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Police seeking sex attacker in Madeleine McCann case

Police Looking For Sex Attacker In Madeleine McCann Case

LONDON (AP) - British police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann said Wednesday they are seeking an intruder who sexually assaulted five girls in the region of southern Portugal where the British toddler was last seen.

Police have linked 12 crimes between 2004 and 2010, in which a man entered holiday villas occupied by British families in Portugal's Algarve region. In several of those cases, the man sexually assaulted young girls.

Det. Chief Insp. Andy Redwood acknowledged there were differences between the characteristics of the 12 incidents and the McCann case - such as time of day and the fact that there were no abductions - but stressed the need to identify the intruder.

"This is an offender who has got a very, very unhealthy interest in young, white, female children who he is attacking whilst they are on holiday in their beds," Redwood said. "We really need to identify the offender, to bring to a close the trauma and the tragedy that these families have suffered, and then seek to establish whether this is connected to Madeleine's disappearance."

British police haven't released a composite sketch of the suspect.

Portuguese police made no comment. Cases that are under investigation in Portugal are covered by a judicial secrecy law, which forbids the release of information.

Madeleine was nearly 4 years old when she disappeared in May 2007 from her family's resort apartment in Praia da Luz on Portugal's south coast while her parents and their friends dined nearby.

Portuguese police failed to find the missing girl or a culprit, but reopened the case last year.

British detectives are conducting their own investigation and have been sifting through case files in Portugal and pursuing several avenues of investigation.

Madeleine's disappearance sparked global interest as pictures of her and her grieving parents beamed around the world. Her parents briefly met with Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter's Square in June 2007, a month after Madeleine disappeared, and the pontiff held a picture of their daughter.

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fastmoving2 March 19 2014 at 10:38 PM

I'm sorry but predators of children should receive life sentences. Children look to adults for protection and as long as we allow these creeps prey on society ( probation, parole, short prison terms etc.) we will always have a problem. It won't be a cure all but the more we get off the streets the safer our children will be.

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2 replies
lkplumley fastmoving2 March 19 2014 at 10:56 PM

You are right. Child sex offenders have nearly a 100% rate of reoffending. No other crime even comes close to this recidivism rate. They CAN NOT be rehabilitated. They can't. They should NEVER be released once they are convicted. And once they are caught and convicted, remember, they have usually offended previously but not gotten caught. Children deserve to be protected from these deviants and society CAN do something about this. A lot of social problems are complicated and overwhelming with no easy answers but this one is easily addressed. They should receive mandatory life sentences, period.

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1 reply
kdcarolcohen lkplumley March 19 2014 at 11:46 PM

I am in no way defending the monster who may have molested this child, but I do need to address your inaccurate claim that child sex offenders have a nearly 100% rate of reoffending. This is simply not true. The true rate is between 3% and 6% as outlined in this Dept of Justice report: http://www.usafair.org/recidivism_studies
We need to stop spreading unwarranted fear by touting false statistics. Most children are molested by someone they know. Rarely does a complete stranger abduct and molest a child. This does not make it okay, but the public should know the real risk, not some fearmonger's claim.

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Dominic fastmoving2 March 19 2014 at 11:20 PM

A fresh batch of predators are born every day. Jailing them is good, but we will always have them amongst us.

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hellofromcrystal March 19 2014 at 5:35 PM

Ofcourse this is a tragedy & as a mother, I'm sorry the parents lost a child. However, anyone who has access to the news is very aware of predators and should never leave a child unattended or with the wrong person. Most abductions happen when kids are walking down the street or alone. I would never let my young child walk anywhere alone. Parents have to protect their angels from the evil that exists.

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GERANNIE March 20 2014 at 12:33 AM

I think this case was miss handled from the begining. And leaving a child in a room alone is crazy. She could awake and go looking for her Parents. I think it is a little too late. Seems the Father is a Doctor too.

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1 reply
sallysunbury GERANNIE March 20 2014 at 6:25 AM

GERANNIE, their 2 other children - twins - who were younger than Madeleine - were also left alone in the room at that time. The twins were unharmed. Imagine leaving 3 children aged 4 and under alone in a hotel room! Mindboggling.

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1 reply
poll100 sallysunbury March 20 2014 at 8:03 AM

The twins were 2 or 3 and if taken would wake up crying and making noise. Too much of a risk.

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goosey2796 March 19 2014 at 6:04 PM

This is very crazy news I hope the british police find this crimal who is doing all this to little girls and put him in a jail for lots of years.

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2 replies
afrahyafai goosey2796 March 19 2014 at 6:21 PM

I agree, but death penalty would be better.

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Maria Martinez goosey2796 March 19 2014 at 8:46 PM

Put him in jail? He will have all the fun he wants assaulting young, first-time inmates. and the taxpayers will pay and pay to confine him. But if he is executed, there's no chance he will ever fool the authorities into thinking he is rehabilitated, and get out where he can prey on little girls again.

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DIEGOMANHATTAN March 19 2014 at 8:48 PM

Any DNA recovered from those attacks which may help locate the individual?

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frank1946 March 20 2014 at 12:30 AM

Hope she is discovered alive !

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Larna J. Keane; March 19 2014 at 7:17 PM

The people who hijacked this site with their money making suggestions have dissuaded this household from bothering with responses anymore. Too bad they were allowed to do this.

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3 replies
ray31871margo March 19 2014 at 7:20 PM

Thumbs up to the investigators . Guys, do you think it's possible when you finish this investigation
that you could fly into Boulder CO. and solve the Jonbenet Ramsey case.

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chuck March 20 2014 at 12:26 AM

when you find him kill him

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aspubrel March 20 2014 at 12:18 AM

If five young girls were assaulted while on vacation that is five sets of irresponsible parents. It shows that this practice was/is widespread. I have been in the hotel business for years and travlelled to 40 countries and I would NEVER leave a child alone in a hotel room, no matter how safe the country might be. This is rank stupidity and tragic negligence. If you can pay for a holiday you can pay for a baby sitter.

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1 reply
spydrworks1067 aspubrel March 20 2014 at 4:51 AM

What makes you so sure the parents of the other five girls are irresponsible? Very true, it was stupid for Madeleine's parents to leave her alone, but that does not excuse the crime nor does it make the parents responsible for the crime. Further, it does not mean the other parents left their children alone in a hotel room.

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