PRAIA DA LUZ, Portugal – Police have produced a drawing of a suspect thought to have abducted 3-year-old Madeleine McCann as she slept in a Portuguese holiday apartment.
Detectives believe Madeleine was taken by someone who may have stalked her family during their holiday on the Algarve. They are working on the assumption that she is still alive and are concentrating their search within two or three miles of where she was taken.
Guilhermino Encarnacao, the director of judicial police in Faro, said the initial drawing of the suspect was not being released to “safeguard the child’s life.” Officers are understood to have interviewed witnesses who may have seen the abductor.
Encarnacao appealed to the kidnapper for the safe return of the child. “Bring her back just as she is, because you’re still in time,” he said.
On Saturday night Madeleine's parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, both doctors, appeared for a second time to make a new appeal for information.
Kate McCann, again clutching a white teddy bear, stood arm and arm with her husband as he said: "We would again like to appeal for any information, however small, that might lead to the safe return of Madeleine."
Madeleine disappeared on Thursday evening just before 10 p.m. as she slept with her 2-year-old twin brother and sister in the family apartment at the Ocean Club resort in Praia da Luz, which is run by the Mark Warner holiday company. Her parents were eating nearby at a restaurant with friends.
Officers have received more than 30,000 calls offering information. About 150 investigators have been deployed in Portugal and are liaising with British police and Interpol.
Madeleine’s aunt, Philomena McCann, said relatives were clinging on to hope.
“It’s really important to keep your emotions in check because the last couple of days have been like a rollercoaster,” she said.
"We cannot describe the anguish and despair we are feeling as parents of our beautiful daughter Madeleine," Gerry McCann, 39, said.
Hundreds of holidaymakers, British expatriates and local residents yesterday joined the hunt for Madeleine, which included local campsites.
The couple attended morning mass at the Church of Our Lady of Light in the town.