Madeleine McCann Investigators Comb Cell Phone Traffic Records

Friday, 04 Oct 2013 01:08 PM

By Alexandra Ward

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Madeleine McCann's parents and Scotland Yard detectives will appear on TV next week to reveal new findings of the recently reopened investigation into the 2007 disappearance of the British toddler.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood told Sky News that his team of about three dozen British police officers is currently conducting a massive trawl of the cell phone records of everyone who was at the Portuguese holiday resort where McCann was abducted in May 2007.

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"We've got a data set of phone traffic. Within that phone traffic you can see we've got some of those numbers we can attribute to people, but a large number of them we can't," he said. "So in a targeted way, we're trying to say in a particular moment in time, that is around the moment of opportunity, who's there.

"What we're trying to do is to use every route available to us to identify as many of them as possible and the phone data is one route into that, as are appeals. If you were in Praia da Luz at the time, you may get a routine phone call from the police."

McCann was just days away from her fourth birthday when she disappeared from the 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 parents Kate and Gerry 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.

Investigators and the McCanns will appear on a BBC Crimewatch program Oct. 10 to present all new information.

"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," Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley told Sky News. "There is new information not previously presented. Fresh, substantive material upon which to make an appeal."

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