When news first broke that authorities were ‘closing in’ on Madeleine McCann’s kidnappers, it seemed like another one of those tabloid headlines that would ultimately lead nowhere.
There have been many over the years, and the exact whereabouts, and fate, of Maddie remains unsolved.
This time, though, there is a real buzz around the new information, and “investigators in Portugal and the U.K. say they are homing in on two of the strongest leads they have found in recent years”.
We covered the first of those yesterday – convicted German paedophile and murderer Martin Ney. What we didn’t know then is that Portuguese police have now confirmed that Ney told a fellow inmate at the prison where he is housed “something only McCann’s kidnapper could know”.
Although previously quizzed regarding Maddie’s disappearance, the Daily Beast says that Ney was “working at a homeless centre run by an evangelical church in the same area where McCann disappeared”.
A second suspect, though, is where real progress could be made:
Portuguese authorities say it is more likely a second suspect they are investigating—an alleged accomplice of Ney—will prove more useful.
After watching the Netflix documentary The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann in March, a female worker who had long retired from the Praia Da Luz resort recognized a man—now a suspect—in the grainy footage. She said she had seen him with a man she is sure was Ney.
The woman, whose name is being kept private for her own safety while the investigation continues, had a run-in with the unnamed suspect, who she says she caught stealing from the Ocean Club resort. When she confronted the man, he threatened her, according to an investigator with the Policia Judiciaria in Portugal.
Now, police think the new suspect may have been working with Ney as part of a sex-trafficking ring that preyed on children in the area at the time
Over the years, a number of resort employees have testified about seeing Ney and a second man in and around the resort. That second man, who was still in the area, has now been brought in for questioning.
Sadly, if Maddie was taken as part of a sex-trafficking ring, the chances of her being found alive are slim:
Most victims of child sex trafficking do not survive the ordeal if they are not rescued immediately.
McCann, if alive, will turn 16 on May 12—far too old for the type of pedophile ring that Ney ran. But if she was taken by Ney and the other suspect, or their associates, they alone may be able to shed light on what happened to her and give her grieving parents continued hope, or the closure they deserve.
At this point, after suffering through a hellish ordeal for 12 years, it really is the very least they deserve.
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