British police arrive in Portugal to help trace kidnapped girl

British police arrive in Portugal to help trace kidnapped girl
5 May 2007
Agence France Presse

A team of three British police detectives arrived in Portugal Saturday to help track down a suspected kidnapper believed to have abducted a British toddler.

British ambassador John Buck told reporters the officers would act as a liaison between the family of the girl and Portuguese police, and between the Portuguese and British police.

The front pages of many of Saturday's Portuguese newspapers carried pictures of the three-year-old girl, *Madeleine McCann*, who disappeared from her holiday hotel room in the southern Algarve beach area late Thursday.

"We have details that corroborate the kidnapping theory," deputy police chief Guilhermino Encarnacao told journalists. "I am calling on the abductor to return the girl."

More than 150 Portuguese police were searching for the girl, and have interviewed more than 30 people.

They say they have a photofit image of the suspected kidnapper, but declined to release it for now to avoid endangering the girl. Investigators believe she is still in Portugal.

The girl's parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, a surgeon and a doctor from Leicester in the English Midlands and both aged 38, said they had left her asleep with her two-year-old twin sister and bother at the resort near the village of Praia da Luz in the Algarve on Thursday evening.

They had checked back regularly from the nearby restaurant, and when they returned at around 10 p.m. (2000 GMT) they discovered their daughter missing and the door of the room and a window open.

They have made an anguished plea for public help to find their daughter.

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