Is this the man who snatched Madeleine? McCanns release artist's impression


Last updated at 17:17 26 October 2007

This is the man a witness claims she saw carrying a child away from the McCann family's holiday apartment on the night Madeleine disappeared.

The picture - an artist's impression - was commissioned by the McCanns in an attempt to kickstart the hunt for their daughter.

An artist drew the picture after speaking to witness Jane Tanner and asking her what she remembered of the man she saw on the night of May 3.

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madeleine abductor

Miss Tanner, 36, was one of the group of friends on holiday with the McCanns - the Tapas Nine - and told police she saw a man carrying a bundle away from the apartment and down towards the church in Praia da Luz, at about 9.15pm.

She thought nothing of it until the alarm was raised 45 minutes later, and was said to be "racked with guilt".

She told police she thought it was strange to see a man carrying a child so late at night, but thought he must be its father.

She has spent several hours with the woman forensic artist who has an international reputation in her field.

The picture shows a child's legs dangling over the man's arm, wearing white trousers decorated with a floral pattern and a lacy trim.

The child appears to be asleep or barely conscious.

Madeleine McCann Everton

The clothing fits the description of the pyjamas Madeleine's parents say she was wearing on the night she vanished.

Gerry McCann spoke in detail of the suspect seen by Miss Tanner, saying he was about 35, around 5ft 9ins, with dark hair parted at the side and slightly longer at the back. He wore a dark jacket, beige trousers and dark shoes.

Mr McCann said: "This could have been someone who could have been picking up a child from a creche or coming back from dinner.

"But we are certainly suspicious of the timing and that person needs to be eliminated from the investigation."

The artist left the man's face blank because Miss Tanner, of Exeter, said she never saw it in the dark street.

Her account has caused controversy because another witness, TV producer Jeremy Wilkins, has said he stopped to speak to Mr McCann in the street at the same time, but said he did not see Miss Tanner or the unidentified man.

The McCanns have been frustrated by the Portuguese police's seeming unwillingness to publicise the sighting.

Their decision to commission their own picture was time to coincide with their interview with the Spanish broadcaster Antena 3.

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