Haunting last footage of Madeleine McCann boarding a plane to Portugal with her family days before her disappearance is unearthed in new Netflix documentary
Haunting footage emerged today of Madeleine McCann with a rucksack getting on board the plane that took her on holiday to Portugal where she vanished.
The mobile phone videos of the three-year-old girl walking onto a flight at East Midlands Airport and on an airport bus in the Algarve were taken in April 2017.
The clips were first released by Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry McCann, of Rothley, Leicestershire, four weeks after she went missing in Praia da Luz.
Another video also taken in April 2017 shows Madeleine on an airport bus in the Algarve
But they were not widely circulated and have since reappeared in a new eight-part Netflix documentary about the girl filmed without the co-operation of the McCanns.
The documentary looks at theories about the case, including the idea that she was snatched to order by a people-trafficking gang and smuggled to another country.
Investigator Julian Peribanez, who worked for the McCanns as a private detective, said that a white, middle-class child would have been valuable to such a gang.
Netflix said its show included ‘never-before-heard testimonies from those at the heart of the story’, including the McCanns’ friends, and former investigators.
Madeleine McCann is pictured in a still from a mobile phone video walking onto a flight at East Midlands Airport in April 2017. Five days later she disappeared and has never been found
Several people reported possible sightings of a child being carried through the streets on the night she vanished, but none have ever been confirmed as her.
Madeleine vanished from Praia da Luz in Portugal in May 2007 while on holiday
A friend of Kate and Gerry McCann, Jane Tanner, described seeing a man carrying a child wrapped in a blanket near the family’s rented apartment.
Businessman George Burke also recalled a ‘vicious-looking’ couple carrying a child in nearby Lagos, hours after Madeleine vanished.
Her parents, now 51, have endured almost 12 years of speculation since Madeleine’s disappearance, and refused to take part in the documentary.
They did not believe it would help their hunt for Madeleine, and ‘could potentially hinder’ the UK investigation.
Programme-makers took two years to interview key figures, including the first Briton quizzed over the disappearance. The Portuguese detective in charge, Goncalo Amaral, has told the documentary he still doubts the McCanns.
Police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine work in Praia da Luz in June 2014
Scotland Yard’s £11.75million investigation, Operation Grange, was launched after the Portuguese inquiry ended. The Madeleine McCann incident room is pictured in October 2013
He and the family have been locked in a legal row over his extraordinary claims that Madeleine died in her family’s apartment and that her abduction was faked.
Mr and Mrs McCann deny his allegations and sued him in the Portuguese courts. The programme also raises questions about the Portuguese investigation.
Robert Murat, the British expat first named by Portuguese police as a suspect or ‘arguido’ – but is no longer being probed – feared he had been ‘set up’.
Madeleine’s parents, from Rothley in Leicestershire, were also named as arguidos but cleared when the probe ended.
They said: ‘We did not see – and still do not see – how this programme will help the search for Madeleine and, particularly given there is an active police investigation, it could potentially hinder it.’
Scotland Yard’s £11.75million investigation, Operation Grange, was launched after the Portuguese inquiry ended. Last year it was given £150,000 to allow it to continue until the end of this month.
The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann is available on Netflix from today