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WorldMaddie cops were hunting for 'secret apartment and freezer'

05:10  11 may  2019
05:10  11 may  2019 Source:   9news.com.au

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Several months after Madeleine McCann vanished Portuguese police were trying to find a mystery apartment where the missing girl's body could have been hidden in a freezer, according to the detective who once led the 2007 investigation.

Speaking on episode 10 of Maddie, nine.com.au's podcast series about Madeleine's disappearance, Goncalo Amaral described a line of inquiry his team was following when he was abruptly removed from the case, in October 2007.

"The team was looking for an apartment," Mr Amaral said, explaining police had been tipped off about the possible unusual development.

"It is not impossible," Mr Amaral said. A potential hypothesis was that Madeleine's body had been hidden in fridge or freezer in the apartment, somewhere in or around the holiday town of Praia da Luz.

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"It is a possibility that we were investigating."

But Mr Amaral said that lead was never fully investigated as his superiors removed him from the case, one month after Kate and Gerry McCann had been declared arguidos.

Mr Amaral was replaced after he was quoted in a newspaper criticising the involvement of British police in the case. He claimed he was the victim of external political pressure being applied on the Policia Judiciaria.

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Maddie cops were hunting for 'secret apartment and freezer'© AAP Gerry and Kate McCann, parents of missing British girl Madeleine McCann

In episode 10 of the Maddie podcast, Mr Amaral also detailed another potential line of inquiry he believed was important. It involved the possibility of an international paedophile ring that may have links to people close to, or in contact with, the family.

The former Portuguese detective claimed police statements appeared to have been buried by UK police, an action he claimed impeded his team's work in this area.

He said in his opinion the team that was brought in to replace him appeared to be dedicated to shelving the McCann case.

"They had only had to go through the motions to achieve the archiving of the process," he said.

Portuguese police eventually shelved the investigation in August 2008, with no arrests made, 14 months after Madeleine went missing.

Last week marked the 12th anniversary since Madeleine vanished while on holiday with her family.

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Maddie cops were hunting for 'secret apartment and freezer'© AAP Former detective Goncalo Amaral poses with his book, titled in English as The Truth of the Lie, in July 2008.

Mr and Mrs McCann believed a predator had been observing them while they ate dinner with friends at a tapas bar during their vacation, with the children left home alone in the apartment.

They claimed a paedophile or child trafficker snatched Madeleine while she was sleeping.

Mr and Mrs McCann, both doctors from Rothley, Leicestershire, have strenuously denied they were involved in the disappearance of their daughter, and nine.com.au does not suggest any involvement on their part.

Portuguese and British police have both conducted huge investigations which have so far failed to find the missing girl or arrest any suspects.

Madeleine would turn 16 in May this year

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