British police are reportedly preparing to arrest a trio of burglars they believe may have some connection to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, who vanished while on a Portuguese vacation with her family in 2007.
According to ABC News, Scotland Yard detectives have issued
an International Letter of Request to Portuguese authorities to detain the three men, who officials say carried out a burglary a few days before McCann's disappearance at another vacation home in the area.
After reopening the investigation into McCann's case last year, British authorities searched through hundreds of cell phone records and found that all three suspects had an unusually high volume of incoming and outgoing calls made in the hours after the little girl's disappearance.
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That, coupled with the spike in burglaries in spring 2007, led authorities to request permission to arrest the three men.
McCann was just a few days shy of her fourth birthday when she disappeared from her family's rented vacation apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal. Her parents had been out to dinner with friends, leaving McCann and her twin siblings asleep in the residence unsupervised.
The Portuguese police's handling of the case — which saw her parents named as suspects before eventually being cleared — and their decision to shelve the investigation in 2008 has been widely condemned by the British newspapers and tabloid media.
In June, Britain's Home Office decided to fund a new, full-scale investigation into McCann's disappearance. Scotland Yard has always maintained that the girl might still be alive, having found no evidence to the contrary.
In October, Scotland Yard released two e-fit images of a suspect who witnesses say was around the Praia da Luz area at the time of McCann's disappearance. It's not clear if that image was of one of the burglars.
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