Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

We Know Who Stole Maddy Claims McCann Private Eye; Held: Madeleine Is with a Paedophile Ring, Says the McCanns' Detective Agency

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

We Know Who Stole Maddy Claims McCann Private Eye; Held: Madeleine Is with a Paedophile Ring, Says the McCanns' Detective Agency

Article excerpt

Byline: KIRAN RANDHAWA

THE private investigator hired by Kate and Gerry McCann to find theirdaughter said today he knows who took Madeleine and is close to reuniting herwith her parents.

Francisco Marco said the missing four-year-old has been kidnapped by apaedophile ring and is being held in north Africa or the Iberian Peninsula.

In his boldest claim yet, the director general of Metodo 3 also said he hopedthe McCanns will have their daughter back by Christmas.

He said: "We know who kidnapped her. We believe she is in an area not very farfrom the Iberian peninsula and north Africa. And we have a fairly certain ideaof who she is with.

"I cannot say who she is with because we are putting together conclusive proofwe can present to the authorities so they can proceed with their arrests."Insisting he believed Madeleine was still alive, Mr Marco added: "God willing,I hope she'll be back with her parents before Christmas."

The Barcelona-based Metodo 3 has been working for the McCanns since Septemberand Mr Marco has already travelled to Morocco to follow up a reported sightingof a blonde girl with the same distinctive marking as Madeleine in her righteye.

The agency claims to have around 35 investigators working on the case and isbeing paid [pounds sterling]50,000 a month by the Find Madeleine Fund.

Mr Marco promised last month that he would find Madeleine, who disappeared on 3May from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in the Algarve in Portugal, beforeMetodo 3's six-month contract runs out next March.

Mr Marco said: "I have always said publicly Madeleine is alive. I have tobelieve it 100 per cent because I know how to look for living people, not deadones. But I have no proof Madeleine is alive.

"We have proof of her movements after her kidnap and we know she was alive theday after her disappearance. …

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