn't have gone out on her own because the front door and patio doors were locked. Otherwise Madeleine, as an active 4 yr-old, could surely have got out through 'open' patio doors very easily and on her own. She was clearly too small to attempt a climbed escape through a closed and shuttered window.
 
However, police tests showed the heavy metal shutter had not been forced up from the outside, so must have been pulled open from inside the room.
 
Chief Inspector Olegario Sousa, spokesman for the investigation, confided in British former Chief Inspector Albert Kirby that neither the windows nor their shutters had been tampered with.
 
What must be appreciated, at this point, is that these comments, from closest family and friends - the first to be contacted, are not Chinese whispers. It is not a case that the McCanns rang one person, who got the message wrong, and this got passed on to everyone else. These are four people who received independent telephone calls from Gerry or Kate, in the hours following the 'abduction', and made independent statements. Yet, the statements all recount the same story. The McCanns' apartment was locked, so the 'abductor' must have gained access via the jemmied shutters and left via the front door. 
 
But this begs the question: How did the abductor get into the apartment if the patio doors were locked and the shutters, as attending officers quickly assessed, had not been forced from the outside?
 
There now appear to be two problems with the recounted version of events. How did the abductor get in and why was the window open? And it's at that point the story changes, in a crucial way.
 
It is suddenly revealed that the patio doors to the rear of the apartment were left unlocked. This immediately resolves the problem of how the 'abductor' entered the apartment but it makes the decision to leave their three babies alone, inside an exposed and unlocked apartment, seem almost unbelievable, not to mention grossly negligent.
 
So, to further justify and soften the decision to leave the doors unlocked, it is 'revealed' that the McCanns and all their friends on the holiday left their patio doors open throughout the evenings for fear of fire.
 
They also embark on a series of interviews where they repeatedly assert that they are responsible parents and that their decision to leave the children alone was quite normal behaviour. Gerry goes so far as to describe it as no different to leaving them in the house when you go into the garden.
 
The second problem that now faces the McCanns is that they have committed themselves to an 'open window and shutter' story. Indeed, it is quoted as the very reason Kate knew something was wrong because when she says she opened the patio doors at 10.00pm, the bedroom door slammed shut as a result of the wind running though the apartment.
 
So, if the abductor clearly didn't enter through the bedroom window, why was it open? The McCanns hadn't opened it, so there could be only one reason. The 'abductor' must have used it to escape from.
 
It is also vaguely claimed that the front door has curious locks and can only be opened with a key, further strengthening the bizarre decision of the 'abductor' to escape through a window, carrying a child who would surely have woken up. 
 
But why, with access to a front door and an apparently unlocked patio door, would the 'abductor' complicate things, and heighten the risk of detection, by clambering through a window with a heavy metal shutter?
 
This idea of a complicated 'key-only exit' front door can surely be discounted, as no apartment would be granted a fire certificate if you could only escape through the front door if you had the key. Mark Warner would surely not install doors that could leave them culpable in the event of a fire.
 
So, we now have the McCanns' insistance that the 'abductor', or 'predator' as he is now referred, was laying in wait, and entered through the open patio doors between checks on the children.
 
So what can we make of the way the story changed so quickly?
 
There is only one conclusion to be drawn.
 
If the patio doors were locked, as Kate and Gerry independently told Brian Healy, Jon Corner, Trish Cameron, Philomena McCann and Jill Renwick, and the window shutters had clearly not been 'jemmied', then there can have been no way into the apartment that evening. And therefore, by deduction, no abductor.
 
And that, is a very disturbing conclusion.
 

 
McCann family reverse story over break-in 'evidence', 25 October 2007
 

McCann family reverse story over break-in 'evidence' Irish Independent

By Shane Hickey
Thursday October 25 2007

THE spokesman for the family of Madeleine McCann has reversed a statement made in the early days of the search for the missing child.

Speaking to RTE's 'Prime Time', Clarence Mitchell said she could "easily" have been kidnapped by an abductor who did not leave the trail of a break-in.

However, in the early part of the hunt, friends and family members told journalists that the shutter on the apartment where the McCanns were staying had been broken.

Mr Mitchell made his comments when questioned by a 'Prime Time' team in a report on the disappearance to be screened tomorrow. "There was no evidence of a break-in," said Mr Mitchell.

"I'm not going into the detail, but I can say that Kate and Gerry are firmly of the view that somebody got into the apartment and took Madeleine out the window as their means of escape, and to do that they did not necessarily have to tamper with anything. They got out of the window fairly easily."

Of the criticism that the McCanns left their children by themselves on four evenings while they went for dinner, Mr Mitchell said there was a cultural difference between Britain and Portugal.

"It is a British approach to get your children washed, bathed and in bed early in the evening if you can so you can have something of the evening to yourself. That is the British way of doing things. It doesn't mean it's wrong. It doesn't mean it's right," he said.

"Nobody feels more guilty than Gerry and Kate over the decision they took jointly to leave their children in that position that night. And they will never forgive themselves. They've said this often.

"Nobody feels more guilty than they that Madeleine was alone when she was taken. However, they felt they had a perfectly proper system of checking (her in place)."

- Shane Hickey

*

Note: On Martin Brunt's documentary 'The Mystery of Madeleine McCann, aired on 24 December 2007, Prof David Barclay, one of Britain's top forensic consultants said: "I think it's impossible for somebody to get in and out, through that window without leaving a forensic trace. Apart from anything else, the window sills in that area are covered in green lichen. The minute you try and scrape over the window sills you would have left marks and we know that the scenes of crime lady, the next morning, was looking for exactly that."

Interestingly, Clarence Mitchell's statement about the McCanns reversal of their 'break in' story, came one week after Dispatches aired the documentary 'Searching For Madeleine' on 18 October 2007. In that documentary, it was effectively proved that there was no way anybody could break into the apartment and leave no forensic trace or damage to the lightweight aluminium shutters, which are covered with a fine coating of polyurethane paint which marks extremely easily.

They also tested the thumb prints, that showed up under the red dust of the forensic fingerprint powder, and proved the prints came from somebody moving the shutter from inside the apartment.

Again, Prof Dave Barclay said: "We must be very careful that we're not saying this is actually staging but it's difficult to see how anybody could have interefered with those shutters, from outside, without leaving some trace. In fact, having looked at them, I think it's almost impossible."

 
Paulo Rebelo examines Apartment 5A on 29 October 2007
 

Paulo Rebelo tries to slide open the window to Maddie's bedroom
Paulo Rebelo tries to slide open the window to Maddie's bedroom

Paulo Rebelo opens the window to Maddie's bedroom
Paulo Rebelo opens the window to Maddie's bedroom

 

Officers test theories outisde the patio doors
Officers test theories outisde the patio doors

An officer attempts to enter through the bedroom window
An officer attempts to enter the apartment through Maddie's bedroom window

This series of pictures show Paulo Rebelo examining the patio doors at the rear of Apartment 5A.
 
These pictures originally appeared in The Sun newspaper on 30/10/07.
 
Portuguese newspaper Correio da Manha made the following report on Rebelo's visit (translated from Portuguese):
 
Correio da Manha - 30 October 2007

Paulo Rebelo was yesterday for the first time at the apartment where Madeleine disappeared from, in Praia da Luz. The new coordinator of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of Portimao led a team of six investigators who, throughout the afternoon, tested several scenarios and even made a possible reconstruction of what happened on the evening of May 3, in the apartment no. 5A of the Ocean Club.

In the company of the team members that he brought in from Lisbon - composed of two homicide inspectors, one from sexual abuse, another that is experienced in robberies and two specialists in technical analysis - Paulo Rebelo tried to find details and loose ends that may open new leads or confirm the existing ones.

The investigators entered the apartment around 3 p.m. and soon after opened the shutters of the window to the room where Madeleine was sleeping with her siblings on the night she disappeared. Next, they passed a blue blanket through the window, folded like it was covering a child's body.

Paulo Rebelo was even one of the elements of the team who paid most attention to the window, having risen and lowered the shutters several times, apparently evaluating its operation. Moments later, the team turned their attention on the rest of the house, and on the veranda and the garden that is located on the back side of the apartment. Here, the inspectors analysed the height of the bushes and the firmness of the balcony, as the leader of the investigation entered and left the apartment several times. One of the inspectors brought a drum into the house, containing a liquid that was not possible to identify.

Halfway through the afternoon, Paulo Rebelo crossed the street into the direction of the area that gives access to Robert Murat's house, as if he were evaluating the distance between the villa and the apartment. When Correio da Manha asked him what the purpose of that diligence was, he just replied he "was working".

It was 5.45 p.m. when the team left the Ocean Club: Rebelo and one inspector then walked into the direction of the Praia da Luz belvedere - walking past the church - where they stood in observation for approximately five minutes. But they did not walk the fastest path, choosing instead to walk down several pedestrian streets of the village.

Aerial photograph showing position of Apartment 5A

Aerial photo of the Ocean Club showing Apartment 5A
Click to enlarge

This photograph gives a good view of the positioning of Apartment 5A, in relation to the Mark Warner Ocean Club complex.
 
The text incorrectly refers to the window, from which Madeleine was allegedly abducted, as the 'Back window'. This window is actually classed as the 'Front window'.

 
Rear view of Apartment 5A showing steps up to patio doors
 

Steps to patio doors showing child's safety gate in place
Steps to patio doors showing child's safety gate in place

Steps to patio doors, child's safety gate later removed
Steps to patio doors, child's safety gate later removed

 
Further views of 5A
   
 

Apartment 5A

Front door, concealed, and bedroom window (left) seen from car park

Car park outside Apartment 5A

Looking from previous position towards entrance to apartments

Looking back towards Apartment 5A

Approaching entrance and looking back towards bedroom window
 

Moving through entrance towards Apartment 5A

Moving through entrance and looking at stairwell area

Moving down towards Apartment 5A

Moving down closer to stairwell area

Moving down towards Apartment 5A

Stairwell area entrance to Apartment 5B
 

Entrance to Apartment 5b

Entrance to Apartment 5B

The bedroom window to Apartment 5A

Showing drop from bedroom window to ground. Two windows on right are for Apartment 5B

Front door and bedroom window to Apartment 5A

Closer look at concealed front door and bedroom window
 

Looking down towards Ocean Club entrance

Showing side of 5A, entrance to patio doors, alleyway behind apartment and entrance to Ocean Club in distance

Side of Apartment 5A

Side of Apartment 5A, showing kitchen window, taken from opposite car park

Looking down alleyway behind Apartment 5A

Looking down the alleyway towards the main street, Apartment 5A on the left unseen
 

Looking up street with Apartment 5A on the left

Looking up towards the main road from the position Jane Tanner would have seen the 'abductor' cross from left to right

Looking up street to where Tanner saw 'abductor'

Shifting view right from previous picture

Entrance to car park opposite Apartment 5A

Shifting view again showing entrance to car park for adjacent building

Photographs in 'Further views of 5A' above appear courtesy of yesman2007 from the Mirror Forum

 
Who owns Apartment 5A?
 

Rear view of apartment 5A showing steps

The apartment is owned by Ruth Margaret McCann, who is unrelated to the McCanns according to family spokesperson Clarence Mitchell.
 
The apartment A, number 5, locate at Rua Dr. Agostinho da Silva, Montes da Luz Urbanization, Praia da luz, is registered with the number 3666.
 
In 2001 the house was bought by a kind of society belonging to Daniel John Aldred, his daughter Donna Michelle Aldred (from his first marriage), Michael William McCann and his wife, Ruth Margaret McCann.
 
Michael McCann born in Devonport, Plymouth was a widower when he married Margaret Ruth Pittaway, 53, who was also widowed in 1987.
 
In 2005, Michael and Ruth bought the part of the Aldred couple giving each of them 50% of the apartment.
 
Later in July 2006 Michael McCann died in Liverpool and in November of the same year Ruth McCann inherited his part becoming the only proprietor.

Martin Brunt, Sky News Crime Correspondent, said in his blog of 20 December 2007 that he had asked the McCanns spokesperson, Clarence Mitchell, why the apartment from where Madeleine disappeared was registered to an owner called McCann.

Brunt says: "I had to pester him for an answer, which only added to my suspicion that it was Gerry and Kate's second home and for some reason they had pretended it was a holiday rental.

We finally nailed it. The place belongs to a Ruth McCann, a teacher in Liverpool (where Kate is from), who inherited it from her late husband.

She told us she was no relation to Madeleine's family and hoped she wouldn't be pestered after my inquiry.

In fact, she was more interested in learning whether she was likely to get compensation from the police who have, at last, kept the apartment as a locked crime scene.

The chance of the McCanns renting a holiday home from someone of the same name is 7,500-to-one."

 
Madeleine McCann disappearance flat still has no buyer after two years, 02 October 2010
 

Madeleine McCann disappearance flat still has no buyer after two years Daily Mail

By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
Last updated at 12:15 AM on 2nd October 2010


The Algarve holiday flat from which Madeleine McCann disappeared in 2007 is now a 'mausoleum', a neighbour said yesterday.

The two-bedroomed apartment in Praia da Luz was put on the market more than two years ago by the owner, a retired Liverpool teacher, but has not been sold and remains empty.

Madeleine was nearly four when she vanished while her parents dined with friends in a nearby restaurant.

On the market: The apartment in Portugal from which Madeleine McCann disappeared

Still missing: Madeleine McCann

The neighbour said: 'The flat has never been used again since the little girl went missing.

'The shutters have stayed down and it is more like a mausoleum than the happy holiday letting it once was.

'I still remember the night she went missing and a young female Portuguese officer saying, "She must have just walked out – there has been no break-in and the doors were left unlocked".'

Meanwhile a new private investigation into Madeleine's disappearance has begun in Portugal.

It is being run by three British former police officers: Nigel Brown, who was named Investigator of the Year after securing the rescue of a kidnapped oil company executive, Dave Carter, who worked in Northern Ireland, and Ray Cooper, who investigated war crimes in Bosnia and gang murders in Trinidad and Tobago.



A Mausoleum Dagbladet.no

Not sold: Still two years after the apartment that Madeleine McCann disappeared from was offered for sale, it stands empty, without any new buyer. Photo: Paulo Duarte / AP Photo

Not sold: Still, two years after the apartment that Madeleine McCann disappeared from was offered for sale, it stands empty, without any new buyer. Photo: Paulo Duarte / AP Photo

The apartment from which Madeleine McCann disappeared in 2007, stands empty and bleak.

STEFAN THORSTEINSEN
02 October 2010


(Dagbladet): The Algarve holiday apartment from which Madeleine McCann disappeared in 2007 is like a "mausoleum", says one of its neighbours to the British Daily Mail.

The apartment in Praia da Luz was offered for sale over two years ago by the owner, but still it stands empty.

Madeleine was nearly four-years-old when she disappeared from the apartment while her parents were eating with friends at a nearby restaurant. One of the neighbours of the apartment says that it has not been used since the disappearance.

- "The shutters have stayed down and it is more like a mausoleum than the happy holiday letting it once was," the neighbour told the Daily Mail.

Meanwhile a new private investigation has started in Portugal which will try to find out what happened to Madeleine.

 
Winging it, 20 August 2012
 

Winging it The Steeple Times

Sarah Tucker gives an update on goings on at the resort where Madeleine McCann vanished

By Sarah Tucker
Posted on August 20, 2012

Four hundred and thirty euros, one bedroom apartment, one week at the height of season at a luxury family resort in Portugal. And oh yes, it's the Ocean Club at Praia da Luz. There's availability with two and three bedroom apartments as well. I asked about apartment 5a where Madeleine disappeared but the PR is coming back to me on that one. That was four days ago.

The Ocean Club entrance and Apartment 5A at the top of the street
The Ocean Club entrance and Apartment 5A at the top of the street

I checked this out because having looked at the comments on The Steeple Times McCann roll call entry, I wanted to know what became of the resort where she disappeared. Last year the lady who owned the property itself couldn't sell it because women buyers were put off by it's history. I don't blame them. I would never recommend buying from a divorcing couple, no matter how good the deal, so buying somewhere where a child has been allegedly kidnapped is a no no. Estate agents will say nonsense, but that's a woman's superstition for you. Or a mother's superstition.

I remember writing at the time about Mark Warner, a company synonymous with a reputation for keeping parents who treated parenting as a subject to be studied to A*, not as something to leave to instinct, God forbid. Perhaps that's an exaggeration, but having recently vox popped over 500 parents* asking if they would leave their children in their hotel room unsupervised while they ate in a restaurant on site, none of them, not one, said they would do so. I never mentioned the McCann case. The question about childcare was mixed in with other family travel related stuff, but some even mentioned the McCann's case when they responded. And all claimed they would take advantage of a babysitting service if it was offered or eat earlier and with the kids if it wasn't.

I was asked at the time if I would ever leave my son alone. I never have. Too risky and having lost him for ten minutes in the salubrious area that is East Sheen high street at five in the afternoon five years ago, because I refused to wait for him to tie up his shoe lace for the nth time, and getting no less than eighteen other men and women, all who had been either waiting for buses, serving or being served in shops, or in several cases drinking in the local pub, to run up and down, shouting his name, I understand the McCann's need to go to the end of the earth, the prime minister, the Pope, to find their daughter. I completely understand this. What I never understood was their emotional reaction or rather lack of it. In the meantime babysitting services are still offered at the Ocean Club.

* Using social media (parents of three to six year olds).